12 Cheap Tequila Cocktails to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

A REFRESHING WAY TO SAY OLÉ!

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for the fifth of May) commemorates Mexico's victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In the U.S., Cinco de Mayo has evolved into an occasion featuring parades, mariachi music performances, street festivals, and cocktails made with tequila, said to be North America's first distilled beverage. To celebrate, create versions of pricey restaurant and craft bar drinks at home for a fraction of the price. Better ingredients make a better product, but there's no need to buy premium tequila that is destined to be mixed. A good place to start is with 100 percent agave tequila from Cheapism.com's list of best inexpensive tequilas. With a few other fresh ingredients, including seasonal fruits and simple syrup, a wide variety of fresh and tasty drinks can be concocted for a just a few dollars each. Salud!

TEQUILA PINEAPPLE PUNCH ($1.47)


Agave and pineapple have a lot of overlapping flavors, which means cocktails that include the two are an effortless hit. To make, combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake to chill, and strain into a new glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge (optional).

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila ($1.20)

1 ounce pineapple juice (8 cents)

1/2 ounce lime juice (15 cents)

1/2 ounce simple syrup (3 cents)

TEQUILA NEGRONI ($2.64)


Negronis are bittersweet and an excellent way to prep the stomach for a meal or aid digestion after a meal. Swapping tequila for the gin in this classic cocktail is a tasty twist that is both familiar and exciting for cocktail lovers. To make, combine all liquid ingredients over ice in a glass, stir to combine, and chill. Garnish with an orange slice.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila ($1.20)

1 ounce red vermouth (50 cents)

1 ounce Campari (89 cents)

Orange slice (5 cents)

CLASSIC MARGARITA ($2.07)


When done correctly, a margarita is one of the most refreshing and delicious drinks on the planet. The trick is in the simplicity and in using simple, high-quality ingredients -- not a mix. To make, shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a new glass over ice or straight up, with an optional salt rim garnish.

Ingredients:

2 ounces blanco tequila ($1.60)

1 ounce lime juice (30 cents)

1/2 ounce triple sec orange liqueur (17 cents)

TOMMY'S MARGARITA ($1.93)


This twist on the popular drink is becoming more and more common and likely predates what we think of as the original, or Cadillac, margarita. Even fresher, if that's possible, than the classic, this cheaper version (without orange liqueur) is likely to become a house favorite. Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a new glass over ice or straight up, with or without salt.

Ingredients:

2 ounces blanco tequila ($1.60)

1 ounce lime juice (30 cents)

1/2 ounce simple syrup (3 cents)

SPICY SERRANO MARGARITA ($2.08)


Tequila and spice are natural friends in the flavor world. This margarita packs a punch with spicy serrano chilies, or jalapeño for those who like a bit less heat. To make, muddle the chili in the bottom of a glass before filling with ice and all other ingredients, shake to combine, and transfer to a fresh glass. Garnish with a salt-and-pepper rim (optional).

Ingredients:

1/2 serrano chili cut into slices (15 cents)

2 ounces blanco tequila ($1.60)

1 ounce lime juice (30 cents)

1/2 ounce simple syrup (3 cents)
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CUCUMBER TEQUILA FIZZ ($1.82)


Enhance the refreshing quality of agave with this spa-like cooler that is a touch lighter in alcohol than many other drinks, making it a good option for sultry days or epic parties. Start by muddling six cucumber slices in the bottom of a glass; fill with ice, tequila, lime, and simple syrup; shake to combine; and strain into a fresh glass with fresh ice and cucumber slices. Top with club soda.

Ingredients:

10 cucumber slices (20 cents)

1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila ($1.20)

1 ounce lime juice (30 cents)

1/2 ounce simple syrup (3 cents)

3 ounces club soda (9 cents)

TEQUILA SODA ($1.79)


Keeping it simple can hit the spot for those who are watching their caloric intake, avoiding sugar, or looking for a lighter beverage. Combine the ingredients in a tall glass over ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

Ingredients:

2 ounces blanco tequila ($1.60)

3 ounces club soda (9 cents)

Lime wedge (10 cents)

PALOMA ($1.90)


The most popular tequila drink in Mexico, the paloma may be the queen of all tequila cocktails. Make it by layering the ingredients in a tall glass over ice, then topping with a splash of grapefruit soda.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila ($1.20)

1 ounce lime juice (30 cents)

Dash of salt (1 cent)

3 ounce grapefruit soda (39 cents)

TEQUILA OLD FASHIONED ($1.78)


This drink is a match made in heaven for those who enjoy strong stirred drinks and tequila. Both reposado and añejo tequilas work well in this sophisticated libation. Combine all ingredients in a glass, add one large ice cube, and stir to chill and slightly dilute. Garnish with orange zest.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces añejo tequila ($1.50)

2-3 dashes Angostura bitters (20 cents)

1/2 ounce simple syrup (3 cents)

Orange zest (5 cents)

BLOODY MARIA ($2.85)


Substitute neutral vodka for flavorful tequila in a bloody mary for a festive and bold drink. To make things easy, use a high-quality mix, such as Tres Agaves, which costs about the same as homemade. Combine all ingredients over ice, stir to combine, and garnish with vegetables of your choice.

Ingredients:

3 ounces bloody mary mix ($1.65)

1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila ($1.20)

TEQUILA TODDY ($1.85)


Reports suggest that tequila is as medicinal as whisky, with new purported health benefits of agave coming out every week. Served warm, it makes a soothing drink when you feel slightly under the weather or simply need to take a chill off. To make the best agave toddy you've ever had, combine all ingredients in a mug and top with almost boiling hot water, stir, and enjoy.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila ($1.20)

1 ounce lemon juice (30 cents)

1 ounce agave syrup (35 cents)
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TEQUILA STORM ($2.29)


This riff on the classic Caribbean rum-soaked dark 'n stormy cocktail substitutes reposado tequila for dark rum to make an equally sweet and spicy libation. Start by combining the tequila and bitters over ice in a tall glass, saving the ginger beer for last, stir gently to combine, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Ingredients:

2 ounces reposado tequila ($1.60)

2-3 dashes Angostura bitters (20 cents)

3 ounces ginger beer (39 cents)

Lime wedge (10 cents)