A Christmas Tequila Cocktail to Egg your Noggin

by Pamela

tequila cocktail, tequila drink recipe, drink recipe

This year, I have decided to make a tequila cocktail the holiday beverage of choice.  Why tequila, you ask?  Why not tequila?  As I’ve said before, tequila isn’t just for frat boys, margarita recipes and shooters.  Depending on whether you use an añejo, reposado or silver tequila will determine the overall flavor profile for your drink.  You didn’t realize there were different types of tequila?  Here’s a very brief explanation of just these three popular tequila categories:

Añejo – This is aged tequila which tends to have a more mellow flavor.  It’s been aged a minimum of 1 year, but less than 3, in small oak barrels.

Reposado – Aged a minimum of 2 months, but less than a year in oak barrels.

Silver or Plata – Aged less than 2 month or not aged at all.

I actually got the inspiration for this drink recipe from a bartender named Raul Yrastorza.  He was talking about his favorite tequila drink recipe containing balsamic vinegar, basil, strawberries and this spice laden simple syrup.  I know, it sounds more like a salad than a cocktail.  But after giving it some thought I decided to try making my own version.  I’m really glad that I did.  This is NOT your typical tequila cocktail.

Tequila-Drink-Recipe Christmas Tequila Cocktail

I used a silver tequila in this recipe because I wanted the earthy/spicy flavors to come from the simple syrup and not from the tequila.  In fact, I used some the Camerena tequila I had left over from my party.  The strawberry adds a burst of flavor to cut through some of the musky spices, not to mention a strikingly red color to the cocktail.  The flecks of green basil add to the holiday color palate but also add a little surprise flavor in there that works surprisingly well with the the other spices.

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Recipe: Christmas Tequila Cocktail


  • 4 Strawberries (3 hulled one with hull for garnish)
  • 2 Ounces Silver Tequila
  • 3/4 Ounce Spiced Agave Simple Syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 Medium Basil Leaves Chiffonade (divided in half)

Spiced Agave Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 Cup Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Coriander (coarsely crushed)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds (coarsely crushed)
  • 3 Cardamom Pods (lightly crushed)


For Spiced Agave Simple Syrup

  1. Add all ingredients to small saucepan and heat over medium high heat.
  2. Stir and bring to a boil (the mixture should climb up the sides of the pan slightly).
  3. Remove from heat, stir and let cool to room temperature before using.
  4. This can be stored, for up to a week, covered and refrigerated.

For the Cocktail

  1. Muddle the 3 hulled strawberries in the glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker add ice cubes, tequila, agave syrup and half of the basil.
  3. Cover and shake vigorously.
  4. Strain into glass with muddled strawberries.
  5. Add the remaining basil to the cocktail and garnish with a strawberry.
  6. You can add a few ice cubes to this cocktail and give a quick stir to mix up the basil leaves.
  7. Serve

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 1

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)



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Julia December 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

Strawberry, tequila, agave and basil, that’s like 4 of my favorite food groups, I mean ingredients. And I’m diggin’ the glass too!

The Dinner Belle for Kimberlybelle.com December 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm

This sounds like a bright interesting new cocktail to try. I will have to check to see if there are any good strawberries at the store next time I go. What about the balsamic vinegar? It could also be made into a sweet syrup and add a bid of tang.

The Dinner Belle for Kimberlybelle.com

Pamela December 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Hi Kimberly,

I didn’t use the balsamic in my version of the drink. A balsamic syrup would definitely give it a nice additional flavor. Be careful so that you don’t overpower the spices in the agave syrup. Let me know how you like with the balsamic.

Alli@peasepudding December 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I like the addition of the spices in this cocktail!

Barbara | Creative Culinary December 3, 2011 at 9:58 am

I count myself among those who for a long time thought Tequila harsh and though I sort of liked margaritas that harshness was evident and unwelcome.

Enter good tequila. What a difference. I won’t typically buy something that’s not aged a bit and have even come to appreciate sipping tequilas (as opposed to licking salt off my hand and throwing back tequilas!).

Lana December 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm

My first reaction was to say “HUH?” when I read the ingredients – it’s been too long since I mixed a drink behind the bar, so I must have become an old codger:)
But I love agave nectar and tequila, a basil plant is on the patio, there are all those spices in my spice rack and strawberries are walking distance from me – why not experiment (before I pack my apartment and move away – close to you, in Redondo Beach!)

Pamela December 2, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Then it sounds to me like you definitely need to make this…and soon.

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