Cinnamon & Tequila

Hot Ginger Cocktails | Ginger Cinnamon Tequila
Photo: Carey Jones

It’s rare to see tequila in a hot drink, but pairing the spirit with cinnamon and ginger makes this winter tipple special. Start with the 15-minute ritual of boiling, simmering, and straining slices of ginger and cinnamon sticks to make fresh, spicy, and soothing cinnamon-ginger tea. Choose a reposado tequila that’s been aged in steel or wood for two months to a year for the caramel color and strong flavor that will bring out ginger’s sharp bite without overwhelming the senses. Naturally sweeten the agave spirit with agave syrup and finish the cocktail with a dash of Angostura bitters for more cinnamon and earthiness. 

This concoction smells incredible as it simmers on the stove, delivering a balance of sweet and spicy sensations –– and it's easy to make for a crowd. We have two party tricks to nail the presentation while enhancing the winter flavors: Serve each heat-safe glass with a pair of cinnamon sticks and a trio of cloves studding an orange peel segment. The garnish pays homage to pomander balls, whole dried oranges with clove studs that have long served as aromatic holiday decor rumored to repel bugs and bad spirits. Incorporate the decorative element with vessels of cinnamon sticks and studded orange peels for a DIY punch station where guests can customize their distinctly warm tequila cocktail.


Ginger-Cinnamon Tea

  • 2” by 1” chunk fresh ginger,  peeled and cut into thin slices

  • 2 sticks cinnamon

Agave Syrup

  • 1 ounce agave nectar

  • 1 ounce water

Cinnamon & Tequila Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounce tequila (such as Mijenta Tequila)

  • 1 dash bitters

  • 2 ounces ginger-cinnamon tea

  • 1/2 ounce agave syrup

  • 1 orange peel (for garnish)

  • 1 tsp cloves (for garnish)


Make Ginger-Cinnamon Tea

  1. In a medium-sized pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add 60 grams of ginger –– about a 2” by 1” chunk, peeled and cut into thin slices, along with a long cinnamon stick (around 4”). Lower heat and let simmer for ten minutes.

  2. Carefully strain out ginger and cinnamon, reserving liquid.

Make Agave Syrup

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve 1 ounce agave nectar into 1 ounce of boiling water. Let cool.

Make Cinnamon & Tequila Cocktail

  1. In a heat-safe glass, stir together 2 ounces ginger-cinnamon tea, reposado tequila, half an ounce of agave syrup, and a dash of Angostura bitters.

  2. Garnish with a long cinnamon stick, and an orange peel studded with cloves.

Updated by
Ashley Day
Portrait of Ashley Day

Title: Updates Editor, Food & Wine

Ashley interviews chefs and hospitality industry professionals among many meals and destinations to tell the stories of compelling food, trends and makers.

Expertise: food, travel, wine, beer, chefs.

Experience: Ashley Day's food and beverage destination guides to Asheville, Boise, Las Vegas, Traverse City, and Tucson have been featured as cover stories in USA TODAY Travel print editions. She's covered female chefs, food and travel book reviews, and New York dining news among additional print coverage.

Ashley's profiled hundreds of chefs for the Institute of Culinary Education, from recent graduates to industry leaders, and hosted cuisine and technique experts for more than 200 video demonstrations as part of the school's first online diploma program.

She's spoken on food and travel at industry events including the PRSA Travel & Tourism Conference, Global Food Tourism Conference, Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference, Travel & Adventure Show, and Travel Marketing Summit.

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