Shake Up Your Tequila Routine with These 3 Reposado Cocktails

If you've just been shooting tequila or drinking it in margaritas, we've got some new ideas for you.

Reposado Tequila Cocktail Recipes
Photo: Carey Jones

If you've shot tequila at some point in your life, chances are it was blanco tequila — a clear spirit that never sees the inside of a barrel. And blanco can be good stuff, but we're also huge fans of reposado tequila. "Reposado" translates to "rested." It's the middle of the road between blanco and long-aged añejo, which is aged in oak barrels for between two and 12 months. The aging of reposado allows tequila's signature sharp bite to mellow a bit, without the barrel-aged oak flavor taking over. Great reposados, like the one we've got right now from Fortaleza, have a lovely vegetal, almost savory quality. And of course, that comes out beautifully in cocktails. Here are three tequila drinks we love.

Easy: Reposado Perfect Manhattan

Resposado Perfect Manhattan
Carey Jones

Tequila can have a bit of spice to it — so we're playing that up with just a bit of 100-proof rye, along with both sweet and dry vermouth for an elegant Manhattan version that has a real bite. Delicious and sophisticated.

Instructions: In a mixing glass with ice, combine one and a half ounces of reposado tequila, half an ounce of 100-proof rye (Rittenhouse is great), half an ounce of sweet vermouth, and half an ounce of dry vermouth. Add one dash of Angostura bitters. Stir until well chilled and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a big twist of lime peel and a thin peel of lemon.

Intermediate: Grapefruit and Rosemary

Grapefruit & Rosemary Reposado Cocktail
Carey Jones

Reposado tequila makes a delicious margarita. But it's great in more complex drinks, too, like this shaken cocktail with grapefruit, Aperol, and a big rosemary garnish that brings out some of the spirit's herbaceous qualities. Warning: These go down easy.

Instructions: To a cocktail shaker with ice, add one and a half ounces of reposado tequila, three-quarters of an ounce of grapefruit juice, a quarter ounce fresh lime juice, three-quarters of an ounce of Aperol, a quarter ounce of agave syrup (equal parts agave and hot water, so the sweetener dissolves more easily), and one dash of orange bitters. Shake it all up and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and a big sprig of rosemary.

Advanced: Basil and Reposado

Basil and Reposado Cocktail
Carey Jones

We mentioned that tequila can have an herbal, vegetal quality, right? Let's play that up with some basil and the warm spice of Angostura bitters. (This drink would be killer with a quarter-ounce float of yellow Chartreuse, too, if you've got any hanging around.)

Instructions: In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, gently press three large basil leaves with a muddler. (You're just massaging them, not pounding the hell out of them.) Add two ounces of reposado tequila, three-quarters of an ounce of lemon, half an ounce of agave syrup, and two dashes of Angostura bitters. Shake all that up, then strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a few lemon wheels, a big sprig of basil, and five more dashes of Angostura.

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