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Cotswold Cocktail School - Siesta Cocktail Recipe

ABV 18% / 2.5 alcoholic units

Primary spirit: Tequila

A Brief History of the Siesta Cocktail

The Siesta Cocktail is a relatively modern creation in the world of cocktails, with its origins stemming from the craft cocktail revival of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. While the exact history of the Siesta Cocktail is not as storied as some classic cocktails, it has quickly gained popularity among cocktail enthusiasts and mixologists for its delightful blend of flavours.

The name "Siesta" hints at a leisurely afternoon nap, often taken during the hottest part of the day in many tropical regions. The cocktail's ingredients, including tequila and citrus, evoke the spirit of relaxation and a break from the daily grind.

Taste and Flavour Profile

The Siesta Cocktail is celebrated for its harmonious blend of flavours:

  • Tequila: The heart of the Siesta, tequila offers earthy and peppery notes, alongside a hint of citrus, providing a rich and robust base for the cocktail.
  • Grapefruit Juice: Fresh grapefruit juice contributes a zesty and tangy quality, brightening the drink's character and creating a refreshing balance with the tequila.
  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice enhances the citrus elements, bringing a tart and zingy contrast to the sweetness of the agave nectar.
  • Simple Syrup: Simple syrup (a mixture of sugar and water) adds subtle sweetness to harmonise the flavours.
  • Campari: A few dashes of Campari, an Italian aperitif, provide a layer of bitterness and complexity that balances the sweetness and adds an orange twist.

The result is a cocktail that's bright, zesty, and wonderfully invigorating—a true escape to a sun-drenched siesta.

Food Pairings

Enhance your Siesta Cocktail experience with these delicious food pairings:

  • Tacos: Enjoy your Siesta Cocktail with a variety of tacos, such as fish tacos, carne asada, or grilled vegetable tacos.
  • Ceviche: The cocktail's zesty and refreshing qualities work beautifully with fresh seafood ceviche, whether it's made with shrimp, fish, or scallops.
  • Guacamole and Salsa: A platter of guacamole and fresh salsa served with tortilla chips complements the cocktail's Mexican-inspired theme.
  • Citrus-Infused Dishes: Dishes featuring citrus flavors, such as a citrus salad or lemon-grilled chicken, harmonise with the cocktail's grapefruit and lime elements.

Bar Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Hawthorne strainer and fine sieve
  • Coupe/Old fashioned glass


  • 45ml Blanco Tequila
  • 15ml Campari
  • 15ml Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 20ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 10ml simple syrup*
  • Garnish: Grapefruit peel or lime wedge


  • Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice
  • Shake until well chilled
  • Double strain into a chilled coupe/old fashioned glass
  • Garnish with grapefruit peel or lime wedge

*Simple syrup - 1 part sugar to one part water. Gently heat in a pan until sugar has dissolved and allow to cool

What's the best Tequila for a Siesta?

The best tequila for a Siesta Cocktail is typically a good-quality blanco (or silver) tequila. Blanco tequila is an unaged tequila, which means it hasn't spent time in oak barrels, allowing its pure and vibrant agave flavours to shine through. These flavours, along with the tequila's crisp and clean profile, complement the other ingredients in the cocktail, creating a refreshing and well-balanced drink.

Here are some recommended brands of blanco tequila to consider for your Siesta Cocktail:

  • Patrón Silver: Patrón is a well-known and respected brand, and their silver tequila has a smooth and clean taste with subtle citrus and agave notes.
  • Herradura Silver: Herradura is recognised for its traditional tequila production methods. Their silver tequila is crisp, with a nice balance of agave and citrus.
  • Espolon Blanco: Espolon offers an affordable yet high-quality blanco tequila. It has a slightly spicy and herbal character that can add depth to your Siesta Cocktail.
  • Milagro Silver: Milagro Silver is a versatile choice with a smooth, agave-forward flavour and hints of citrus, making it ideal for cocktails.
  • El Tesoro Blanco: El Tesoro is known for its artisanal approach to tequila production. Their blanco tequila has a rich agave taste and a peppery finish.

Ultimately, the choice of tequila for your Siesta Cocktail depends on your personal preferences. Feel free to explore different brands and styles of blanco tequila to find the one that you enjoy the most. As a rule of thumb, choose a tequila that you would also enjoy sipping on its own, as the quality of the tequila is central to the quality of the cocktail.

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