Cinco de Mayo Drinking: 5 Tequila Cocktails to Try

Outgrown those swirled sugar bombs? Sip these instead.

Use Cinco de Mayo as an excuse to try great tequila cocktails all over Washington. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

By sheer coincidence of the calendar, Cinco de Mayo happens to fall on a Sunday Funday this year. In años past, we’ve focused on special deals honoring the occasion, but this time around, we’re letting our pals at After Hours take care of that, opting instead to outfit you with a list of very good tequila-based drinks appearing on lists at our favorite bars.

Some riff directly on the classic margarita cocktail—a combination of tequila, triple sec, simple syrup (or agave nectar), and lime—while others resemble the ’rita less. Don’t get hung up on technicalities—they’re all going to make you happy, and, consumed voraciously enough, hungover on Monday. Hey, no one ever said Seis de Mayo was a day designed for celebration.


One of several tequila drinks on this list making use of amaros—bitter Italian liqueurs—the Prickly Thorn, a reposado-based drink from bar manager John Harris, balances herbal Cynar with Dolin Rouge vermouth.

Green Pig Bistro

If it’s sunny on Sunday, you’ll want to try the spritzy Just Another Tequila Sunrise at this Arlington farm-to-table spot. It combines tequila with orange curaçao, hibiscus-lemon syrup, Fentimans orange and ginger sodas, and lime juice.

Eddy Bar at Hank’s Oyster Bar

The name’s a little silly, but Gina Chersevani’s Berry Wonderful Margarita cleverly augments the basic formula with Berry Beauty tea. Like Faile, she opts for Milagro Silver, which—home bar enthusiasts, take note—is a nicely priced bottle that works well in lots of tequila drinks.


Hit José Andrés’s Penn Quarter Mexican place for a Tangelo, with tangelo-and-chili-infused El Tesoro Reposado tequila, Benedictine, and fresh pineapple and lime juices. Go early though—that bar is even smaller than you remember (can’t wait for the renovation to be complete).


Currently listed on bar manager Owen Thomson’s spring menu at Range is the Lot Lizard, combining beautifully bitter Campari and pineapple syrup with tequila and lime.