Cocktail of the Week: Tequila for Christmas

December 23, 2016

When drinkers set their sights on holiday cocktails, they typically imagine oversized bowls of eggnog. Or nutmeg and cider-laced drinks garnished with spiced fruit. Cinnamon and peppermint additives might make a cameo appearance. Less obvious is tequila. But the more you think about it, the more it makes sense; it’s perennially regarded as a festive spirit, carrying earthy, botanical notes capable of warming you thru the coldest of winter nights. Agave itself could even be the desert’s answer to a Christmas tree.

Steven Tuttle celebrates these thematic connections. He’s the accomplished Beverage Director at Kettner Exchange in downtown San Diego — a sleek and stylish neighborhood hotspot. And he’s confident enough to feature a seasonal selection as declarative as it is delicious.

Tequila for Christmas Photo Credit: Kettner Exchange

Making the Tequila for Christmas Cocktail

Tequila for Christmas is an inventive retelling of the holiday cocktail, casting sweet, savory and smoke in equal measure around a base of El Jimador’s elegant –and slightly cinnamon-y — reposado offering. The sweet owes its origin to pineapple and pomegranate, the savory stems primarily from the tequila and the orgeat, the smoke from a calculated addition of mezcal. There is a vegetal component lingering in the background, summoning piney wreaths and freshly baked gingerbread cookies.

Shaken vigorously, the drink arrives tableside with a foamed froth to appease the creamier-inclinations of holiday cocktail traditionalists. You might not start hanging holiday ornaments from an agave plant anytime soon, but make no mistake: this Christmas cocktail will change the way you celebrate the season.


– 1.5 oz El Jimador Reposado
– .5 oz Mezcal (we recommend Del Maguey Vida)
– 1 oz pineapple juice
– .75 oz lemon juice
– .375 oz orgeat
– .375 oz pomegranate juice
– Cracked salt and pineapple leaf garnish

Do you have a favorite cocktail like the Tequila For Christmas that you’d like to tell us about? Email us at [email protected] to let us know!

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