Southwest-Inspired Twists on Summer Cocktails

Wet your whistle.

  • Category
    Eat & Drink, Homes
  • Written, produced & photographed by
    Kara Mickelson
  • Above
    Michelada

Michelada (pictured above)

Serves 2 
A refreshing combination of Mexican beer with lime, tomato juice, piquant spices along with a subtle kiss of the sea. 

Seasoned Tomato Juice

  • ½ cup lime juice 2 teaspoons Chili Spice Mix (recipe below)
  • (2) 5½-ounce cans V8 juice
  • ¼ cup (4 ounces) clam juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Tapatío hot sauce
  • lime wedges for garnish 
  • 12 ounces Tecate beer

Combine lime juice, 2 teaspoons Chili Spice Mix, V8 juice, clam juice, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a pitcher. Set aside. Pierce the inside of a lime wedge with the edge of the glass and run the lime around the edge to moisten rim of glass. Spread remaining Chili Spice Mix in an even layer on a small plate and dip the rim of the glass into it. Repeat on second glass. Fill glasses with ice and pour in equal parts of the Seasoned Tomato Juice. Split the beer and add additional lime wedges for garnish. 


Chili Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (ahumado)
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • pinch cayenne pepper

Cowboy Comfort Honey Whiskey Lemonade

Serves 1 
Saddle up with soothing caramel, vanilla and woodsy notes of bourbon whiskey paired with tart lemon, sweet honey and earthy thyme. 

  • ½ cup lemon juice Honey Simple Syrup (recipe below)
  • 1½ ounces bourbon whiskey, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed flake salt
  • large ice cubes
  • thyme sprig 

Combine lemon juice, Honey Simple Syrup and whiskey in a pitcher. Combine sugar and salt; transfer to a small plate and distribute in an even layer. Dip rim of glass into lemon juice and then into sugar-salt mixture to coat. Add ice. Slowly pour mixture into glass. Add a sprig of thyme for garnish.


Honey Simple Syrup

  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup honey

Combine honey and water in a small pot over medium heat. Cook and stir until honey is fully incorporated and sauce bubbles on top, about 2 minutes. Remove and let cool. Honey syrup can be made three days in advance and should be stored in refrigerator. Add dash of water to thin out consistency—if necessary. 

Desert Rose Strawberry Date Paloma

Serves 2 
This blended, tart drink of grapefruit juice, lime, honey and sweet strawberry is just the right amount of cool to beat the heat. 

  • 10 to 12 slightly frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 Medjool dates, seeded
  • 3 ounces mezcal or tequila, divided
  • ½ cup club soda
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flake salt, crushed
  • small ice cubes
  • 2 drops rosewater per drink (optional)
  • garnish: cocktail pick with 1 lime wedge, 1 small Medjool date (seeded) and ½ small strawberry

Blend strawberries, grapefruit juice, lime juice, honey and dates in a blender until thoroughly combined. Stir in mezcal or tequila and club soda. Combine sugar and salt; transfer to a small plate and distribute in an even layer. Pierce the inside of a lime wedge with the edge of the glass and run the lime around the edge to moisten glass rim. Dip glass rim into the sugar-salt mixture. Repeat on second glass. Fill both glasses with ice; pour in equal amounts of blended drink. Sprinkle rosewater on top and add garnish.

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