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Siesta Cocktail Recipe

You won’t want to take a siesta when you sip a Siesta cocktail. This tequila cocktail is fun and sophisticated with a pink color and complex flavor. Plus, it’s so easy to craft at home that you can drink a Siesta and then take one too.

Siesta Cocktail with Black Background

Mexico and Italy, more than 6,000 miles and an ocean apart, are the opposite of neighbors. However, maps don’t matter when it comes to mixology….

The two distant countries form a cocktail pact in the Siesta, a drink crafted with both Mexico’s tequila and Italy’s Campari. And the best part? This meeting of nations can happen in a glass anywhere in the world.

What Is the Siesta Cocktail?

Siesta Cocktail with White Background Close Up
A lime wheel added the finishing touch to this refreshing Siesta cocktail.

The Siesta Cocktail blends five ingredients to create a tipple that’s simultaneously fun and sophisticated. Its festive pink color provides a vibrant visual escape while the cocktail’s complex combination of bitter, sweet and citrus flavors provides complexity.

History of the Siesta Cocktail

Siesta Cocktail with Green Background
Despite its international ingredients, the Siesta was born in the melting pot known as New York City.

Although the Siesta has a combination of liquors that make both Italy and Mexico proud, its roots aren’t in either of those countries. Instead, the Siesta is a native of New York City.

Katie Stipe was ahead of her time when she crafted the first Siesta with tequila and Campari at the now closed Flatiron Lounge in 2006. At that time, neither tequila nor Campari was as popular as they are today.

Siesta Cocktail with White Background from Above
You’re not far from the mark if you think that the Siesta cocktail sounds like a Hemingway Daiquiri.

Stipe was probably inspired by Cuba’s Hemingway Daiquiri since the two drinks are somewhat similar. She replaced the Hemingway’s Daiquiri’s rum and maraschino liqueur with the aforementioned tequila and Campari – a seemingly simple move that delivered big results.

While we prefer the Siesta’s balanced flavor over the Hemingway Daiquiri’s more citrusy punch, you’ll have to sip both sour cocktails to find your personal favorite between the two.

Siesta Ingredients

Siesta Cocktail Ingredients
You need tequila, Campari, a grapefruit, a lime and simple syrup to make your Siesta cocktail dreams come true.

Crafting a Siesta cocktail shouldn’t cause fatigue. If it does, you can take a siesta after you gather the following necessary ingredients:

  • Blanco Tequila
  • Campari
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Simple Syrup
  • Lime Wheel (for garnish)
  • Ice Cubes (for shaking)

You probably have all of these items already. If not, they should all be easy to procure at your local market and liquor store. And, since both liquors are so popular, you may find tequila and Campari at your local market.

Tequila and Campari Bottles
Mexico’s tequila and Italy’s Campari come together in the Siesta cocktail.

You can use your favorite blanca (i.e. clear) tequila in this recipe. We used Jose Cuerva Especial since that’s the Mexican tequila that was in our home bar. You can use a better tequila like Patron if that’s how you roll. However, you’ll definitely want to use Campari since there’s no substitute for the iconic Italian bitter.

Buy bottles of tequila and Campari from Drizly or Total Wine if you live in the US.

How to Craft a Siesta Cocktail

Siesta Cocktail Mise en Place
Gathering the ingredients and tools to craft a Siesta cocktail is as easy as crafting the sour, tequila based drink.

The Siesta cocktail’s easy recipe only requires the following bar tools:

Don’t stick you head under a pillow if you’re missing any of these basic bar tools. Instead, use what you have. For example, you could use an angled measuring cup instead of a jigger.

Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.

Siesta Cocktail Work Station
It’s Siesta go time once you freshly squeeze the grapefruit and lime juices.

The first step is to measure tequila and Campari and pour both into a shaker. We use a Japanese jigger to ensure accurate measurements and avoid spillage.

Buy a Japanese Jigger from Amazon if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Pour simple syrup into the shaker. While it’s possible to buy simple syrup online, we prefer to make simple syrup at home.

Pro Tip
Make simple syrup by mixing equal parts of water and sugar in a saucepan and bringing the mixture to a boil until the sugar is just dissolved. Remove from heat immediately and let cool.

Pouring Simple Syrup into a Siesta Cocktail
We made this simple syrup a day in advance and recommend that you do the same.

Pour freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juices into the shaker.

Pouring Juices into a Siesta Cocktail
Using freshly squeezed juice will give you the best results in this Siesta cocktail recipe.

Add ice to the shaker and shake for 20 seconds. We like to use a Boston shaker for this and other cocktail recipes to avoid leakage.

Buy a Boston shaker from Amazon if you don’t have a shaker or if you want to improve your at-home mixology experience.

Siesta Cocktail in Shaker with Ingredients
Shaking a Siesta is when the cocktail comes to life.

Strain into a coupe glass.

Straining a Siesta Cocktail
We were tickled pink when we strained this pink Siesta cocktail into a coupe glass.

Garnish with a lime wheel.

Lime Wheel on Siesta Cocktail
While you could hypothetically garnish your Siesta cocktail with a grapefruit wheel, we prefer to garnish ours with lime wheels.

Pro Tip
Cut the lime wheel before you squeeze the lime.

Siesta Drink Alternatives

Crafted Siesta Cocktail with Ingredients
While overthinking the Siesta cocktail may make you sleepy, there’s nothing wrong with tweaking its recipe or crafting a different cocktail.

After you sip your Siesta drink and take a siesta, you may be energized to try one or all of the following Siesta alternatives:

  • Ramp up the Campari and leave out the simple syrup to craft a more bitter Siesta cocktail.
  • Leave out the Campari, grapefruit juice and simple syrup to craft a Margarita cocktail.
  • Replace the tequila with rum and the maraschino liqueur with Campari to craft a Hemingway Daiquiri cocktail.
  • Start your day with a Tequila Sunrise cocktail crafted with tequila, grenadine and orange juice.

Siesta Cocktail FAQs

What is a Siesta cocktail?

A Siesta cocktail is a sour cocktail crafted with tequila, Campari, grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup.

Where was the Siesta cocktail invented?

The Siesta cocktail was invented in New York City.

What are the ingredients in a Siesta cocktail?

Blanco Tequila, Campari, Grapefruit Juice, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Lime Wheel (for garnish) and Ice Cubes (for shaking)

Is the Siesta cocktail shaken or stirred?

The Siesta cocktail is shaken, not stirred.

Siesta Recipe

Siesta Cocktail with White Background

Siesta

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

You may want to take a siesta after you sip a Siesta cocktail. Consider yourself warned about the cocktail that combines the best of Italy and Mexico in a glass.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Campari
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • lime wheel (for garnish)
  • ice cubes (for shaking)

Instructions

  1. Combine tequila, Campari, grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup in a shaker.
  2. Add several ice cubes and shake vigorously until liquids are chilled and mixed.
  3. Strain into the a coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Notes

  • You can garnish with a grapefruit wheel instead of a lime wheel.

View the Web Story.

About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Original Publication Date: December 29, 2022

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