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.
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?
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
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.
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.
Crafting a Siesta cocktail shouldn’t cause fatigue. If it does, you can take a siesta after you gather the following necessary ingredients:
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.
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.
How to Craft a Siesta Cocktail
The Siesta cocktail’s easy recipe only requires the following bar tools:
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.
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.
Pour freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juices into the shaker.
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.
Strain into a coupe glass.
Garnish with a lime wheel.
Cut the lime wheel before you squeeze the lime.
Siesta Drink Alternatives
After you sip your Siesta drink and take a siesta, you may be energized to try one or all of the following Siesta alternatives:
Siesta Cocktail FAQs
A Siesta cocktail is a sour cocktail crafted with tequila, Campari, grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup.
The Siesta cocktail was invented in New York City.
Blanco Tequila, Campari, Grapefruit Juice, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Lime Wheel (for garnish) and Ice Cubes (for shaking)
The Siesta cocktail is shaken, not stirred.
- 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)
- Combine tequila, Campari, grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup in a shaker.
- Add several ice cubes and shake vigorously until liquids are chilled and mixed.
- Strain into the a coupe glass.
- Garnish with a lime wheel.
- You can garnish with a grapefruit wheel instead of a lime wheel.
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Premium Cocktail Shaker Set: Two-Piece Pro Boston Shaker Set. Unweighted 18oz & Weighted 28oz Martini Drink Shaker made from Stainless Steel 304
OXO SteeL Cocktail Strainer
Riedel Veritas Coupe Glasses, Set of 2, Clear
Chef'n FreshForce Citrus Juicer (Lemon)
Wusthof CLASSIC Paring Knife, One Size, Black, Stainless Steel
Thirsty for More Cocktails?
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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.
Original Publication Date: December 29, 2022