7 Ways to Cook With Tequila

Adding just a splash of tequila to a salad dressing, dessert, or savory dish can send flavors in a new and exciting direction.

  • Tequila Beyond the Bar
    Story by Maureen Callahan, Beau Gustafson

    Tequila Beyond the Bar

    Fermented from the sweet sap of the agave plant, tequila is an imported liquor with a strong 80- to 100-proof punch. Well-aged tequilas are best for sipping. But standard varieties add their subtle fire power to sweet and savory dishes, and, of course, the popular margarita cocktail.

  • Margarita Sunrise
    Story by Maureen Callahan

    Classic Margarita

    The only margarita recipe you'll need, this easy cocktail is a simple mix of shaken fresh lime juice, orange liqueur, tequila, and powdered sugar.

  • Grilled Peach-and-Mozzarella Salad
    Story by Maureen Callahan, Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Rose Nguyen

    Grilled Peach-and-Mozzarella Salad

    A cumin-lime vinaigrette spiked with a tiny amount of tequila adds a little something extra to this gorgeous grilled salad of peaches and fresh mozzarella cheese. As the seasons change, consider substituting heirloom tomatoes, plums, and other soft fruits for the peaches. We found traditional peaches work better in this dish than white peaches, which have more sugar and water and don't hold up as well on the grill.

  • Tequila Pork Chile Verde
    Story by Maureen Callahan, Becky Luigart-Stayner; Melanie J. Clarke

    Tequila Pork Chile Verde

    A surprisingly quick and upscale Mexican meal, this easy stew is made with crispy cornmeal-ancho-and-chili-crusted pork tenderloin, tart tomatillos, canned green chiles, jalapeños, and stock. As it simmers, the flavors mellow until it's time for the final touch: a splash of tequila.

    Fresh tomatillos come in papery husks, which peel off easily to reveal what looks like small green tomatoes. They have a tart lemony flavor and must be cooked before eating; a brief stewing will mellow the flavor while leaving some of the characteristic tang.

  • Margarita Marinade
    Story by Maureen Callahan, Photo: Thomas J. Story; Styling: Dan Becker

    Margarita Marinade

    Just like the cocktail it's named for, this easy marinade is a four-ingredient flavor explosion of tart, sweet, and salty all rolled up into one. Here it's used to jazz up chicken wings, but it works wonders for flank steak, grilled pork, and chicken thighs too.

  • Margarita Angel Cake
    Story by Maureen Callahan, Photo: Karry Hosford

    Margarita Angel Cake

    Stirring a little lime zest and lime juice into angel food cake batter gets the party started. But it's the sweet, boozy glaze of tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sugar that rocks this angel food cake into the stratosphere.

    Tart lime is an ideal match for the sweet cake. Triple Sec, tequila, and lime juice give the glaze the flavor of a margarita. Use wooden skewers to poke holes in the cake large enough to let the glaze soak into it.

  • Spiked Strawberry-Lime Ice-Cream Pie
    Story by Maureen Callahan

    Spiked Strawberry-Lime Ice-Cream Pie

    An easy-to-make adult dessert, the crust for this frozen "strawberry rita" is made with crushed pretzels, butter, and sugar. And the filling? It's a mix of strawberry ice cream, fresh strawberries, limeade concentrate, orange liqueur, and tequila.

    This pie will soften quickly due to the alcohol content, which lowers the freezing temperature of the ice cream.

  • Tequila-Lime Sorbet
    Story by Maureen Callahan

    Tequila-Lime Sorbet

    Serve this refreshing sorbet after a spicy Mexican meal or summer barbecue as a way to tame the heat and end things on a sweet note. Lime juice, sugar, and water are the main ingredients, but a small splash of tequila livens up the flavors.

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