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Served in a small clay pot with the same name, a Cantarito is a classic Mexican cocktail from the state of Jalisco made with tequila, citrus juices, and soda.

3 Cantarito cocktails in clay cups.

Cantarito is the name of the small clay cup that is served in traditional bars and restaurants across Mexico, and that’s what this cocktail is named after. If you are lucky enough to pass through a street market in Mexico, you might just see them there (look for the small metal blue spoons with white speckles, too!).

A Cantarito cocktail is a tasty alternative to a Paloma and a little sweeter from the orange juice. That makes it a perfect brunch cocktail in my book!

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Cantarito Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for cantarito.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Tequila: Tequila blanco is not aged, lighter in body, and perfect for making mixed drinks like this one. Tequila reposado (which means “rested” and is aged in oak for at least 2 months) is ideal for sipping.
  • Grapefruit soda: Mexicans usually use Fresca or Squirt (their Fresca is different! It’s not sugar-free!). If you want something made without corn syrup, look for Jarritos or Izze brand grapefruit sodas.
  • Salt: This is usually added as a pinch on top of the drink, but you can also salt the rim like a Margarita.
  • Garnish: A lime wedge is the traditional garnish. A slice of orange or ruby red grapefruit works, too.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Fill a Cantarito clay cup or a highball glass with ice. Add tequila, grapefruit soda, lime juice, orange juice, and salt.
Making a cantarito cocktail in a clay cup.
  1. Stir to combine, then garnish with a lime.
Making a cantarito cocktail in a clay cup.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 1 Cantarito cocktail.
  • Cantarito cups: These small clay pots are found at street fairs in Jalisco, Mexico and make a great cup for this refreshing drink. Soak the cups in water for 12 hours before use, then wash with soap and water and you’re ready to go. No authentic clay Cantarito cups on hand? Just use a highball glass.
  • Big batch: To make a batch of 8 cocktails, combine 16 ounces (2 cups) tequila, 16 ounces (2 cups) grapefruit soda, 4 ounces (½ cup) fresh lime juice, 4 ounces (½ cup) orange juice, and 1-2 teaspoons salt and in a pitcher. Have ice, Cantarito cups, and lime slices on hand so guests can help themselves.
  • Paloma: Similar to a Cantarito in flavor but less fussy overall. To make a Paloma, fill a highball glass with ice. Add 2 ounces tequila and ½ ounce fresh lime juice, then top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with a pinch of salt and a lime wedge if desired.
3 Cantarito cocktails in clay cups.

Paloma Cocktail

Mexico’s national aperitif, the Paloma cocktail, is a simple tequila and grapefruit drink with a thirst-quenching, irresistible appeal. The Paloma, or “Dove” in Spanish, is quick to make and so refreshing. You can make big…

5 minutes
View Recipe

More Mexican beverages

A cantarito in a clay pot.

Cantarito

Served in a small clay pot with the same name, a Cantarito is a classic Mexican cocktail from the state of Jalisco made with tequila, citrus juices, and soda.
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 1 serving
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 166

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces tequila (¼ cup, see note 1)
  • 2 ounces grapefruit soda (¼ cup, see note 2)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice (1 tablespoon)
  • 1-2 pinches coarse salt (see note 3)
  • 1 slice lime for garnish (see note 4)

Instructions 

  • Fill a Cantarito clay cup or a highball glass with ice. Add tequila, grapefruit soda, lime juice, orange juice, and salt.
  • Stir to combine. Garnish with a lime and serve.

Notes

  1. Tequila: Tequila blanco is not aged, lighter in body, and perfect for making mixed drinks like this one. Tequila reposado (which means “rested” and is aged in oak for at least 2 months) is ideal for sipping.
  2. Grapefruit soda: Mexicans usually use Fresca or Squirt (their Fresca is different! It’s not sugar-free!). If you want something made without corn syrup, look for Jarritos or Izze brand grapefruit sodas.
  3. Salt: This is usually added as a pinch on top of the drink, but you can also salt the rim like a Margarita.
  4. Garnish: A lime wedge is the traditional garnish. A slice of orange or ruby red grapefruit works, too.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes 1 Cantarito cocktail.
  6. Cantarito cups: These small clay pots are found at street fairs in Jalisco, Mexico and make a great cup for this refreshing drink. Soak the cups in water for 12 hours before use, then wash with soap and water and you’re ready to go. No authentic clay Cantarito cups on hand? Just use a highball glass.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 782mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 39IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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