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Based on the “black cowboy” of Mexican folklore, the Charro Negro cocktail is made with tequila, Coca-Cola, and lime juice. It’s ubiquitous at Mexican celebrations such as baptisms, weddings, and birthday parties.

A Charro Negro cocktail in a highball glass.

Like many Mexican recipes (food and cocktails alike), regional variations abound. What one place calls a “Charro Negro” might be different than another, or this drink might exist but have a different name.

But in a place where both tequila and Coca-Cola are ubiquitous, it makes sense that this is a popular drink, no matter what you call it.

My compadre (a term used interchangeably in Mexico to mean either “godfather” or “the godfather of my child;” my usage is the latter) taught me how to this cocktail. He lives in Jalisco and he’s the closest thing to a vaquero (cowboy) I’ve ever met, so his word is as good as gold to me.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Charro Negro Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for a Charro Negro cocktail.

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 lighter in body and perfect for making cocktails like this one. Tequila reposado (which means “rested” and is aged in oak for at least 2 months) is ideal for sipping.
  • Coca-Cola: For extra authenticity, seek out Mexican Coca-Cola which is sold in glass bottles and made with real sugar.

Instructions

  • Fill a highball or other tall glass with ice. Add tequila, Coca-Cola, and lime juice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Adding coca cola to a Charro negro cocktail.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 1 Charro Negro cocktail.
  • Glassware: The Charro Negro is traditionally made in a highball glass, an 8-ounce to 12-ounce glass tumbler such as a Collins glass (a regular pint glass will do, too).
  • Big batch: To make a batch of 8 cocktails, combine 16 ounces (2 cups) tequila, 24 ounces (3 cups) Coca-Cola, and 4 ounces (½ cup) lime juice in a pitcher. Have ice, glassware, and garnishes on hand so guests can help themselves.
  • Paloma: Another popular celebration cocktail, the Paloma is made with grapefruit juice instead of Coca-Cola. To make one, 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.
A Charro Negro cocktail in a highball glass.

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
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More Mexican drinks

A Charro Negro cocktail in a highball glass.

Charro Negro

Based on the "black cowboy" of Mexican folklore, the Charro Negro cocktail is made with tequila, cola, and lime juice and is ubiquitous at Mexican celebrations such as baptisms, weddings, and birthday parties.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 2 mins
Servings 1 cocktail
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 182

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces tequila (¼ cup, see note 1)
  • 4 ounces Coca-Cola (½ cup, see note 2)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 wedge lime for garnish

Instructions 

  • Fill a highball or other tall glass with ice. Add tequila, Coca-Cola, and lime juice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Notes

  1. Tequila: Tequila blanco is lighter in body and perfect for making cocktails like this one. Tequila reposado (which means “rested” and is aged in oak for at least 2 months) is ideal for sipping.
  2. Coca-Cola: For extra authenticity, seek out Mexican Coca-Cola which is sold in glass bottles and made with real sugar.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 1 Charro Negro cocktail.
  4. Glassware: The Charro Negro is traditionally made in a highball glass, an 8-ounce to 12-ounce glass tumbler such as a Collins glass (a regular pint glass will do, too).

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 182kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 39mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 17IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
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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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Comments

    1. It depends on who you ask, apparently. I learned about it from my compadre who lives in Ojuelos, Jalisco, corroborated by my husband who is from Aguascalientes. They drank it at my son’s baptism, taught me how to make it, and told me what it was called. -Meggan