Beat the Heat with Cocktail Recipes Inspired by the Southwest

Refreshing roundup.

  • Category
    Eat & Drink
  • Written, produced & photographed by
    Kara Mickelson

Michelada (pictured above)

Serves 2 (about 13 ounces each) 
Enjoy a refreshing and alluring combination of Mexican beer with lime, tomato juice, piquant spices and a subtle kiss of the sea with a touch of clam juice in the mix.

  • ½ cup lime juice (4 to 6 limes)
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Spice Mix (recipe below)
  • 2 (5½-ounce) cans V8 juice
  • ¼ cup (4 ounces) clam juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Tapatío hot sauce
  • lime wedges for garnish
  • ice
  • 12 ounces Tecate beer

Combine lime juice, 2 teaspoons Chile Spice Mix, V8 juice, clam juice, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a pitcher. Set aside. Pierce the inside of a lime wedge with the edge of the glass and run the lime around the edge to moisten the rim of a glass. Spread remaining Chili Spice Mix in an even layer on a small plate and dip the rim of the glass into it. Repeat on second glass. Fill both glasses with ice and pour in equal parts of the tomato juice mixture. Split the beer between the glasses and add additional lime wedges. 


Chili Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (ahumado)
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • pinch cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients.

Cowboy Comfort Honey Whiskey Lemonade

Serves 1 (about 9½ ounces)
Saddle up with soothing caramel, vanilla and woodsy notes of bourbon whiskey paired with tart lemon, sweet honey and thyme.

  • ½ cup lemon juice (4 to 5 medium lemons) 
  • Honey Simple Syrup (recipe below)
  • 1½ ounces bourbon whiskey, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed flake salt
  • large ice cubes
  • thyme sprig for garnish
  • Combine lemon juice, Honey Simple Syrup and whiskey in a pitcher. Combine sugar and salt; transfer to a small plate and distribute in an even layer. Dip rim of glass into lemon juice and then into sugar-salt mixture to coat. Add ice to the glass. Slowly pour whiskey mixture into glass. Add a sprig of thyme and serve.

Honey Simple Syrup

  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup honey

Combine honey and water in a small pot over medium heat. Cook and stir until honey is fully incorporated and sauce bubbles on top, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Honey syrup can be made three days in advance. Cool, cover and store under refrigeration. Add a small amount of water if needed to thin syrup to a pourable consistency.

Desert Rose Strawberry Date Paloma

Serves 2 (8 ounces each)
This blended, tart drink of grapefruit juice, lime, honey and sweet strawberry is just the right amount of cool to beat the heat.

  • 10 to 12 slightly frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 Medjool dates, seeded
  • 3 ounces mezcal or tequila, divided
  • ½ cup club soda
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flake salt, crushed
  • small ice cubes
  • 2 drops rosewater per drink, optional
  • garnish: cocktail pick with 1 lime wedge, 1 small Medjool date (seeded) and ½ small strawberry

Blend strawberries, grapefruit juice, lime juice, honey and dates in a blender until thoroughly combined. Stir in mezcal or tequila and club soda. Combine sugar and salt; transfer to a small plate and distribute in an even layer. Pierce the inside of a lime wedge with the edge of the glass and run the lime around the edge to moisten the rim of a glass. Dip the rim of the glass into the sugar-salt mixture. Repeat on second glass. Fill both glasses with ice; pour in equal amounts of blended drink. Sprinkle rosewater on top, add garnish and serve immediately.

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