El Torado Cocktail Recipe

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El Torado Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


El Torado is a cocktail that embodies the bold spirit of its main ingredient, tequila. This drink is believed to have originated in the vibrant bar scene of Mexico, where tequila reigns supreme. It's a favorite among those who appreciate a cocktail with a kick, combining the sharpness of lemon with the smooth sweetness of honey.

  • Origins: While the exact origins are unclear, it's a modern twist on classic tequila cocktails.
  • Popularity: Gained traction in bars that specialize in artisanal and craft cocktails.
  • Audience: Perfect for tequila enthusiasts and those looking for a refreshing, yet potent drink.

How El Torado Tastes?

El Torado offers a harmonious blend of flavors. It's a robust cocktail with a zesty lemon tang complemented by the earthy undertones of tequila and the natural sweetness of honey. The result is a well-balanced drink that is both invigorating and soothing.

Interesting facts about El Torado

  • The name 'El Torado' is a playful take on the Spanish word 'toro', meaning bull, symbolizing the strength and boldness of the drink.
  • Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, Mexico.
  • Honey in cocktails not only adds sweetness but also contributes to a smoother texture and can balance acidity.


  • Tequila: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Lemon juice: 1.5 oz(45ml)
  • Honey: 1 tbsp


The soul of the El Torado, tequila brings a smooth, earthy character that's essential to the drink's profile. At 2 oz, it's just enough to pack a punch without knocking your sombrero off. Miss it out, and you'll have a non-alcoholic honey lemonade on your hands, which is nice but not the fiesta we're after. Swap it for mezcal for a smokier twist.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

Fresh as a Mexican morning, lemon juice adds that zesty kick and balances the sweet with its sour punch. 1.5 oz is the sweet spot, cutting through the tequila's richness. Without it, you'd have a very sweet, one-dimensional drink. Substitute it with lime juice, y you might find yourself in margarita territory, which isn't a bad place to be!

Alex Green


Honey is the silent hero; it's sweet but with depth, like a love song from a mariachi. Only 1 tbsp is used to lightly sweeten without overshadowing the other flavors. If you omit the honey, you're left with a harsh, tart drink, enough to pull a face funnier than a clown in a rodeo. Swap it for agave nectar to keep the flavors authentically Mexican.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make El Torado Drink

  1. Chill the Glass: Start by chilling a rocks glass.
  2. Mix Ingredients: In a shaker, combine 2 oz of tequila, 1.5 oz of fresh lemon juice, and 1 tbsp of honey.
  3. Shake: Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously until well chilled.
  4. Strain: Strain the mixture into the chilled rocks glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish: Optionally, garnish with a lemon twist or a slice of lemon on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Honey Syrup: To ensure the honey mixes well, make a honey syrup by combining equal parts honey and warm water before adding it to the shaker.
  • Quality Tequila: Use a high-quality tequila, preferably 100% agave, for the best flavor.
  • Ice: Use large ice cubes in the shaker to chill the drink without diluting it too quickly.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The citrus notes of the lemon juice complement seafood dishes, especially when they're grilled.
  • Spicy Latin Dishes: Tequila and spicy food are a timeless duo; the heat of the food pairs well with the smooth, sweet, and sour components of the El Torado.
  • Chicken Tacos: With the honey give a sweet contrast, pairing with the savory flavors of tacos can be delightful.
  • Citrus or Avocado Salads: Lemon juice in the cocktail would complement citrusy dressings or the creaminess of avocado.

Drink Pairings

  • Sparkling Water: A non-alcoholic option to cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.
  • Light Beers: Can act as a refreshing follow-up without overpowering the flavors of El Torado.

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What you could change in El Torado

  • Tequila: Can be substituted with mezcal for a smokier flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh lime juice can be used for a slightly different citrus profile.
  • Honey: Agave syrup is a suitable vegan alternative that maintains the Mexican theme.

Explore all drinks starting with E here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky El Torado

Swap out the tequila for mezcal and add a dash of bitters for complex smokiness. Enjoy the rich, deep flavors that the mezcal brings, perfect for whistling old Western tunes under the starry sky.

El Torado Rojo

Add a splash of pomegranate juice and a teaspoon of grenadine for a fruity twist. The deep red hue and added tanginess will make you feel like you've hit the jackpot at a Mexican fiesta slot machine.

Spicy El Torado

Muddle a few slices of jalapeño in the shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients. The resulting cocktail will have a kick sharper than the spurs of a Mexican gaucho, offering a spicy sip to heat up the night.

In case you forgot basics how to make El Torado

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on El Torado

What type of glass is best suited for an El Torado cocktail?

A rocks glass is typically used for serving an El Torado due to its size and the fact that the drink is best enjoyed over ice.

Can El Torado be made as a pitcher cocktail for parties?

Yes, you can multiply the ingredients based on the number of guests and mix them in a pitcher. Remember to add ice separately in glasses to avoid diluting the cocktail.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of El Torado?

A mocktail version can be created by omitting the tequila and substituting it with a non-alcoholic spirit or additional sparkling water flavored with a bit of almond extract.

What is the significance of shaking the cocktail with ice?

Shaking the cocktail with ice serves to quickly chill the drink, dilute it slightly to the perfect drinking strength, and ensure that all the ingredients are well mixed.

How long should I shake the cocktail for optimal taste?

Typically, shaking the cocktail vigorously for about 10-15 seconds is sufficient to chill the drink properly and combine the ingredients.

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice?

Fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best taste and quality of the cocktail, but if it's not available, bottled lemon juice can be used in a pinch.

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