Hot Carl Cocktail Recipe

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Hot Carl 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


The Hot Carl is a modern cocktail that's gained a bit of a following for its unique blend of flavors. It's not a classic by any means, but it's a hit with those who enjoy a sweet and sour combination with a tequila kick.

  • Popularity: This drink is often ordered by those who are looking for something different from the usual margarita or tequila sunrise.
  • Origins: While the exact origins are unclear, it's a product of the cocktail renaissance where bartenders experiment with different flavor profiles.
  • Occasions: Best enjoyed at summer parties or as a fun start to a night out.

How Hot Carl Tastes?

The Hot Carl is a tantalizing mix of sweet and sour with a robust tequila foundation. The Watermelon Pucker Schnapps adds a candy-like sweetness, while the sweet and sour mix provides a tangy counterbalance, making it a playful yet potent concoction.

Interesting facts about Hot Carl

  • The Hot Carl is often a conversation starter due to its unusual name.
  • It's a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round, though it's particularly refreshing in the summer.
  • The cocktail's color is a vibrant pink, making it visually appealing and Instagram-worthy.



Use: 1 oz for a kick of robust flavor. Enhances: Adds earthiness and complexity. Without it: You lose the cocktail's spirituous backbone.

Mary Mitkina

Watermelon Pucker Schnapps

Use: 1 oz for a fruity punch. Enhances: Imparts a playful, sweet watermelon profile. Without it: The cocktail lacks its characteristic melon zing.

Alex Green

Sweet and Sour Mix

Use: 1.5 oz to balance the sweetness and sharpness. Enhances: Gives the cocktail a tangy edge. Without it: The drink may become too one-dimensional.

Emma Rose

Ice Cubes

Use: As needed for dilution and chill. Enhances: Keeps the drink cold and slightly dilutes the flavors, melding them together. Without it: The cocktail may be too strong and warm.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Hot Carl Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes.
  2. Pour 1 oz of tequila, 1 oz of Watermelon Pucker Schnapps, and 1.5 oz of sweet and sour mix into the shaker.
  3. Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold.
  4. Strain the mixture into an old-fashioned glass.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy responsibly.

Pro Tips

  • For an extra cold cocktail, chill the old-fashioned glass before pouring the drink into it.
  • A small slice of watermelon on the rim of the glass can be a delightful garnish that complements the drink's flavors.
  • If you prefer a less sweet cocktail, reduce the amount of Watermelon Pucker Schnapps and balance with a bit more tequila.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Chicken: The citrusy notes from the sweet and sour mix complement the smokiness of grilled chicken.
  • Fish Tacos: A zesty cocktail like the Hot Carl pairs nicely with the fresh flavors of fish tacos, especially with a lime-acidic touch.
  • Summer Salad: A light, refreshing summer salad with feta and watermelon will echo the watermelon flavor in the drink.
  • Spicy Appetizers: The sweetness in the cocktail can balance out the heat from spicy foods.

Drink Pairings

  • Chilled Water: To cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.
  • Light Beer: A refreshing, light beer can accompany the cocktail without overpowering its flavor.

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What you could change in Hot Carl

  • Tequila: If Sauza Hornitos Reposado is not available, any quality reposado tequila can be used.
  • Watermelon Pucker Schnapps: Midori melon liqueur can be a substitute, though it will alter the flavor profile slightly.
  • Sweet and Sour Mix: Homemade sweet and sour mix can be made by combining equal parts lemon juice and simple syrup.

Explore all drinks starting with H here

And of course - twists🍹

Tropical Carl

Ingredients: Replace tequila with coconut rum, add a splash of pineapple juice. Recipe: Follow the original recipe but with coconut rum for a tropical spin. Change: Expect a sweeter, more island-inspired flavor profile, perfect for beach vibes.

Spicy Carl

Ingredients: Add a slice of jalapeño to the shaker. Recipe: Muddle the jalapeño in the shaker before adding the other ingredients for a spicy kick. Change: The heat from the jalapeño adds a feisty contrast to the sweet watermelon.

Cooler Carl

Ingredients: Top with a splash of soda water. Recipe: After shaking the original ingredients, pour into a glass and top with soda water. Change: Adds effervescence for a more refreshing experience, lightening the sweetness.

In case you forgot basics how to make Hot Carl

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

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Frequently Asked Questions on Hot Carl

What is the proper way to measure the ingredients for a cocktail?

Ingredients for cocktails should be measured using a jigger or a measuring spoon to ensure the correct proportions. This is crucial for maintaining the taste and balance of the cocktail.

What kind of ice is best for cocktails?

The type of ice can affect the dilution of the cocktail. Clear, large cubes or spheres are ideal for chilling without watering down the drink too quickly, while crushed ice is great for frozen or slushy drinks.

Can the Hot Carl be made into a non-alcoholic version?

Yes, you can create a mocktail version by substituting the tequila and schnapps with non-alcoholic alternatives like watermelon syrup and non-alcoholic sour mix.

What are some common tools needed for making cocktails at home?

Essential home cocktail-making tools include a shaker, jigger, muddler, bar spoon, strainer, and a selection of glasses suited for different types of cocktails.

Is it important to use fresh ingredients in cocktails?

Using fresh ingredients, such as freshly squeezed juices and homemade mixes, can significantly enhance the flavor and quality of your cocktails.

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