Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail Recipe

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Mexican Firing Squad 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 7, 2024


The Mexican Firing Squad is a classic cocktail that dates back to the 1930s. It was first created at the La Cucaracha Bar in Mexico City by a bartender named Tino Rosendo. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy tequila-based drinks with a hint of spice and a touch of sweetness. It has gained popularity among tequila lovers and is often enjoyed during celebrations and gatherings.

How Mexican Firing Squad Tastes?

The Mexican Firing Squad has a well-balanced taste with a combination of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. The tequila provides a strong, earthy base, while the grenadine adds a touch of sweetness. The lime juice brings a refreshing sourness, and the Angostura bitters give it a subtle spiciness.

Interesting facts about Mexican Firing Squad

  • The name 'Mexican Firing Squad' is believed to have been inspired by the tumultuous political climate in Mexico during the 1930s.
  • The original recipe called for pomegranate syrup instead of grenadine, but grenadine has become the more common ingredient due to its availability.
  • The Mexican Firing Squad is often compared to the classic Margarita, as both cocktails feature tequila, lime juice, and a sweetener.


Tequila (2oz)

Tequila is the life of the party! It's the base spirit that gives the cocktail its kick and agave flavor base. 2oz is just the right amount to assert its presence without knocking your sombrero off. Dial it down and you'll miss the fiesta; crank it up and you may start a Mexican revolution! Miss out on tequila, and frankly, you're just sipping on fancy limeade.

Alternative: Mezcal for a smokier profile, but beware, it might turn the firing squad into a smoky standoff.

Emma Rose

Lime Juice (1oz)

Lime, the zesty comrade! This citrusy goodness adds fresh tang and balances the sweetness of grenadine. Any less, and the drink may be a tad sweet; any more and you're pucker up like you've kissed a cactus. No lime juice turns the cocktail into a tequila grenadine spritz, which is less complex and quite sweet.

Mary Mitkina

Grenadine (0.5oz)

Grenadine, the sweet sidekick! It adds a hint of pomegranate sweetness and a sunset-like color. Without it, the drink loses its jovial charm. Use too much, and you might as well be drinking a Shirley Temple in disguise.

Alternative: Pomegranate syrup if you want to keep it authentic, or raspberry syrup for a twist.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters (2 dashes)

Bitters, the mysterious whisperer! These dashes add a depth of flavor and complexity that makes the cocktail an enigma. Miss them, and the drink feels less rounded—like a bandit missing his mustache. Too much can overpower the delicate balance of flavors.

Emma Rose

Club Soda (1oz, optional)

Club soda, the peacemaker! It adds a fizz that can lighten the drink and make it more refreshing. It’s optional because not everyone likes a bubbly skirmish. Leave it out, and the flavors are more concentrated; include it, and the drink becomes a lively fiesta in a glass.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Wheel & Cherry (Garnish)

The cherry on top — literally! It's all about presentation. These garnishes add a pop of color and a hint of extra flavor. They're the maracas of the Mexican Firing Squad, without which the party just isn't the same.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Mexican Firing Squad Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the tequila, lime juice, grenadine, and Angostura bitters to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.
  5. Top with club soda if desired.
  6. Garnish with a lime wheel and a cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for a more vibrant flavor.
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cold longer.
  • Shake well to ensure all ingredients are well combined.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Shrimp Tacos: The zesty flavor of the lime and the sweetness of the grenadine complements the fresh seafood while the smoky char adds a new dimension.
  • Chips and Guacamole: The acidity of the cocktail cuts through the richness of the guacamole, creating a balanced taste experience.
  • Spicy Chicken Wings: The cocktail's sweetness and citrus notes will help to cool down the spice of the wings.

Drink Pairings

  • Cold Mexican Beer: A light lager will complement the cocktail without overpowering its flavors.
  • Mezcal on the Side: For those who enjoy a smokier touch, a side of mezcal can enhance the agave profile.
  • Michelada: If looking for a non-spirit option, a michelada offers a refreshing, beer-based alternative with a similar lime and spice profile.

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What you could change in Mexican Firing Squad

  • Tequila: Can be replaced with Mezcal for a smokier flavor.
  • Grenadine: Can be substituted with pomegranate syrup or cranberry juice.
  • Angostura bitters: Can be replaced with orange bitters for a different twist.

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And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Mexican Firing Squad

Add a small slice of jalapeño to the shaker before mixing. It infuses the cocktail with a fiery kick that’s perfect for those who love a spicy edge. The result? A bolder drink that dances on your tongue like a flamenco dancer with a temper.

Smoky Standoff

Swap out the tequila for mezcal and add a pinch of smoked sea salt. This introduces a smoky depth and a savory edge, transforming the Mexican Firing Squad into a standoff with a mysterious gunslinger from the smoky sierras.

The Pomegranate Patrol

Use pomegranate juice in place of grenadine and a splash of orange liqueur. This brings in a more authentic pomegranate flavor with a citrus twist. The patrol is now on a new route, combining the old ways with a modern zest.

In case you forgot basics how to make Mexican Firing Squad

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 Mexican Firing Squad

What glassware should I use for making the Mexican Firing Squad?

The Mexican Firing Squad cocktail is traditionally served in a highball glass.

Can the Mexican Firing Squad be made as a batch cocktail for parties?

Yes, you can multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you want to prepare. Just remember to adjust the taste accordingly.

What types of tequila work best in this cocktail?

A good quality silver or Blanco tequila is recommended for this cocktail to maintain its balance and avoid overpowering other ingredients.

What can I serve with the Mexican Firing Squad?

This cocktail pairs well with spicy Mexican dishes like tacos, carnitas, or chile rellenos.

How can I make my Mexican Firing Squad alcohol-free?

You can substitute the tequila with a non-alcoholic spirit or fruit juice such as pineapple or orange juice. However, this will change the flavor profile of the drink.

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