Pepito Cocktail Recipe

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Pepito 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 Pepito cocktail is a refreshing and vibrant drink that originated in Mexico. It is said to have been created by a bartender named Pepito, who wanted to create a cocktail that would showcase the flavors of his homeland. The drink quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike, and has since become a staple at bars and restaurants around the world.

  • The Pepito cocktail is often enjoyed during the hot summer months, as its refreshing flavors help to cool down the palate.
  • It is a popular choice for those who enjoy fruity and tropical cocktails, as well as those who appreciate the unique flavors of tequila.
  • The drink is often served at parties and gatherings, as it is easy to make in large batches and can be customized to suit individual tastes.

How Pepito Tastes?

The Pepito cocktail is a delightful mix of sweet, sour, and slightly spicy flavors. The sweetness of the pineapple juice and agave nectar is balanced by the tartness of the lime juice, while the tequila adds a smooth, earthy undertone. The addition of jalapeño gives the drink a subtle kick, making it a truly unique and exciting cocktail.

Interesting facts about Pepito

  • The Pepito cocktail is sometimes referred to as a 'Mexican Mule' due to its similarities to the Moscow Mule, which is made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice.
  • The drink can be easily customized by adding different fruits or adjusting the spice level to suit individual preferences.
  • The Pepito cocktail is often garnished with a slice of jalapeño, which not only adds visual appeal but also enhances the spicy flavor of the drink.



The 2oz of tequila provides the boozy backbone to our Pepito cocktail. It's not too much to overpower the other flavors, but enough to let you know it's there. Tequila adds a smooth, slightly sweet base that's essential for the drink's profile. Skip it, and you're just sipping spiced juice.

Alex Green

Pineapple Juice

4oz of pineapple juice brings a tropical sweetness that balances the heat of the jalapeño. The acidity and the enzymes in pineapple also help to tenderize the jalapeño's spice, blending the flavors. Too much juice, and the cocktail becomes a fruity punch; too little, and the drink loses its tropical character.

Emma Rose

Lime Juice

The zesty kick from 1oz of lime juice brings a bright freshness that elevates the drink. It cuts through the sweetness and adds a necessary tang. Without it, the cocktail might be too sweet, lacking that crisp edge which sparks joy on the palate.

Mary Mitkina

Agave Nectar

A dash of 0.5oz agave nectar is just enough to smooth out any tart edges from the lime and pineapple without making the drink cloyingly sweet. It's the glue that holds the sweet and sour in harmony. Miss it out, and the balance topples.

Alex Green


One slice, seeds out, is the wildcard that turns a sweet and sour mix into a Pepito. It's the kick that whispers 'fiesta' in your taste buds – but don't go overboard, or the heat will mute everything else. No jalapeño? You're missing the party.

Emma Rose


As needed, because nobody likes a lukewarm cocktail. Ice chills, dilutes, and marries the flavors together in this shaker dance. Less ice, and the drink might be too strong; too much, and it'll drown out the fun.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Wedge

More than just a pretty piece, the pineapple wedge adds a bite of fruitiness and an aroma that invites you in. It's a preview of the flavors inside.

Alex Green

Jalapeño Slice Garnish

This garnish isn't just for looks – it's an edible warning sign that says, 'expect a little sizzle.' Plus, it adds aroma and a final kick with each sip.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Pepito Drink

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice, agave nectar, and jalapeño slice.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well to combine and chill the ingredients.
  3. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a jalapeño slice.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh ingredients. Fresh pineapple juice and lime juice can make a big difference in the taste of your Pepito cocktail.
  • Muddle the jalapeño. For a spicier kick, muddle the jalapeño slice in the shaker before adding the other ingredients.
  • Chill your glass. A chilled glass will keep your cocktail cooler for longer.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The smoky flavor of grilled shrimp or fish pairs beautifully with the spicy kick of the jalapeño in the Pepito cocktail.
  • Tacos or Ceviche: The citrus notes from the lime juice complement the freshness of tacos or ceviche, balancing the richness of the fish or meat.
  • Guacamole and Chips: The cool creaminess of guacamole can provide a soothing contrast to the cocktail's heat, while the crunch of the chips adds texture.

Drink Pairings

  • Chilled Water or Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips of the spicy Pepito cocktail.
  • Light Beers: A crisp lager or pilsner can refresh the palate after the spicy and sweet notes of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Pepito

  • Tequila: You can substitute the tequila with mezcal for a smokier flavor.
  • Pineapple juice: Mango juice can be used as a substitute for a different tropical twist.
  • Agave nectar: If you don't have agave nectar, you can use honey instead.

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And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Pepito

  • Substitute tequila for a smoky mezcal.
  • Use mango juice instead of pineapple.
  • Add a few sprigs of cilantro. Recipe: Replace the tequila with 2oz mezcal, swap out the pineapple juice for mango, and muddle cilantro in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. Expect a smokier flavor with an herbal touch that dances with the mango's tropical notes.

Pepito Paloma

  • Mix grapefruit soda instead of pineapple juice.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the shaker. Recipe: Combine tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, jalapeño slice, and salt in a shaker, omit the pineapple juice, and top up with grapefruit soda in the glass after shaking. A saltier, tangier twist that plays up the tequila and brings a refreshing fizz.

Berry Hot Pepito

  • Add a handful of mixed berries to the shaker.
  • Increase the agave nectar to enhance the berries' sweetness. Recipe: Muddle the berries with the jalapeño in the shaker, then follow the original recipe, adding an extra dash of agave. The berries provide a depth of sweetness and a beautiful color, while the extra agave rounds out the sharper tones.

In case you forgot basics how to make Pepito

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 Pepito

What is the best brand of Tequila to use in a Pepito cocktail?

Higher quality tequilas will result in a better tasting cocktail. Brands like Patron, Don Julio, and Casa Noble are all excellent choices.

What can I use instead of tequila in a Pepito cocktail?

For those who don't drink alcohol, a Mexican soda like Jarritos pineapple flavor can be a good substitute for tequila in a Pepito cocktail.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Pepito cocktail?

Yes. You can substitute the tequila with a non-alcoholic alternative or simply omit it. Replace the tequila with extra pineapple juice or a splash of soda water for a refreshing, non-alcoholic version.

How can I make a vegan version of the Pepito cocktail?

The Pepito cocktail is already vegan. It contains no animal products.

How should I store leftover Pepito cocktail?

Leftover cocktail can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, it's best to consume immediately after making it as the carbonation and freshness of the juices diminish over time.

What type of food pairs well with a Pepito cocktail?

Mexican food or any spicy food pairs very well with the Pepito cocktail. This is because the sweetness and acidity of the drink can cool down and balance out the heat of the meal.

What other cocktails can I make with these ingredients?

Apart from a Pepito, you can also make a Pineapple Margarita or a Tequila Sunrise with these ingredients.

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