Rodeo Cocktail Recipe

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Rodeo 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 Rodeo cocktail is a modern creation inspired by the wild west and the adventurous spirit of cowboys. It is a popular choice among those who enjoy bold flavors and a touch of heat.

  • The Rodeo was first created in a trendy bar in Austin, Texas.
  • It quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike.
  • The cocktail is often enjoyed at rodeo events and western-themed parties.

How Rodeo Tastes?

The Rodeo cocktail is a complex and exciting mix of flavors. It is spicy, smoky, and slightly sweet with a hint of citrus. The heat from the jalapeño is balanced by the sweetness of the agave syrup, while the smokiness of the mezcal adds depth and intrigue.

Interesting facts about Rodeo

  • The Rodeo cocktail is often served in a rocks glass with a salted rim, reminiscent of a margarita.
  • The use of mezcal in the cocktail adds a smoky flavor that sets it apart from other spicy cocktails.
  • The jalapeño garnish not only adds visual appeal but also allows drinkers to control the level of heat in their cocktail.



Mezcal brings a complex, smoky character to the cocktail; it's like that mysterious stranger who knows more than they're letting on. If you skimp on the 2oz, the drink loses its backbone – and nobody wants a floppy Rodeo.

Mary Mitkina

Fresh Lime Juice

The zesty 1oz of lime juice adds that necessary 'zing' like a crowd's cheer in a bullring; too little, and the cocktail might taste flat, too much, and it’ll tighten your lips more than a bull rider’s grip.

Alex Green

Agave Syrup

Half an ounce of agave syrup is the peacekeeper between the smoke of the mezcal and the tart lime juice. If you ditch the syrup, the Rodeo turns into a rough ride with too much kick.

Emma Rose


One slice of jalapeño brings a subtle heat – it's the equivalent of adding a cheeky wink to the drink. Leave it out, and you’ll miss the fire that lights up the night.

Mary Mitkina

Smoked Salt

Smoked salt on the rim is like fringe on a cowboy's jacket – it's that extra flair that makes a statement. It provides a savory contrast to the cocktail's sweet and sour elements.

Alex Green

Garnish: Jalapeño Slice

The garnish is not just a pretty face – it offers a hint of what's inside. Like a rodeo clown, it distracts you just enough from the cocktail's kick.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Rodeo Drink

  1. Prepare the glass:
    • Wet the rim of a rocks glass with a lime wedge.
    • Dip the rim in smoked salt to create a salted rim.
  2. Make the cocktail:
    • In a shaker, muddle the jalapeño with the agave syrup.
    • Add the mezcal, lime juice, and ice.
    • Shake well until chilled.
  3. Strain the cocktail into the prepared rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a jalapeño slice.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh ingredients. Fresh lime juice and fresh jalapeño will make a big difference in the taste.
  • Adjust the heat. The amount of jalapeño can be adjusted according to personal preference.
  • Chill the glass. A chilled glass will keep the cocktail colder for longer.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The smoky notes of mezcal and the spiciness of jalapeño beautifully complement the charred flavors in grilled fish or shrimp.
  • Tacos: A traditional taco with carnitas or fish is a perfect match for this cocktail, as the citrus from the lime juice will cut through the fat.
  • Guacamole: Freshly made guacamole with crispy tortilla chips pairs well with the Rodeo cocktail, as the agave syrup’s sweetness balances the spice and acidity.

Drink Pairings

  • Pale Ale: A crisp and hoppy pale ale can be a refreshing follow-up to the Rodeo's complexity.
  • Chilled Water: To cleanse the palate between sips of this bold cocktail, water is always a wise choice.

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What you could change in Rodeo

  • Mezcal: Can be substituted with tequila for a less smoky flavor.
  • Agave Syrup: Honey or simple syrup can be used as a substitute.
  • Smoked Salt: Regular salt or Himalayan pink salt can be used for rimming.

Explore all drinks starting with R here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Pineapple Rodeo

  • Ingredients: Replace lime juice with pineapple juice; add a splash of liquid smoke.
  • Recipe: Shake the smoked pineapple juice with mezcal, agave, and one deseeded jalapeño. Serve with a pineapple wedge rimmed with smoked salt.
  • Taste: A tropical twist with a smoky caress. Think of a beach bonfire in your mouth.

Spicy Rodeo Margarita

  • Ingredients: Add triple sec and replace the agave syrup with simple syrup.
  • Recipe: Combine mezcal, lime juice, simple syrup, triple sec, and jalapeño in a shaker. Serve in a salt-rimmed glass with a lime wheel.
  • Taste: A familiar margarita with a feisty, smoky kick – it'll lasso your taste buds!

Berry Bold Rodeo

  • Ingredients: Add muddled raspberries and a splash of cranberry juice.
  • Recipe: Mix raspberries, cranberry juice, mezcal, lime juice, agave, and jalapeño. Serve in a glass rimmed with a mixture of smoked salt and sugar.
  • Taste: A tart and sweet rodeo with a smoking berry hat. It's like riding a wild berry through a forest fire – thrilling!

In case you forgot basics how to make Rodeo

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

The key to proper muddling is to crush the ingredients just enough to release their flavors and not overdo it. Over-muddling can result in a bitter taste, especially with herbs.

Learn everything on how to muddle

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 Rodeo

What is the origin of the name 'Rodeo' for this cocktail?

The Rodeo cocktail is named after the rodeo events prevalent in the United States, particularly in the Southern and Western states like Texas, embodying an adventurous spirit and bold flavors associated with these events.

What kind of Mezcal should I use for a Rodeo cocktail?

Any type of Mezcal can be used, but those with a more pronounced smoky flavor work best in this cocktail. However, the choice heavily depends on your personal preference.

Can I use other hot peppers instead of jalapeno in this cocktail?

Yes, you can adjust this cocktail to suit your taste. Any pepper that complements the flavors of the other ingredients can be used. However, be aware of the heat levels of different peppers; you might need to adjust the amount accordingly.

Can I make this cocktail without alcohol?

While traditional Rodeo is an alcoholic drink, you can make a non-alcoholic version by substituting the Mezcal with a smoky, non-alcoholic alternative and making sure to use non-fermented agave syrup.

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