Tequila Matador Cocktail Recipe

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Tequila Matador 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 Tequila Matador is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed by many since the 1960s. It is believed to have originated in Mexico, where tequila is the national spirit. This refreshing cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy the taste of tequila and the zesty flavors of pineapple and lime. It is often served at parties and social gatherings, making it a popular choice for those looking to impress their guests.

  • Originated in Mexico
  • Popular since the 1960s
  • Perfect for parties and social gatherings

How Tequila Matador Tastes?

The Tequila Matador is a refreshing, zesty, and slightly sweet cocktail. The combination of tequila, pineapple juice, and lime juice creates a well-balanced and flavorful drink that is both strong and smooth.

Interesting facts about Tequila Matador

  • The name 'Matador' is Spanish for 'bullfighter', which may be a reference to the bold and strong flavors of the cocktail.
  • The Tequila Matador can be easily customized by adding different fruit juices or garnishes to suit individual preferences.
  • This cocktail is often served in a highball glass, but can also be served in a margarita or martini glass for a more elegant presentation.


Tequila: 2oz

Using a good quality tequila is key to this cocktail - it's the superhero, and the rest are the sidekicks. It brings a smooth yet bold agave flavor that sets the foundation for our drink. Too little, and you'll lose the Mexi-kick; too much, and it's more of a knock-out punch than a cocktail. If tequila isn't your thing or you're all out, try Mezcal for a smoky twist, though it'll be like swapping Batman for Superman - similar, but with a distinct character.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Juice: 3oz

This tropical delight is the perfect partner to tequila, offering a sweet and tangy profile that dances with the agave. It's like the Robin to your Batman - essential! Less juice makes the cocktail too sharp, more and you'll be sailing on a pineapple juice sea with a hint of tequila. If you crave adventure, mango juice can swoop in for a similar but distinctively different tropical vibe.

Emma Rose

Fresh Lime Juice: 1oz

Squeeze it fresh! Lime juice adds the zing and balances out the sweetness of the pineapple - it's the Alfred to the team, keeping everyone in check. Skimping on lime will let the sweet and bold flavors run wild, while too much will pucker you up more than a kiss from grandma. No lime? Try lemon, but expect a slightly more sour and less complex cocktail.

Alex Green

Ice: As needed

Ice is the reserved butler of our liquid mansion - it chills without stealing the spotlight. It dictates the temperature and can water down the drink if overused. No ice means a warm and less refreshing experience. Crushed ice will chill your drink even faster, turning the mansion into an igloo if you're too generous.

Mary Mitkina

Garnish: Lime Wheel

Don't underestimate the power of a good garnish. A lime wheel adds visual flair and a hint of aroma, like a little hat on a dog - not necessary, but it sure is adorable and completes the look. Skip it, and no one's going to send back the drink, but why miss the chance to dress to impress?

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Tequila Matador Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add the tequila, pineapple juice, and lime juice to the shaker
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined
  4. Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with fresh ice
  5. Garnish with a lime wheel

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure the ingredients are well mixed.
  • Use fresh pineapple juice and lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill the glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool for longer.

Perfect Pairings

Snacks and Appetizers

  • Ceviche: The zesty flavors of ceviche are a match made in heaven with the citrus notes of the Tequila Matador.
  • Grilled Shrimp: A delicate yet smoky taste that complements the freshness of the cocktail.
  • Chicken Satay: The sweet and savory flavors work well with the pineapple juice in the drink.


  • Fish Tacos: A staple in Mexican cuisine, the lightness of fish tacos pairs well with the crisp and fruity cocktail.
  • Pork Carnitas: The rich flavors of this dish are balanced by the acidity of the lime juice.


  • Coconut Flan: The creamy texture contrasts nicely with the Tequila Matador's sharp citrus profile.
  • Pineapple Upside Down Cake: Echoes the pineapple flavors in the drink.


  • Mexican Beer: A light Mexican beer can be a refreshing chaser after the tanginess of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Tequila Matador

  • Tequila: Can be substituted with white rum or vodka.
  • Pineapple juice: Can be replaced with orange juice or mango juice.
  • Lime juice: Lemon juice can be used as a substitute.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Matador

  • Ingredients: 2oz Mezcal, 3oz Pineapple juice, 1oz Fresh lime juice, Ice, Lime wheel for garnish
  • Recipe: Replace tequila with Mezcal for a smokier cocktail. Follow the original recipe for preparation. Expect to step into the ring with a more mysterious and brooding bullfighter.

Spicy Matador

  • Ingredients: 2oz Tequila, 3oz Pineapple juice, 1oz Fresh lime juice, Ice, Jalapeño slices, Lime wheel for garnish
  • Recipe: Muddle a few slices of jalapeño in the shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients. This fiery friend adds a kick harder than a chorus line of cancan dancers.

Herbal Matador

  • Ingredients: 2oz Tequila, 3oz Pineapple juice, 1oz Fresh lime juice, 0.5oz Agave syrup, Fresh basil leaves, Ice, Basil sprig for garnish
  • Recipe: Add a touch of agave syrup and some basil leaves to your shaker for a sweet and herbal take. This twist is like a botanical garden in a glass, giving Nature's kiss with every sip.

In case you forgot basics how to make Tequila Matador

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 Tequila Matador

What type of tequila works best in a Tequila Matador?

A quality mixto or 100% agave blanco/silver tequila works well in this cocktail.

What type of occasions are ideal for serving a Tequila Matador?

Given its bold, refreshing flavors and elegant presentation, a Tequila Matador is particularly well-suited to summer parties, festive celebrations, and social gatherings where cocktails are on the menu.

Can a Tequila Matador be made into a pitcher for a larger gathering?

Yes. You can easily scale up the recipe to make a larger quantity. Remember to adjust the recipe to the number of servings you need.

Does a Tequila Matador pair well with any particular foods?

Yes, the Tequila Matador pairs excellently with Mexican dishes like enchiladas, tacos or guacamole and also with island-inspired foods like coconut shrimp.

Is there a specific way to garnish a Tequila Matador besides a lime wheel?

While the traditional garnish is a lime wheel, you could also consider garnishing with a pineapple wedge or even a cherry for extra flair.

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