Raise a glass with these artisanal tequila cocktails

Raise a glass with these artisanal tequila cocktails

How three Canadian Tastemakers get into the holiday spirit with Don Julio

The cheerful hosting and thoughtful gifting that occurs during the holiday season presents a perfect opportunity to impress your loved ones with an elevated cocktail or bottle fit for a special occasion. From stocking their bar carts and serving unique beverages at festive soirees to gifting bottles to best friends and bosses, these three Toronto Tastemakers are team tequila—Don Julio Tequila, to be exact.

A popular ceramicist, a top chef and an in-demand florist understand the artistry of craft, as well as the passion and perseverance it takes to perfect those fine details that take you to the top. It’s precisely what they adore about drinking Don Julio: eight decades of devotion and dedication to the craft of tequila making that shines through in each splendid sip, making the brand’s upscale products an elevated addition to any holiday menu or gift bag.

Meet the Tastemaker, Tamara Alissa:

A multidisciplinary artist of Syrian-Filipina descent, Al-Issa uses her hands to connect to her ancestry by crafting amorphous pottery using traditional techniques. You’ll see this devotion to her heritage in her work—on display at international exhibits and local installations—and taste it in the spirit-forward cocktail she crafted with the complex Don Julio 70 Cristalino.

Custom cocktail: Bright Martini

A fresh take on a tequila martini where notes of dried calamansi (a.k.a. Filipino lime) are complemented by aromatic sumac, a staple of Syrian cooking.


  • 2 oz calamansi-infused Don Julio 70 Cristalino Tequila (recipe below)
  • ¼ oz fortified wine
  • ½ oz orange liqueur
  • 1 tsp lime acid (recipe below)
  • A dash of orange blossom water
  • A dash of sumac bitters
  • Edible flower, to garnish


  1. In mixing glass filled with ice, add all ingredients and stir until outside of mixing glass is frosted (about 45 seconds).
  2. Strain into chilled coupe glass.
  3. Garnish with edible flower.

Calamansi-infused Don Julio 70 Cristalino

  • Mix 750 ml of Don Julio 70 Cristalino with 40 g of dehydrated calamansi fruit and store in a sealed container for 2 days, strain.

Lime Acid

  • Mix 1200 ml water, 8 g sugar, 72 g citric acid, 36 g malic acid into a sealable container until everything is dissolved.

Meet the Tastemaker, Jordana Masi:

Masi sees nature as art and strives to capture its beauty at her floral studio, White Oak Flower Co. She believes that through its tequila (made only with mature Blue Weber agave hand-picked by generational jimadores in Jalisco, Mexico), Don Julio has made art from nature as well. Masi has honoured the brand’s artisanal craft with her classic cocktail made with its Don Julio Reposado Tequila, a rich, amber barrel-aged tequila with a smooth finish.

Custom cocktail: Classic Paloma

Balancing a symphony of bright citrus with just a hint of sweetness and, of course, the mellow oak of Don Julio Reposado Tequila.


  • 2 oz Don Julio Reposado Tequila
  • 2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz Topo Chico sparkling water
  • ½ oz  fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit wedge, to garnish


  1. Rub grapefruit wedge on half rim of your glass of choice, and dip in salt.
  2. Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice and sugar in a glass.
  3. Mix in Don Julio Reposado Tequila.
  4. Add ice.
  5. Top with sparkling water and stir.
  6. Garnish with grapefruit.

Meet the Tastemaker, Keith Pears:

Born into a family of chefs, Pears has an affinity for unique flavour—fine food is built into his DNA. As the executive chef at the prestigious W Toronto, Pears creates recipes that elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary. This is the foundation on which he built his custom cocktail: a trendy take on the timeless paloma made with Don Julio Blanco Tequila, with just a hint of citrus.

Custom cocktail: Spicy Yuzu Paloma

It replaces the classic grapefruit-agave Paloma flavours with a tangier citrus that has less bitterness and subtle floral notes, setting the perfect stage for just the right amount of jalapeño spice.


  • 1.5 oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 3.5 oz yuzu lime soda
  • 0.5 oz yuzu syrup
  • 0.3 oz yuzu juice
  • Tajín
  • Sea salt
  • Coconut flakes
  • Wedge lime
  • Draft ice
  • Sliced jalapeño, to garnish


  1. Mix together a 10:20:70 ratio of Tajín, sea salt and coconut flakes in shallow dish.
  2. Rub rim of highball glass with the lime wedge and dip into your rim mix.
  3. Add ice to the glass.
  4. Add Blanco Don Julio Blanco Tequila, yuzu syrup, yuzu juice, and finish with yuzu lime soda.
  5. Sweeten with syrup to taste.
  6. Garnish with jalapeño and lime wedge.