Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a timeless Mexican celebration that focuses on connecting with departed loved ones by joyously honoring their legacy in the form of storytelling, food, ritual, and, of course, cocktails. The multi-day celebration is associated with Catholic All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, and is not a day of mourning. Rather, Dia De Los Muertos is a celebration.
With that in mind, we put together a list of 13 cocktails that should help heighten the celebration of Dia De Los Muertos in 2020. Whether you enjoy Tequila, Mezcal, Wine, or Mexican Whisky, these drinks should help makes this year’s Day of the Day a special one.
The Cider Skull Sangria
Recipe and Image curated by Brielle Galekovic of The Gilded Bellini
- 1 bottle of Campo Viejo Tempranillo
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 3 oz. brandy
- 2 honey crisp apple, sliced, plus more for garnish (optional)
- 2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1 star anise, plus more for garnish (optional)
Add all ingredients into a large pitcher and star to combine. Cover pitcher and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. Fill glasses with ice then pour sangria over top. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, star anise, and apple slices, if desired, and serve.
*Cinnamon Sugar Rim
Stir together 1/2 teaspoon cane sugar, 1/2 cinnamon and pinch of salt on a dish. Wet the rim of the glasses by running a slice of lemon around each one. Dip the rims into the mixture and then fill the glasses with Sangria.
- 2 oz. 1800 Añejo
- ¾ oz. agave syrup
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1 cup milk
Combine all ingredients except Añejo in a pot. Bring to a roiling boil. Turn off the fire and add Añejo. Pour into a mug and garnish with a mint sprig and a cherry.
- 2 Parts Montelobos Mezcal
- 3/4 Part Ginger Syrup
- 1 Part Fresh Lime Juice
- 4 Blackberries
Add blackberries to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Combine the rest of the ingredients and shake well to mix. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with 3 blackberries on a pick.
- 1.5 oz Partida Añejo
- .75 oz Pineapple syrup
- .5 oz Fresh lime juice
- 2 dash Orange bitters
- Sliced jalapeño
In a cordial glass muddle the jalapeno, Pineapple syrup, lime juice and orange bitters. Add ice, Partida Añejo, and stir. Garnish with a skewer of lemon, pineapple or jalapeño.
- 0.75 oz Rosaluna Mezcal
- 0.75 oz Lime juice
- 0.75 oz Aperol
- 0.75 oz Yellow Chartreuse
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Give a little toast to your ancestors.
Mango Star Rise
- 2 oz Espanita Reposado Tequila
- 2 oz Mango Juice
- 1 oz Orange Juice
- 1 Starfruit(also known as carambola)
- 1 oz Grenadine
- Garnish: 1 slice of Star Fruit
Slice one starfruit and remove visible seeds with a tip of a knife. Muddle sliced starfruit in a pulp, measure 1 oz of pureed star fruit in a jigger and add to the Boston Shaker. Add Mango and Orange Juice (freshly pressed juice is preferable), Espanita Reposado tequila and a handful of ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass filled with fresh ice. Gently pour grenadine down the inside of the glass so that it does not get mixed with the cocktail and slowly sinks to the bottom of the glass. Garnish the drink with a slice of a starfruit.
Blood Orange Paloma
- 1.5 oz. Don Julio Tequila
- 6 oz San Pellegrino Blood Orange Sparkling Water
- Chili Lime Rim
- Lime wedges
- Blood orange wedges
Add Don Julio Blanco to a rocks glass. Top with San Pellegrino Blood Orange Sparkling Water. Garnish with blood orange and lime wedges, and viola your on the way to drinking one of our favorite Dia de los Muertos cocktails.
The Lost Explorer Huxley
- 1 oz / 30 ml The Lost Explorer Espadín
- 0.75 oz / 22.5 ml St. Germain Elderflower Liquor
- 1 oz / 30 ml Carpano Bianco Vermouth
- 0.5 oz / 15 ml Tio Pepe Sherry
- One drop celery bitters
- Lemon slice
Stir all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a coupette glass. Garnish with a lemon slice. Sip the sublime.
- 2 Parts Milagro Reposado
- 1 1/2 Parts Jicama Juice
- 1 Rib of Celery
- 1 Part Tomatillo Juice
- 1/2 Part Fresh Lime Juice
- 6 drops Chipotle Sauce
- A pinch of Black Salt
Build in highball glass with ice. Garnish with celery, cherry tomatoes and lime wedge.
- 2 parts Tequila Herradura
- 1 part fresh lime juice
- ½-¾ agave nectar (to taste)
- ½ part Tamarind nectar
- Rim half of coupe glass with Tajin Chili.
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously to chill. Strain into glass.
Spicy Mexican Mule
- 1 part Ancho Reyes Original
- ¼ part Fresh Lime Juice
- 3 parts Ginger Beer
Fill a copper mule mug with ice. Add Ancho Reyes and fresh lime juice. Gently pour ginger beer on top and stir lightly. Garnish with lime and crystallized ginger.
Campo Viejo Sour
Recipe and Image Curated By Camille Wilson of The Cocktail Snob
- -1 ounce Campo Viejo Garnacha
- -2 ounces tequila reposado
- -1 ounce cinnamon syrup*
- -3/4 ounce lemon juice
Combine tequila, cinnamon syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled. Pour into a glass. Float about 1 ounce of Campo Viejo Garnacha on top
Combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Add 2 cinnamon sticks and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the cinnamon steep for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture into a glass container and let cool.
- 2 parts Abasolo El Whisky de Mexico
- 2 parts Ginger Beer
- 2 parts Soda Water
- Glassware: Collins
- Garnish: Horseneck Lemon twist
Pour all ingredients into a Collins glass, add ice, and garnish with long, horseneck, lemon twist.