While Jules and I were walking through a street fair in Tlaquepaque this summer, we were immediately struck by these vendor booths lined with clay cups, bottles of Squirt grapefruit soda, and lots and lots of fresh fruit. Everyone in the fair holding these clay cups seemed to be loving what they were drinking. What were these drinks? We had to find out.
Turns out, they are called the "Cantaritos," named after the red clay cups they are traditionally served in. Made by mixing freshly squeezed lemon, lime, grapefruit, and orange juice, a dash of salt, a shot of tequila (size of shot TBD by bartender), and topped with grapefruit soda (SQUIRT - when was the last time you saw Squirt?), and pouring into a chili-salt lined clay cup, the Cantaritos made us completely forget about our search for the perfect margarita.
The Cantaritos was so refreshing - less sweet than a margarita, more complex in flavor than a paloma. We found out the locals call it "the best way to drink tequila," and we couldn't help but agree.
This cocktail is served in a clay cup because it helps maintain a cold temperature, even in the middle of a Mexican summer. The humble clay cantaritos cup is often used as a disposable take-away cup that is thrown away after a night's use. As one local told us, the clay comes from the earth, and goes back to the earth.
The clay cups come in lots of shapes and sizes. Sometimes, the Cantaritos cocktail is even served in a clay bowl that can be shared among a group (or a very thirsty individual!). While we were walking around with our "small" size, we ran into someone with two LARGE sizes. Jules couldn't help but exclaim "NICE JUGS," and of course, a new friendship was born.
The clay cups in our Cantaritos Cocktail Kit have been artfully made with ancient hand-molding techniques, and glazed and burned in an oven in a way that makes them stronger than typical Cantaritos de barro cups. Grab one of our Cantaritos kits, some fresh citrus, your favorite tequila, and a few friends and get the party started!
- 1 shot tequila
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Juice of 1/2 orange
- Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Grapefruit soda to fill the cup (we like Squirt)
- Chili Salt for rimming
- Extra citrus wedges for garnish
- Submerge clay cup in water
- Rim cup with wedge of one of the citrus fruits
- Dip rim of cup in saucer filled with chili salt
- Fill cup with ice
- Combine tequila, all juices, and salt
- Top off cup with grapefruit soda
- Garnish with citrus wedge
Tips from Mexican Locals:
- Always use fresh squeezed juices
- Submerge cup in cold water before use
- Tastes best with tequila blanco
- make it a mocktail by omitting the tequila
Artisan Hand Juicer