Marisa Chafetz / Supercall

The Best Tequila Chasers, According to Bartenders

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If you have trouble shooting tequila with no chaser, you’re not alone. It can taste intense, especially if you’re new to the agave spirit or have been burned by it in the past. Sure, lime and salt work just fine, but they aren’t your only options. These are the best tequila shot chasers, according to pro bartenders.

Hard Cider

“A Boilermaker of Espolon Blanco and Jack's Hard Cider is my go-to after a crushingly busy shift—as well as my day drink sipper of choice.” — Cat Cannon, Federal Galley

Sangrita

“The only thing I like sipping tequila with is Sangrita, which is a Mexican chaser usually composed of tomato juice, lime, possibly a few drops of orange juice, pepper and [hot] sauce, such as Valentina. The recipes differ. Some people prefer a sweeter version. I like something with a balance of citrus and spice. I really only like Sangrita if the lime and orange are freshly squeezed and it has a certain density.” — Oscar León Bernal, La Loncheria

“My go-to tequila chaser is my own Sangrita creation: Combine equal parts orange juice, grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, tomato juice, two dashes of Cholula and a pinch of salt and pepper. The tanginess of the juices combined with the spicy Cholula perfectly masks the flavor of the tequila and soothes the palate.” — Feisser Stone, Barlingual
 
“Sangrita all the way, as I prefer my sipper to be a bit spicy. Sangrita varies from bartender to bartender, but almost always contains tomato or clamato juice, multiple types of citrus, salt and pomegranate juice. Think Bloody Mary mix without horseradish and Tabasco.” — Cory Alberto, Grant Grill

“I find that Sangrita brings out all the best parts of the tequila and leaves a wonderful taste in your mouth. Fair warning: It makes it incredibly difficult to not order another tequila shot immediately!” — Myles Grene, FIRE at the ART, a hotel

“After a shot of tequila, I personally enjoy a Sangrita, aka red liquid. This takes all the burn from the tequila away and enhances all of the wonderful flavors and nuances of a great tequila.” — Kelly Crawford, Jack Dusty

Pulque

“Pulque: The fermented sap of the agave plant. It’s very well known in Mexico but very little in the United States. When we opened La Contenta back in 2015, I made a cocktail program based on Mexican spirits and beverages. Pulque was one of them. I came up with a list of pulque cocktails, and it was so popular that we still have pulque cocktails on the menu.” — Alex Valencia, La Contenta

Beer

“I’ll follow my shots with a swig of a Victoria, Tecate or any light lager or pilsner.” — Marshall Emerson, Volcano Rabbit

"After a shot of tequila, I love to sip on a cold Corona with lime. It's so refreshing and smooth." — Brooke Neemeth, Hive & Honey Rooftop Bar

"I prefer to drink a refreshing cold beer or a dark lager. The combination of the two blend nicely together and bring out a nice balanced taste.” — Jimmy Rivera, Lobby Bar at La Concha

Michelada

“A shot of tequila is also great with a Michelada, which is essentially a Bloody Mary made with beer—an excellent hangover cure.” — Brian White, AG at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta

“I like to drink a Michelada after a shot of reposado tequila. The assorted flavor profiles of the Michelada along with the salt from the rimmed glass and Clamato juice help balance the flavors of the tequila.” — Michael Lariscy, Gaby’s By the Lake

Mezcal Negroni

Right after the shot, I love having a Mezcal Negroni. Mezcal is getting popular now and Negronis are easy to make at home.“ — Jean-Pierre Belonni, Burlock Coast

Orange Slice Dusted with Cinnamon

“After taking a shot of tequila, I like to bite into an orange slice dusted with cinnamon. The orange adds a sweetness that I find more pleasant than the sour taste of a lime, and the cinnamon gives the shot a bit of additional warmth.“ — Alexa Delgado, Lightkeepers

“If I want to complement the flavor of tequila towards the end, I’ll add a slice of orange and sprinkle with cinnamon powder. With that, the smoking flavor from the tequila lingers, and I’m not destroying the flavor right away as salt and lime do.” — Kennedy Ocambo, Tidal

Apple Juice

“I’ve heard of apple juice being a great accompaniment to tequila. When in company with a good friend of mine from Nepantla (about an hour and a half from Mexico City), she once advised that the brand of apple juice is almost as important as the tequila. The generic store brands of juice can often be a bit too sweet, so she suggests a more reputable brand that does not use high fructose corn syrup. Reposado or añejo tequila is the next step. Joven is what many are accustomed to for tequila shots, but for the discerning tequila consumer who is looking for something equal parts playful and sophisticated, try the aged spirit with real apple juice.” — Emmanuel West, Magdalena

Bourbon

“My follow-up after a tequila shot is Blanton’s on the rocks—tequila is my starter and Blanton’s is dessert.” — Oree Ward, Hive & Honey Rooftop Bar

Lemonade

“After a shot of tequila, ditch the lime wedge for lemonade. The sour, tart flavors of lemonade perfectly complement the tequila. In Playa del Carmen, we take tequila very seriously, and lemonade is the unexpected companion preferred by bartenders at Thompson.” — Eunice Figueroa, Thompson Playa del Carmen

Lime Rickey

“When I think tequila, my mind goes immediately to summer. I think of refreshing cocktails and beverages that help to ease the heat of those long summer days. My perfect beverage to chase a shot of my favorite tequila, Casa Noble, is a Jalapeno Cucumber Lime Rickey mocktail, made with muddled cucumber, jalapeño-infused simple syrup, fresh lime juice, soda water, and a cucumber wheel and mint garnish.” — Justin Mogavero, The Reeds at Shelter Haven

Pickle Juice

Pickle juice cancels out the flavor plus keeps your electrolytes up, which is important. Drink good tequila. If it’s good, you will not even want to chase it.” — Cassie Hesse, Ellis Adams Group

More Tequila

“Obviously, another shot of tequila.” — Tim Garso, Galley Group

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