If you’re a fan of Margaritas, you’re going to want this classic cocktail on your radar. Essentially a pineapple Marg, the Matador is bigger, bolder and fruitier than its lime juice-spiked cousin. While it’s crushable year round, this cocktail is one of the most refreshing tipples to beat the heat come summer. Best of all, it pairs perfectly with barbecue, tacos and spicy, salty foods—aka all the gastronomic delights of the warm weather season.
While the Matador is occasionally made with lime juice like a traditional Margarita, we actually prefer to use fresh lemon juice. It not only makes the drink brighter and more vivacious on the palate, it also boosts the tropical, floral notes inherent to the pineapple juice (see the Pisco Punch, which inspired the idea). When it comes to tequila, we find that it’s best to use a blanco, preferably one with more vanilla notes and tropical fruit flavors as opposed to more savory, vegetal varieties. Some of our favorite bottles of blanco tequila to use for the cocktail are Calle 23, Astral and Siembra Azul. It is best to use fresh pressed pineapple juice, but if you insist on using canned pineapple, make sure to reduce the measure of agave syrup from a half an ounce to a quarter of an ounce. When making your agave syrup, we recommend using two parts raw agave nectar to one part water for a richer, sweeter syrup. It will give the cocktail more viscosity and an irresistible velvety texture.