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Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail Recipe

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A great cocktail with a really cool name, the Mexican Firing Squad is here to give the Margarita a run for its money.

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mexican firing squad

What is the Mexican Firing Squad ?

The Mexican Firing Squad is a tequila sour, and it’s actually quite an old cocktail. The first time a non-Mexican came upon the drink, it was in 1939. Charles H. Baker was the name, and going around the world discovering new things (and drinks) was his game. It was during one of his many trips that the man and a friend of his wound up in a bar called La Cucaracha Cocktail Club, in Mexico City.

A couple of years later the recipe for the Mexican firing squad was published in Baker’s ‘Gentleman’s Companion’, and it’s been history since. The original recipe used a bit less grenadine than the modern version, but I do have to day your results will vary depending on what kind of grenadine you use. Some are sweeter, some are more flavorful, some use actual pomegranate and some don’t. The one I used is good quality but only uses 18% grenadine juice in its composition.

mexican firing squad 2

Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail Recipe

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The perfect drink to go out in style.



  1. In a shaker combine tequila, lime juice, grenadine, bitters, and ice. Shake very well.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass, filled with ice.


The bitters turn this otherwise simple tequila sour into a really complex, beautiful cocktail. If you don't have Angostura you can use any aromatic bitters you have on hand.


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When is this drink best ?

I think the Mexican Firing Squad is an amazing summer cocktail, since it’s both sweet and sour, but the bitters in it give it a balanced overall flavor. I can easily see this cocktail served at a delicious dinner, enjoyed on its own at a club, a family gathering, a wedding, a friends’ night out, or just whenever you want something delicious and complex.

My thoughts on Mexican Firing Squad

I liked the Mexican Firing Squad, perhaps the most out of any tequila cocktail I’ve ever tried. The grenadine syrup was sweet and bright enough to pair really well with the fruity notes in tequila and lime juice, but it wasn’t overwhelming. The acidity in lime juice works especially well with tequila to bring an overall spiciness that is always surprising but welcome.

On top of all of that, the aromatic bitters bring some spicy note as well, but they also round out the drink by cutting through the sweetness of grenadine, and accentuating the flavor of tequila. Overall I’d say this is a really beautiful, complex drink, with an amazing color and a really cool name.

mexican firing squad making 1

If you like Mexican Firing Squad, you might also like…

Blood Orange Margarita – a Margarita with blood orange juice

Strawberry Margarita – a Margarita with strawberry syrup

Matador – a beautiful mix of tequila, pineapple, and lime

Tequila Sunrise – the classic tequila, orange, and grenadine highball

Paloma – Mexico’s favorite way to have tequila (with grapefruit)

Pomegranate Margarita – a Margarita with pomegranate juice

Notes, substitutes, and tips

The grenadine you use will influence the overall flavor of your drink. It’s up to you if you want to make your own pomegranate juice or get a pre-made one. If you get a pre-made look at the ingredients and make sure it’s only pomegranate flavor, not other fruits otherwise you’ll get a very different result. Some brands call ‘grenadine’ a mix of red fruits. Make sure you see pomegranate juice on the label.

Any tequila will work here, depending on your tastes. Tequila blanco is milder in flavor and will let the grenadine and bitters shine through. I used golden tequila.

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