The Cortez

It was hot and muggy, the end of a long week, and we had a surfeit of tequila — so I went looking for something simple yet refreshing that might help make a dent in the tequila supply. I came up with a few options but the one that struck me as eminently suitable was a simple little cocktail know as The Cortez. It only showed up in a few places so I surmise it’s a relatively recent concoction, but nonetheless it fit the bill. And, as it turns out, hit the spot as well.


  • 1 oz tequila (respoda preferrred)
  • 5 oz German Riesling
  • lemon zest

Combine ice-cold tequila (freezer cold) with the chilled Riesling. (NO ice!) Stir and serve in a wine glass. Garnish with lemon zest. (In retrospect I might have tried chilling the glasses as well.)

The verdict: A hit—a palpable hit! Whilst I was researching, one of the few sites this cocktail appeared on described it as “totally unexpected, and completely delicious” and I can’t disagree with that in any way — in fact I find myself enthusiastically endorsing the sentiment. And it was enjoyed by everyone equally, which isn’t always true with our little group. The Cortez is smooth, easy drinking with just enough bite that you aren’t tempted to guzzle it down like some of the more sugary concoctions we’ve tried. And the combination of its simplicity and smooth drinking makes it dangerously attractive. We will be trying this on again.

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