How to Drink a Shot of Tequila: 9 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Drink a Shot of Tequila: 9 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Drink a Shot of Tequila: 9 Steps (with Pictures)

In Mexico, tequila capital, people enjoy the drink directly, sometimes with a side of sangrita. Outside Mexico, however, it's common for tequila to be served as a shot accompanied by salt and a wedge of lime or lemon. These additions help offset the harshness of lower quality tequilas, and are consumed in a specific order – shown below.


Method 1 of 2: American Style with Lemon

Step 1. Briefly lick the skin between your thumb and forefinger or the back of your hand

Step 2. Spread a small pinch of salt on the licked area

Saliva will help to trap the ingredients.

Step 3. Hold a lemon wedge between your thumb and forefinger, using the same hand that contains the salt

Step 4. Release the air, lick the salt, drink the tequila shot and bite into the lemon

Some people prefer to bite into the lemon before taking a breath to avoid tasting the liquor too much.

  • When drinking the shot, tilt your head back and try to swallow all the tequila at once. After all, you're taking a shot.
  • Try using pineapple juice to weaken tequila instead of lemon. Enjoy the tequila shot, but before you breathe, drink the pineapple juice. It will cut off the flavor of the dose.

Method 2 of 2: Mexican Style with Sangrita

Drink a Tequila Shot Step 5

Step 1. Prepare the sangrita that will be enjoyed with the tequila

“Sangrita” means “sanguinho” in Spanish, being called that way because of the color. Sangrita is not alcoholic. In a separate glass, mix and chill:

  • 1 glass of fresh orange juice
  • 30 ml of fresh lemon juice
  • 5 ml grenadine
  • 12 pinches of hot sauce (Cholula is the best)
Drink the Tequila Shot Step 6

Step 2. Make a serving of sangrita so that each tequila shot has its own sangrita

Drink the Tequila Shot Step 7

Step 3. Serve the sangrita with tequila blanco

Traditionally, sangrita is served with tequila blanco. Reposado tequila can also combine with sangrita.

Drink a Tequila Shot Step 8

Step 4. Sip tequila and sangrita without drinking all at once

Native Mexicans tend not to gulp tequila down, preferring to down it slowly.

Drink a Tequila Shot Step 9

Step 5. Combine the sangrita and tequila with a shot of lemon juice for “A Bandeira Mexicana”

This combination gets its name from the fact that the three doses represent the colors of the Mexican flag – red, white and green.


  • Another way to get a shot of tequila involves adding a dash of tabasco sauce to the shot. This sinus cleansing dose is called "Plain Fire".
  • For a fun variation, ask someone to lend a hand (or another part) to add the salt.
  • It is also possible to try the “Tequila Strong Love”. One person puts the salt in their mouth and passes it on to their partner. After that, the person takes the lemon in the mouth, one of the parts out, so that the drinker can easily bite into it. Take it easy, as you could miss the lemon and bite the person's tongue.
  • Advice on how to drink a shot quickly varies; some people advise that you breathe before taking the dose, while others recommend that you exhale.
  • When buying high-quality tequila – like Patron – salt and lemon are not necessary. They will cancel out the better flavors a high-quality tequila offers.
  • This is usually done in groups, with everyone following these steps simultaneously.


  • This way of drinking, especially in the case of low quality drinks involved, can lead to a very long conversation with the bathroom.
  • Drink responsibly.

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