costa mesa
Credit: Eddie Sanchez / Beachside
Credit: Eddie Sanchez / Beachside

9 Tequila Cocktails for Summer That Aren’t Margaritas “LA Edition”

Raise Your Glass With Your Crew at These LA Hot Spots

Tequila is having a moment right now, and we’re here for it. This once cringe-worthy liquor has been elevated to a drink worth sipping on. With more premium brands producing stellar tequila, it is rightfully settling in on the top shelf. Say goodbye to the days of sipping overly sweet and sour margaritas and say hello to a refined and smooth spirit that deserves some serious savoring. Here are nine tequila cocktails to try in LA this summer. Best Tequila Cocktails


Rock & Brews

Must-Order Cocktail: Spicy Watermelon Margarita

Credit: Philip Guerette

Ingredients: Mico Blanco Tequila, muddled watermelon and jalapeño, DeKuyper watermelon, agave, fresh citrus, Tajin, chamoy 

Rock & Brews is the spot to head to enjoy some rock ‘n roll while sipping a refreshing beer or tequila cocktail. Indulge in classic American cuisine while spending an afternoon with your best buds. Order their spicy watermelon marg if you like a little kick with each sip! It’ll pair perfectly with their slow and low Memphis-Style BBQ Baby Back Ribs. A few hours spent at Rock & Brews is a perfect way to spend a summer’s afternoon. 

Locations: Redondo Beach & El Segundo


High Rooftop Lounge at Erwin Hotel

Must-Order Cocktail: Thyme for Some Action

Ingredients: Milagro Tequila, grapefruit, ginger, honey, lime and thyme

High Rooftop Lounge is a prime spot in Venice to watch the sun sink into the sea. This welcoming rooftop is as laid back as the beach below. Other than the view, the next best thing High Rooftop Lounge has to offer is the Thyme for Some Action cocktail.

Location: Venice Beach

Best Tequila Cocktails


Must-Order Cocktail: The Casita Squad

Ingredients: Mezcal, Milagro Tequila, Strega, lime, Urfa and pomegranate molasses

For an understated and inviting atmosphere, look no further than Momed. The youthful vibe of this Mediterranean cafe is a breath of fresh (open) air, especially as the walls disappear into the patio. A perfect setting for brunch with friends—gather your crew and get comfy. You’ll be here a while enjoying The Casita Squad, a smoky and sweet flavor collision that will have you ordering another one of these cocktails.

Location: Atwater Village



The Hollywood Roosevelt

Must-Order Cocktail: Cha-Ching

Credit: The Hollywood Roosevelt

Ingredients: Milagro Tequila, Cynar, chili, cinnamon, orange and lemon

Located in the heart of Hollywood, this hotel oozes old-school glam, from the rich decor to the decadent drinks. With six watering holes to choose from, there’s a bar for every kind of vibe. The ritzy yet laid-back atmosphere of this hotel is a perfect meeting spot to start a night out with your kindred spirits. We recommend starting at The Spare Room for a couple rounds of vintage bowling. Order your Cha-Ching cocktail with Milagro Tequila for a smooth sip!

Location: Hollywood 

Best Tequila Cocktails


Must-Order Cocktail: The Nightshade

Ingredients: Tequila Dahlia, fresh lemon, yellow bell pepper and heat

Inside an antique warehouse in the Arts District, you’ll find intimacy and beauty in the vastness of this indoor/outdoor space. At Manuela, the juxtaposition of the brick and metal against the warm woods and soft greenery create an artistic continuity that is truly a unique experience. Order the salty and zesty grilled yellowtail and pair it with our cocktail of choice, The Nightshade. 

Location: Arts District



Must-Order Cocktail: Queen of the South

Credit: Eddie Sanchez

Ingredients: Milagro Tequila, Cointreau, mango nectar, chipotle agave, lime, Tajin

Nestled in the marina with dreamy waterfront views is Beachside, located at the romantic Jamaica Bay Inn. It’s an ideal spot for an intimate night with someone you love, especially when the waters mirror those purple-pink sunsets. The Spanish octopus and Loch Duarte salmon are great plates to share, and even better paired with tequila cocktails.

Location: Marina del Rey

Best Tequila Cocktails

Mama Shelter

Must-Order Cocktail: The Royal We

Ingredients: Codigo Tequila, pisco, Pernod and guava

This rooftop bar will feel like you’re partying at your friend’s house. The cocktails are just as sunny and uplifting as the atmosphere, and it’s all sprinkled with a little Hollywood magic. It’s always a lively place to be any time of day with its vibrant energy—not to mention its killer views of the Hollywood sign and downtown LA. 

Location: Hollywood


Bar Lis

Must-Order Cocktail: The Summer Spritz

Credit: Bar Lis

Ingredients: blanco tequila, Lillet Blanc, grapefruit, orange blossom water and bubbles 

The French Riviera’s pulse is beating strong in Hollywood with the striking decor, verdant greenery and attractive clientele at Bar Lis. Located in the center of Hollywood, this bar is perched atop The Thompson Hotel with open-air views of downtown and the Hollywood Hills. Dripping in Southern France-style luxury, the cocktails will make you feel as good as the backdrop looks.

Location: Hollywood 

Best Tequila Cocktails

Skybar at Mondrian Los Angeles

Must-Order Cocktail: Azul Blue Sky

Ingredients: El Tequileno Reposado, blueberry puree, agave nectar and fresh lime

Style and sophistication combine at this ivy-covered oasis with a crowd that reflects its glamorous aesthetics. The cocktails at Skybar are just as impeccable as the skyline. Order an Azul Blue Sky or indulge in a pitcher with your friends while you sunbathe at the pool by day and dance under the dark blue sky at night. Catch a DJ set every weekend once the sun sets. 

Location: West Hollywood

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Lauren McCarran is a freelance writer specializing in content creation for media outlets. Her work with numerous publications and brands has helped her develop a unique and engaging writing style. Lauren loves to keep a finger on the ever pulsating world of pop-culture while staying in the know of the latest trends and happenings.



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