Get a taste of Mexico with this Cantaritos cocktail. Drinking out of clay cups is as much fun as this citrusy drink!  Made with grapefruit, orange and lime juice, topped with tequila and grapefruit soda – Salud!

A clay cup with a cocktail garnished with a slice of grapefruit.

My hubby and I just moved to Portugal from Arizona and this is my first post after the big move! It’s starting to feel a little like spring here and to celebrate I’m sharing this delicious Mexican cocktail recipe.

Cantaritos in Mexico

This cocktail is a popular cocktail in Mexico, made with fresh citrus juice, grapefruit flavored soda, and tequila. This Cantaritos recipe, full of juicy grapefruit flavor, is a delicious alternative to a Paloma!

Cantaritos is actually the name of the clay cup and you’ll see them in most traditional restaurants and bars throughout Mexico. Some places even have huge cantarito cups. They make a humongous drink and the process of making it is part of the show. Sounds like so much fun!

Reasons to love this cocktail

  • It is a perfect brunch cocktail: You can mix this cocktail up for brunch just like a classic Paloma.
  • Sweet + tart: Nobody likes an overly sweet cocktail. This one has a bit of sweetness from soda and tartness from the citrus. The bubbly from the soda also adds a nice bite and fizz.
  • Perfect for entertaining: When you are hosting a fiesta you want simple recipes that are also fun. This recipe is perfect for any gathering for those reasons.
Three clay cups with filled with a cocktail and topped with a slice of grapefruit and lime.

The Cantaritos Clay Cups

One of the reasons for drinking out of clay cup is the delicious flavor it gives to whatever you’re drinking. It adds a mild earthy flavor that tastes very organic. Delish!

If you can’t find cantaritos near you (sold at most latin stores) or online, it’s okay to enjoy this drink in a regular cocktail glass. But if you do use cantaritos, then you may need to follow the steps below to cure them and ensure your cocktail is a success!

3 empty cantarito clay cups.

How to cure unglazed clay cups

  • Rinse with warm water (no soap!).
  • Place in a large pot or container and fill with cold water until the cups are covered all the way to the top.
  • Soak for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • When you’re done with your drink, rinse with water only.
Ingredients Icon Graphic.

Important!!

Follow these steps each time you use them for a drink. This saturates the clay with water prior to adding your drink. It helps stop your cup from absorbing your cocktail and “sweating” it.

A large pot with the clay cups placed in there filled with water.

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Tequila – Blanco or Silver tequila works well here.
  • The Juice – Make a juice blend of fresh orange, grapefruit and lime juice.
  • Soda – Use a grapefruit flavor like Jarritos or Squirt
  • For fun, you can add chamoy and chili lime powder to the rim of the cups

** Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

Oranges, grapefruits and lime cut into slices placed on a white plate.

How to Make a Cantaritos Cocktail

  1. Squeeze the fresh grapefruit, orange and lime juice into a cup.
  2. Fill one cantarito with crushed ice.
  3. Add a shot of tequila, then add half of the fresh juice mix, then top with grapefruit soda. Mix well to incorporate all the flavors together.
  4. Sprinkle some chili lime powder if you want and garnish with fresh citrus slices.
  5. Repeat for the second drink.
A glass with citrus juice plus squeezed oranges and grapefruits next to it.

Variations

  • Optional: Coat the rim of the cantarito with grapefruit or lime juice then dip with salt or use chamoy and chili lime powder (like tajin).
  • Try Mezcal instead of tequila. Mezcal offers a deeper, smokier flavor you might enjoy.
  • Want it a little more sweet? Add a splash of simple syrup.
  • If you want to save calories instead of using Jarrito’s grapefruit soda (which is most often used in Mexico) or Squirt, use Fresca soda which has zero calories.
Three cantarito clay cups with filled with a cocktail and topped with a slice of grapefruit and lime with a bottle of tequila in the background.

What’s the Best Tequila for Cantaritos? 

I recommend blanco (silver) tequila for Mexican cocktails. It’s light, fresh, and easy to drink. No need to waste your best tequila bottle here!

Why? The citrus flavor will overpower any delicate finesse to the flavor of a higher-end tequila. Blancos are more agave-forward in flavor and work beautifully for cocktails like this classic Cantarito! 

A cantarito cup with a cocktail garnished with a slice of grapefruit.
MORE OF MY Favorite…

Mexican Cocktails Recipes

pe be sure to leave a rating in the comments below. You can also tag me on Instagram at @anafriasb.?

A clay cup with a cocktail garnished with a slice of grapefruit.

Cantaritos Cocktail Recipe

Servings 2 cocktails
Ana Frias
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Get a taste of Mexico with this Cantaritos cocktail. Drinking out of clay cups is as much fun as this citrusy drink!  Made with grapefruit, orange and lime juice, topped with tequila and grapefruit soda – Salud!
2 cocktails

Ingredients  

  • 3 ounces tequila or mezcal
  • Crushed or cubed ice
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • ¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice (½ large grapefruit)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Squirt soda
  • Chamoy optional for the cup's rim
  • Chili lime seasoning optional for the cup's rim
  • Lime or orange slices for garnish

Instructions 

  • Squeeze the fresh grapefruit, orange and lime juice into a mixing cup.
  • Fill one cantarito with crushed ice.
  • Add a shot of tequila, then add half of the fresh juice mix.
  • Lastly top with grapefruit soda next. Mix well to incorporate all flavors together.
  • Sprinkle some chili lime powder if you want and garnish with a fresh citrus slices.
  • Repeat process for the second drink.

Muy Delish Notes:

Cure the unglazed clay cups before your drinks time

  • Rinse with warm water (no soap!).
  • Place in a large pot or container and fill with cold water until the cups are covered all the way to the top.
  • Soak for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • When you’re done with your drink, rinse with water only.

Add Your Own Private Notes

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 118mg | Sugar: 12g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

A Cantarito cup with a cocktail garnished with a slice of grapefruit.

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10 Comments

  1. Great recipe. Confused by the k next to calories. When I look it up it says kcal is equal to 1000 calories. I’m sure there isn’t 155,000 calories. ?? I’m not sure why the k is there or what it means. Several recipes for Cantarito have it listed with kcal and 150kcal to 190kcal. Thanks.

  2. 5 stars
    Just delicious! We are making the Cantaritos with Las Mezclas, natural fruit cocktails made with real Mezcal Espadin adding a bit of Topo chico!

  3. 5 stars
    “Cantaritos Cocktail is a popular cocktail in Mexico. It is a traditional drink that consists of tequila, lime, and orange juice.

    This is a must try cocktail. Thank you for sharing the article.”

  4. I had this drink once when I was in Cuernavaca and loved it, I think they also added lime sherbet. I can’t wait to try it! thank you