Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails


A Hemingway Daiquiri meets a Margarita in this classic from Katie Stipe.

Siesta cocktail served in a coupe glass and garnished with grapefruit peel, shot against marble backdrop / Tim Nusog

When Katie Stipe created the Siesta in 2006 at New York City’s now-closed Pegu Club, tequila classics beyond a handful of well-known drinks, like the Margarita and Paloma, were few and far between. 

“Our cocktail Rolodex was greatly lacking in solid agave-based recipes,” says Stipe, who is now the bar and events director at Voysey in Portland, Oregon. “Tequila and mezcal really took off in the years to follow and there was a high guest demand for cocktails with agave spirits.”

Stipe created the Siesta as a Hemingway Daiquiri riff, swapping the classic’s white rum base for a blanco tequila and replacing the typical maraschino liqueur with bitter Campari. Firmly rooted in the tradition of drinks in the sour category, the Siesta’s tequila and lime juice make it an unlikely cross between its Hemingway inspiration and a Margarita variation.

Although Siesta specifications have often varied in the years since its creation, Stipe shared her original recipe below. “My personal palate prefers savory and tart, so a heavier 0.75-ounce portion of lime juice and a scant 0.75-ounce pour of simple [syrup] with just a pinch of kosher salt plays well to the bitter notes of Campari and directs it more into a Margarita-style cocktail,” she says.

Since its inception, the drink has undeniably become a modern classic—and for good reason. “I’ve met bartenders in cities all over the States that have used the Siesta as their back-pocket recipe and use it as a gateway cocktail for guests who may not love bitter [flavors] or just want to stretch beyond the simple Margarita,” says Stipe.


  • 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila

  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed

  • 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup

  • 1/4 ounce Campari

  • Garnish: grapefruit peel


  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake with ice until well-chilled.

  2. Fine-strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a chilled coupe glass.

  3. Garnish with a grapefruit peel.

How to Tweak a Siesta, To Taste

“The original recipe still holds strong, but just like other classic cocktail specs you can always tweak or play with measurements to get a slightly different result,” says Stipe. To highlight the bitter component of the cocktail, she suggests dialing back the simple syrup to a half-ounce and increasing the Campari to a half-ounce. For a “more robust agave presence,” she recommends bumping up the tequila component to 1.75 or 2 ounces. Stipe also notes that you can serve the drink over cubed ice, crushed ice, or even frozen.

What’s the Best Tequila for a Siesta?

A blanco tequila is ideal for sour-style cocktails, as its crisp and citrusy notes blend seamlessly into citrusy drinks. Stipe recommends Mi Campo Blanco, El Tesoro Blanco, and Siete Leguas Blanco.

What’s in a Hemingway Daiquiri?

A classic Hemingway Daiquiri contains white rum, maraschino liqueur, and lime and grapefruit juices. Named after author Ernest Hemingway, who was said to have shied away from sugary drinks, a much drier version of the cocktail was likely created in the 1930s at Havana, Cuba’s El Floridita bar. It has since evolved into the more balanced recipe that is served today.