A cazuela voladora is a traditional Mexican cocktail that is typically made with tequila, grapefruit soda, citrus juice, and a sprinkle of salt. The cazuela drink is served in a shallow clay pot and is meant to be shared among friends.
CAZUELA VOLADORA: A COMMUNAL COCKTAIL
I learned to make this cazuela drink recipe with my friend Ana and her mother on one of their trips to Colorado and it’s the ultimate fruit cocktail for gatherings, large and small! I love the colorful fruits as well as the communal aspect of this drink. The key is that it be served in a cazuela de barro, passed around (voladora means flying, so cazuela voladora translates to the flying clay bowl), and enjoyed in a group setting.
WHAT IS A CAZUELA?
Cazuela refers to a traditional clay pot used for cooking stews and casseroles in many Latin American countries, particularly in Mexico and South America.
“Voladora” translates to “flying” in English, and given that this cazuela drink is meant to be passed from friend to friend, it takes flight as it’s shared.
“Cazuela” or “cazuela voladora” is also used to describe this traditional Mexican cocktail that is similar to a Paloma, but served in a large bowl instead of in individual glasses. For more on the history of cazuelas, check out the NPR article, Travel with My Cazuela.
HISTORY OF THE CAZUELA MEXICAN COCKTAIL
The cazuela cocktail has been enjoyed in Mexico for many years, and its origins are unclear. Some say it was first created in La Barca in the state of Jalisco, where tequila is produced, while others believe it may have originated in a beach town like Acapulco or Mazatlan.
WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE
Refreshing and flavorful: The cazuela Mexican cocktail is a delicious and refreshing drink that combines the tartness of citrus juice with the sweetness of grapefruit soda, making it a perfect choice for a hot summer day.
Fun to share: The cazuela drink is typically served in a large clay pot with straws, making it one of the easiest drink recipes to share with friends and family. This communal drinking experience adds to the fun and festive atmosphere of any gathering.
Easy to customize: Cazuelas de tequila are easy to customize to your personal taste. You can adjust the amount of tequila and grapefruit soda to make it stronger or weaker, and you can also add more of your favorite fresh citrus juices (lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit) or chili powder to give it a unique twist. You can also leave out the alcohol altogether and make it a Mexican mocktail.
- Small ruby grapefruits
- Lemons or limes
- Grapefruit soda such as Squirt, Fresca, or Jarrito
- Coarse sea or kosher salt
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
This cazuela drink is easy to make and even tastier to enjoy – especially with friends and family.
Cut and arrange fruit: Some citrus will be sliced and arranged in the bowl while the remaining fruit will be juiced. Chunky citrus wedges also look pretty in this drink as long as they’re cut into bite-sized chunks.
Extract fresh juice: Extract and pour fresh citrus juice directly into the bowl.
Add liquids and ice: Add tequila and grapefruit soda and then top it off with ice.
Mix, serve, and enjoy: Sprinkle with salt, mix, and enjoy drinking this tequila-laced libation directly from the cazuela, with or without straws or serve in individual glasses, a wide-mouthed glass jar, or long-stemmed jumbo margarita glasses. Be sure to include sliced fruit in each glass!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The cazuela drink is a refreshing and citrusy drink with a slightly sweet and sour taste. The grapefruit soda gives it a distinctive tanginess, while the tequila adds a warm, earthy flavor.
The basic ingredients of cazuelas de tequila are tequila, grapefruit soda, lime juice, and salt. This variation also includes orange and grapefruit juice and also adds the sliced citrus when served.
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Cazuela Voladora de Tequila
- Cutting Board
- Citrus press or juicer
- Large cazuela or large shallow bowl
- 2 small ruby red grapefruits
- 2 large oranges
- 2 large lemons or limes
- 8 ounces tequila (rum or mezcal also work in this cazuela recipe)
- 36 ounces grapefruit soda
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt (Diamond Kosher or sea salt work best)
- Prepare Fruit: Slice 1 grapefruit, 1 orange, and 1 lemon and arrange in a large clay bowl.
- Extract Fresh Juice: Extract juice from remaining citrus and pour directly into bowl.
- Add Remaining Liquids: Pour in tequila, grapefruit soda, and top with plenty of ice.
- Mix and Enjoy: Sprinkle with salt, mix, and enjoy drinking directly from the cazuela, with or without straws, or serve in individual glasses. Be sure to include sliced citrus in each glass!
A Note from Lola
Recipe Originally Published: January 29, 2016
Lola’s Cocina is a small business that earns various revenue streams. This includes sponsored posts and affiliate commissions from linked products, which I use and love. This commission is an agreement between Lola’s Cocina and retailers, with no extra cost to readers. This income helps sustains the site. Thanks for reading!
Lola Wiarco Dweck
Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.