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The Siesta cocktail is a luxurious modern drink that pairs tequila, Campari, grapefruit and lime. Count us as believers!

Siesta cocktail
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Hey cocktail connoisseurs: there’s a new drink in town. Meet the Siesta cocktail! This unexpected combination of tequila, Campari and fresh citrus juice is deliciously intriguing. Each sip is balanced and refreshing, with a sweet tart body and a hint of bitter on the finish. One sip in, we were sold! Here’s a bit more about this modern classic and why it’s one of the best ways to use up your bottle of Campari.

What’s a Siesta cocktail?

The Siesta cocktail is a modern cocktail made with tequila, Campari, grapefruit juice, and lime juice. It was invented in 2006 by New York mixologist Katie Stipe. Some may call it a play on the Hemingway Daiquiri, with the grapefruit juice and lime. But the similarities end there! Instead of rum there’s tequila, a spirit that’s sweet and earthy. Then throw in the mix Campari, a bitter Italian aperitif that was traditionally only used in Italian cocktails.

But the contrasts work. This unique mixture of Mexican and Italian liqueurs layers the flavors in a genius way that lets you enjoy the magic of both. (It reminds us of another favorite modern cocktail, the Paper Plane, which contrasts sweet bourbon and with bitter Italian Aperol.)

Siesta cocktail

More about Campari

Got a bottle of tequila around, but not sure about the Campari? It’s absolutely worth grabbing a bottle for this recipe. Here’s the downlow on this popular Italian spirit:

  • Campari is a bitter Italian liqueur that’s an aperitif: a drink designed for sipping before a meal. It’s part of the family of Italian amaros (amaro means “little bitter”). It was invented in 1860 by Gaspare Campari in Novare, Italy.
  • Campari is bright red in color. In fact, its red color originally came from a dye made of crushed insects! The modern recipe now uses artificial red coloring. 
  • What does Campari taste like? It’s tastes bitter, fruity, and spicy all at once. It’s infused with different herbs and fruits, part of a secret recipe. It’s a rather strong flavor, but mixed into the Siesta cocktail it’s perfectly balanced.

How to make a Siesta cocktail: shake and strain!

The Siesta cocktail is beyond easy to make. Once you’ve compiled the ingredients, all you’ll need is a cocktail shaker. Here’s what to do:

  • Shake: Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and then shake until very cold. (Don’t have a cocktail shaker? Use a mason jar with a cover instead.)
  • Strain: Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. (Don’t have a cocktail strainer? Use a fine mesh strainer instead.)
  • Garnish: If you’d like, add a citrus wedge for the garnish. That’s it!
Siesta drink

More modern classic cocktails

Love the idea behind this Siesta cocktail? There are a few other modern drinks we love that are similar to this one! If you like the Siesta, you’ll love:

When to serve a Siesta cocktail

The Siesta cocktail is a sophisticated and perfectly balanced drink, great for impressing friends. Serve it as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Siesta cocktail

The Siesta Cocktail

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.3 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Siesta cocktail is a luxurious modern drink that pairs tequila, Campari, grapefruit and lime. Count us as believers! 


  • 2 ounces* tequila blanco
  • ½ ounce Campari
  • ½ ounce grapefruit juice
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • To garnish: grapefruit, lemon or lime wedge


  1. Place the tequila, Campari, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 handfuls of ice and shake until cold.
  2. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a citrus wedge if desired.


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Daniellel Dottavio says:

    I put 1/2 tsp of simple syrup. Next time I will leave that out. This is my drink made with ingredients I really like.

  2. Renee A Schwarz says:

    Enjoyed this refreshing cocktail very much. Loved the citrus and the bitter Campari.

  3. David says:

    Loved it!

  4. Darma says:

    Loved this! We floated a lime slice on top — so vibrant pink and pretty! Thanks Alex and Sonja!

  5. Mj says:

    Could I sub aperol for Campari?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes, but cut the simple syrup as Aperol is much sweeter.

  6. Dominique says:

    This is so good!!! My husband and I make it on the regular.

  7. Zach Glickman says:

    This cocktail gave me diarrhea! Not recommended