Rosita Cocktail

I feel that there are far too few good tequila cocktails available, and so I’m always excited when I encounter a new one to add to my collection. I’m hoping that you’ll appreciate the complex collection of flavors that the Rosita provides as much as I do.

1 1/2 oz silver tequila

1/2 oz sweet vermouth

1/2 oz dry vermouth

1/2 oz Campari

dash of Angostura Bitters


Stir with ice.

Strain into an ice filled rocks glass.

Garnish with a lemon twist.

Serve with straws.


Tim 13 Aug 2007
9:04 am

I can’t even imagine what that would taste like…I’m going to have to try this one out to find out.

Robert Hess 13 Aug 2007
1:51 pm

As I indicate in this episode, it was through an article by Terry Sulivan for GQ magazine that I first encountered the “Rosita” cocktail. I had contacted him about this to try to find out if he knew where it came from, but alas, he did not.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Gary Regan contacted me to find out if I had ever found out the origins of the Rosita. And of course I had to tell him that I hadn’t yet.

However, it was only a day or two later, that I got some e-mail coincidently from Terry Sullivan, telling me that he remembered where he first encoutered this recipe. It was in Gary Regan’s “Bartenders Bible”! Revealing this to Gary, he was rather surprised, and promised to try to find his reference notes from way back then to see if there was anything in them about where “he” got the drink recipe from.

Robert Hess 13 Aug 2007
1:53 pm

Tim… hopefully you’ll be as pleased with it as I am. Please come back and let us know the results!

Johannes Lietz 14 Aug 2007
1:27 pm

The Rosita can also be found in Charles Schumann’s “American Bar”!

Tim Morrison 21 Sep 2007
5:53 pm

Thank you so much for featuring this drink. It has quickly become one of my favorites and I’ve been mentioning it to bartenders here in SF. I had about 6 people drinking them one day at The Slanted Door.

Tim (Not the same that commented earlier.)

Robert Hess 21 Sep 2007
10:09 pm

The Rosita is definately on my shortlist. One of the few Tequila cocktail that really celebrates the flavors of Tequila.

Matt Lefevere 19 Oct 2007
11:19 am

I just tried this drink and I love it.  You can taste every ingredient coming through, it’s nicely balanced, and the bitters bring the drink alive.  Thanks Robert :-)

Robert Hess 19 Oct 2007
2:22 pm

Yeah, it’s one of those very simple drinks which really delivers. Glad you liked it!


blair frodelius 31 Mar 2008
7:23 am


What brand of stirring glass do you have?  I’m assuming it’s a period piece.

Also, I find it interesting that there are so few cocktails made with tequila.  The same can be said of scotch.  And yet, there are plenty made with rye, bourbon, irish whiskey.  Perhaps the odd salty/smokiness of tequilas and scotches (especially Islay) doesn’t play well with others.

Robert Hess 31 Mar 2008
8:04 am

Yes, the stirring glass I’m using in these episodes is an “antique” that I picked up on eBay. I haven’t yet been able to find anybody that is making something like this (glass, with integrated metal strainer).

I have however found out that a friend of mine (David Nepove, aka “Mr. Mojito”) is selling a very nice mixing glass which is “similar” to the one you see in the background shots of many of these episodes., and he also has a wonderful strainer which fits this very nicely:

Scotch has a tendency to over-power a drink, plus with Scotch it can be important, if not critical, to use a particular scotch since they can often vary quite a bit in smokiness, I think both of these issues play a role in the infrequent use of scotch in drinks.

I don’t think that it is quite the same for Tequila. I wonder if it is because many people are trying to simply “hide” the flavor of teqila in their drinks that just makes them gravitate to the Margarita and be happy with that?


blair frodelius 31 Mar 2008
8:18 am


I’ve made margaritas with blanco, gold (which really is a blanco with caramel coloring), reposado and anjeo tequilas.  The more it is aged, the less it works with the lime, plus the visual appeal is lessened quite a bit. 

How about a follow-up episode on sangrita?


blair frodelius 31 Mar 2008
4:30 pm

Here’s one to try:

Tequila Blossom
Fill Highball glass with ice
2oz. blanco tequila
1.5 tsp Maraschino liqueur
3oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

In spite of the juice, this needs to be stirred, not shaken.

A classic style cocktail made with tequila.

Shawn Long 15 Aug 2013
1:23 pm

I have to say tequila is more similar to vodka, not often used in mixed drinks (at least not good ones); plus both of them came into popularity very late compared to the other spirits. Another reason is that the tequilas that used to be made were very bad in quality, unlike today we have lots of premium tequilas, which is why they were mostly taken as shots (with the help of salt and lime to cover up the bad tastes).

One of my all time favourite tequila cocktail (or mixed drink rather) is the Paloma, there’s something about the tartness and bitterness of the lime and grapefruit flavour that just blends beautifully with tequila, and this is enhanced with a tiny bit of salt.

Mugly Wumple 4 Feb 2014
4:09 pm

Given the variability of both palate and ingredients, I found that although this cocktail was pleasant, flavors were so well blended as to be individually indistinguishable, save for the bitterness of the Campari. A bit of experimentation led me to add a couple of dashes of rose syrup. It worked well so I dubbed it the Rosarita.

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