Cantarito is a Mexican cocktail prepared by mixing tequila with different citrus juices and grapefruit soda. The citrus juice may be from limes, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, or a mixture of different citrus juices.


What is Cantarito?

Cantarito is a Mexican cocktail prepared by mixing tequila with different citrus juices and grapefruit soda. The citrus juice may be from limes, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, or a mixture of different citrus juices.

  • Because of this drink’s flavor profile, it is a common alternative for the Paloma cocktail.
  • The cantarito is a very popular in Mexico and is often served at parties and celebrations.

Some of the best Mexican cocktails include:

  • Margarita
  • Mezcalita
  • Michelada
  • Sangrita
  • Paloma
  • Cantarito
  • Matador
  • Vampiro
  • Tepache
  • Agua Fresca

Origin of cantarito

The cantarito originated in Mexico in the state of Jalisco. This is also where tequila was invented. Many of Mexican cocktails prepared with a base of tequila comes from this region. The cantarito is usually served in a clay pot or cup, traditional to the country, known as jarrito de barro. The name of the cocktail is actually derived from the name of the cup. You will find this cocktail in most traditional Mexican bars.


Nutritional profile for cantarito (1 glass):

There is some evidence that links tequila consumption with increased lifespan, which is credited to the reduced insulin-like signaling. Moreover, orange juice favors pregnant women because it promotes fetal growth, but the benefits may be cancelled out if consumed with alcohol. Additionally, limes have a high concentration of vitamin C, which keeps the immune system healthy. Also, it provides antibacterial, antioxidant, and phytochemical properties, which are excellent for good health. In addition, lime juice can help protect the heart, liver, bone, as well as prevent urinary diseases. 

Lemon juice contains plenty of different flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which are powerful antioxidants. Traditionally, lemon juice has been used as a treatment for high blood pressure, common cold, sore throat, and irregular menstruation. Regular consumption of lemon juice can also help in lowering the risk of stroke, cancer, and asthma, while increasing iron absorption, immune system functioning, and weight loss.

Grapefruit juice also contains naringin, a flavonoid which improves glucose tolerance in people with diabetes. However, overconsumption of the cocktail can lead to several health problems, including affecting the brain’s functioning patterns and general lowering of immunity. Liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, stroke, and different types of cancers are also resultant from drinking cocktails. The presence of the grapefruit juice makes this cocktail incompatible with certain drugs such as medications for regulating blood pressure, suppressing the immune system, sedatives, and AIDS medicines. 

Commercial production

To prepare cantaritos, the main ingredients required are freshly squeezed lime, lemon, orange, and grapefruit juices, tequila, and grapefruit soda. The tequila most favored for this drink is the blanco. The preferred grapefruit soda is Squirt or Jarritos. Wedges of fresh citrus fruits, preferably grapefruit, are used as a garnish. The drink is usually served in a traditional Mexican style clay cup called jarrito de barro. In the absence of this type of cup, it may be served in highball glasses. 

First, the cup is soaked in water for a few minutes to ensure that the drink can remain cold. Once it is taken out, the rim is dipped into chili lime powder. Then, crushed ice is put into the cup, and then the tequila and citrus juices are poured in. After that, salt is added for flavor. The whole is topped off with the grapefruit soda. 

Cantarito recipes

Cantarito is an easy to prepare cocktail that may be consumed at different occasions. Here are a few recipes.

FDA regulations

Tequila falls under the purview of the TTB and is defined as a spirit distilled in Mexico in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Mexican Government from a fermented mash derived principally from the Agave Tequilana Weber and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume. The FDA defines orange juice as the unfermented juice obtained from mature oranges. The juice must not contain seeds, peel, or excessive pulp. Orange juice must have at least 11.8 percent concentration. Also, lime juice must have at least 24.5 percent concentration. 

However, the FDA defines lemon juice as the unfermented juice obtained from ripe lemons from which seeds and excess pulp are removed. The acidity of concentrated lemon juice must not exceed 15 percent of the acidity of the finished food. The FDA defines grapefruit juice as the unfermented juice obtained from ripe grapefruits and intended for direct consumption. The juice must not contain seeds, peel, or excessive pulp. Grapefruit juice must have at least 10 percent concentration. 


Huang, Cheng-Wen et al. “Tequila Regulates Insulin-Like Signaling and Extends Life Span in Drosophila melanogaster.” The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences vol. 70,12 (2015): 1461-9. doi:10.1093/gerona/glv094, 

Is it time to rethink how much you drink?, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School,

O’Neil, Carol E et al. “100% orange juice consumption is associated with better diet quality, improved nutrient adequacy, decreased risk for obesity, and improved biomarkers of health in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003-2006.” Nutrition journal vol. 11 107. 12 Dec. 2012, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-107,