Thursday, June 30, 2011


The "Picador", from W.J. Tarling's 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book (Coronation Edition). Another of Tarling's darling early Tequila recipes. 

The Picador

1.5 ounces (45 ml) Tequila
3/4 ounce (22 ml) Cointreau
3/4 ounce (22 ml) fresh Lime or Lemon Juice

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. 

As simple and tasty as this is, you may want to make two. A Picador is one of a pair after-all, (a "Picador" is one of the two horsemen that spear the bull in a Spanish bullfight with a lance.).

Can't decide between lemon or lime? Try one of each!


  1. The lemon variation is curious. The lime is just a Margarita. It is still rather surprising that there were tequila recipes in a British cocktail book in the 1930s.

  2. Thanks! We made it a tequila evening with the Picador and the Tia Juano (both with Hacienda Sotol) then the Spirit of Agave with Milagro Anejo and Scorpion Silver Mezcal. Ole!

  3. Hi Frederic, "The lime is just a Margarita" is certainly right! In 1935-6 when Tarling would have been writing this book, to have so many tequila recipes, including this precursor to the Margarita, is just part of what makes this particular book so dear to the hearts many a British barkeep. The lemon does makes for an interesting variation, I do think Tarling's lemons would have been a bit smaller and more bitter (and from Spain)- still more akin to limes of today than to modern lemons, but modern lemons seem to work just fine here - making for a "tequila sidecar" if you will.

  4. Sounds like you had a great time making some seriously good tequila cocktails Drew!

  5. Ted Haigh suggested in an LA Times interview that the margarita could easily have been an English invention, and he points to Tarling's Picador recipe (and the similarity to the Sidecar) as circumstantial evidence.

  6. Just gave this another shake up, this time with Olmeca Altos and the Leopold Brother's American Orange Liqueur. I love the Leopold's! I was going to ask if this was "just a margarita"...
    Thanks again!