A bottle of tequila is a bar-cart staple. But if you’re wondering what to do with it beyond taco Tuesday margarita mixers, we can help. Here are seven easy-to-make, surprisingly sophisticated cocktail recipes that make the most of tequila’s peppery flavors.

1. The Paloma

A paloma is a cousin of the margarita. Spanish for “dove,” it pairs the lime in a margarita with grapefruit juice. The simple addition adds a lot of flavor: One sip of it and it might easily become your new favorite tequila-based drink.

Get the recipe: The Best Paloma Cocktail

2. 3-2-1 Ratio Pitcher Margaritas

Margaritas are a popular choice for gatherings and parties, but it’s a pain to make them one at a time. Before you’re tempted to reach for a bottle of premade mixer, check out this pitcher recipe, which is vastly improved by using fresh lime juice. And it’s got an easy-to-remember ratio so you can make a batch as large or small as you need without going back to the recipe.

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Get the recipe: 3-2-1 Pitcher Margaritas

3. The Bloody Maria

The Bloody Mary may be the more popular version of this restoratively spicy tomato-based brunch staple, but we might argue that tequila is the more natural choice for such a bold, peppery drink.

Get the recipe: The Bloody Maria

4. Spicy Pineapple Punch

This punch tastes like it has way more than three ingredients. But it’s as simple as can be: Pineapple juice, tequila, and fresh jalapeños join forces in this summertime crowd-pleaser.

Get the recipe: Spicy Pineapple Punch

5. El Diablo

Tequila isn’t just a summertime drink, though — it’s also great for the fall. Case in point: El Diablo, which uses ginger beer for a drink full of fall flavors. You’ll need to pick up a bottle of creme de cassis for this cocktail, but it’s worth it. The sweet liqueur, which is made from black currants, also makes a delicious spritzer in a glass of sparkling wine.

Get the recipe: El Diablo

6. Strawberry Basil Margaritas

When you’re tired of lime juice, it’s time to start experimenting with other juices — and herbs! While strawberry and basil are classics, you can use the ratios to mix whatever berries and herbs you like, depending on what you have on hand: Blackberries or raspberries are good choices, and mint is a good substitute for basil.

Get the recipe: Strawberry Basil Margaritas

7. The Ultimate Blender Margaritas

If your go-to margarita is slushy and frozen, you don’t have to be stuck heading tothe bar for one: Here’s an easy recipe. It calls for making your own limeade concentrate, which will definitely have the best flavor, but a can from the store saves time and works nearly as well.

Get the recipe: How to Make the Ultimate Blender Margaritas

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