Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail

This drink packs a real bang but thankfully doesn’t ask for any last requests.

Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail

When I first read about Charles H. Baker, he struck me as the Indiana Jones of drink and cuisine; traveling the world in the early part of the 20th Century in search of exotic flavors and tasty libations. Baker would write about his discoveries in a number of travel books that are still popular to this day.

On one of his globetrotting adventures in 1937, Baker and a friend found themselves in Mexico City. Provided with chaperones to take them around town, the two travelers promptly ditched their guides and found themselves in a bar called the La Cucaracha Club, or Cockroach Club. Despite the less than savory name, he loved the place and soon discovered a cocktail that he would equally love… the Mexican Firing Squad. With an evocative name and punchy flavor, Baker enjoyed the drink so much that he wrote about it in his book “The Gentleman’s Companion”, which helped its reputation grow globally.

With a tart and tangy mixture of tequila, lime and grenadine, the Mexican Firing Squad had me thinking of those days where Baker would travel to exotic and exciting locales, either by train, steamship or airplane and write about the sights sounds and flavors of a world that was still hard for most people to even imagine, let alone get to visit. I love cocktails with a history, and this is one of the best.

Why is it called a “Mexican Firing Squad”?

Many famous cocktails have had their origins and exact details of invention lost to time, with some of them having many claimants to their fame. The Mexican Firing Squad is no different. The name itself seems to be a reference to the turbulent times that Mexico and the Old West of America, lived through… cowboys, bandits, shootouts… if you were south of the border in those olden days and you ran afoul of the law, you just might have found yourself before a firing squad. Thankfully, the cocktail that bears the name isn’t as dangerous and you don’t have to break any laws to get one. In fact, we recommend that you don’t.

What is the best tequila to use in a Mexican Firing Squad?

I’ve talked about a few tequila-based cocktails here at Twist and Toast, and I’ve usually recommended a Blanco or silver tequila to mix your drinks with. For the Mexican Firing Squad, my recommendation remains the same. I really love a good mid-to-top shelf Blanco tequila… they’re usually smooth, bright and have just the right amount of spiciness to remind you of its roots. And since this drink has some pretty bold tastes to mix with, you want your tequila to blend in with them in just the right way, neither being the only thing you taste or disappearing entirely. A Blanco has the right taste you’re looking for.

Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail
Servings 1
5 minutes


  • 2 oz of tequila usually a blanco or silver
  • 1 oz of lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 oz of grenadine syrup
  • A couple dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Soda water
  • Lime wedge and cherry for garnish


  • Pour the tequila, lime juice, grenadine and Angostura bitters into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
    Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail
  • Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds to combine and chill the ingredients.
    Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail
  • Strain the mixture into a tall glass filled with fresh ice cubes, top it off with soda water, and garnish with a lime wedge and a cherry.
    Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail


Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 14IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail

FAQs & Tips

Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail

Mexican Firing Squad Variations

With popular ingredients such as tequila, lime and grenadine, the Mexican Firing Squad has many “relatives” that you spend some time with and enjoy.

  • Despite being fairly different drinks, one cocktail the Mexican Firing Squad is sometimes compared to is the Tom Collins, with the main difference being the gin and syrup in the Tom.
  • Another drink that the Mexican Firing Squad is similar to that you can seek out and try is called the El Diablo. In this cocktail you use reposado tequila in place of the Blanco, and instead of grenadine you’ll mix creme de cassis in its place. Top it off with ginger beer and you have a bold concoction that’s ready to party.
  • If you do want something similar with a little heat, check out Twist and Toast’s amazing recipe for the Serrano Paloma! Mixing tequila with spicy serrano peppers in this drink gives it an extra kick that’ll have both your mouth and eyes watering, but in a good way.

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