Rosita Cocktail Recipe

Negroni fans take note: here’s the tequila cocktail you never knew you needed.

Rosita Cocktail Recipe

It is not surprising that the origins of the Rosita Cocktail are unclear. Some say it was invented in Tijuana, Mexico, during the cocktail renaissance of the 1950s, when tequila started its meteoric rise in popularity. A recipe appeared in the 1974 edition of the classic “Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide” which featured equal parts tequila and Campari.

Although it was not very popular and disappeared for years, it was later rediscovered and adapted by barman Gary “Gaz” Regan, who found the recipe in his own 1991 cocktail book, “The Bartender’s Bible.” Unfortunately, Regan could not recall where he originally got the recipe. It was later made popular thanks to Robert Hess, who sourced the recipe from an article by Terry Sullivan in the August 1999 issue of GQ Magazine.

But never mind its origin. The Rosita cocktail is an elegant drink that blends European influence with Mexican tradition and a touch of Caribbean spice. It is similar in appearance and taste profile to the Negroni, which includes Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin. Swapping tequila for the gin, the Rosita allows the tequila’s earthiness to express itself in a perfect blend of bitter and sweet flavors, featuring a blend of Campari, two kinds of vermouth, and a dash of Angostura.

Fans of the Negroni will certainly appreciate the Rosita Cocktail’s sweet and bitter flavors. Other similar cocktails include the Boulevardier, which swaps the gin for bourbon, and the Milano Torino, consisting of just Campari and sweet vermouth.

An Interesting Tip for a Variation:

An earlier version of the Rosita Cocktail recipe called for it to be served over crushed ice, which is an option for a refreshing twist in warmer months. Some people prefer to serve it up, without ice, in a Nick & Nora style coupe.

What is the Best Alcohol to Use to Make a Rosita Cocktail?

The traditional Rosita Cocktail calls for Campari, vermouth and tequila, and your choice of spirit will yield different taste profiles in the cocktail. If you want to change the flavor of the traditional recipe, you could substitute the Campari for any Italian bitter cordial such as Aperol, Capeletti, or Luxardo. For sweet vermouth, you can try Dolin, Carpano Antica or Punt e Mes, and for dry vermouth there’s Noilly Prat, Carpano, and also Dolin. Last but not least, you want to use a 100% Blue Weber agave reposado tequila to add a slight oakiness, caramel and vanilla flavors to balance the bitters.

Rosita Cocktail Recipe
Servings 1
5 minutes


  • 1 1/2 oz of Tequila
  • 3/4 oz of Dry Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz of Campari
  • 1/2 oz of Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • Lemon twist to garnish


  • Combine the tequila, dry vermouth, Campari, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters in a mixing glass or shaker filled with ice.
    Rosita Cocktail Recipe
  • Stir the mixture steadily for about 20 seconds or until well combined and chilled.
    Rosita Cocktail Recipe
  • Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice, garnish with a lemon twist and serve.
    Rosita Cocktail Recipe


Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 0.02g | Sodium: 0.4mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 0.1g | Iron: 0.02mg
Rosita Cocktail Recipe

FAQs & Tips

Rosita Cocktail Recipe

Rosita Cocktail Variations

  • Negroni: Rosita’s older cousin, featuring the herbaceous flavors of gin.
  • Tequila Old Fashioned: A boozy tipple that swaps tequila for the traditional Bourbon.
  • Boulevardier: A similar cocktail made with Bourbon instead of tequila.
  • Milano Torino: A bittersweet cocktail of just Campari and sweet vermouth.

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