Siesta Cocktail Recipe

Mixed with Campari and Tequila, you won’t want to sleep on the full-bodied Siesta Cocktail.

Siesta Cocktail Recipe

When I think of Campari, I think of James Bond’s father-in-law, Marc-Ange Draco, who loved one on the rocks in the afternoon when he wasn’t drinking Corsican Brandy. I also think of my current favorite cocktail, the Negroni. An equal mix of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, my first taste had me hooked. Both bitter and sweet, I had never tasted anything quite like it. And apart from the Americano, I wasn’t aware of any other cocktails that were served with the bright red Italian liqueur.

Until I heard about something called the Siesta Cocktail… This drink is relatively new to the scene, especially since many of our classic cocktails have been around hundreds of years. In the grand scheme of mixed drinks, the Siesta Cocktail is still just a kid.

Katie Stipe, a talented and creative mixologist, invented the Siesta while working at the Flatiron Lounge in New York City. It was around 2006 when she came up with a complex and sophisticated alternative to the Margarita and Paloma. Taking a Hemingway Daiquiri and riffing on it like a jazz musician, Stipe swapped the rum for tequila, then made a brilliant discovery in taste when she switched out the maraschino for Campari. The drink began to catch on, and spread through the city to other bars as its popularity grew. In 2011, the Siesta was featured in Jim Meehan’s The PDT Cocktail Book, cementing the drink’s reputation as a modern classic.

If you’re still curious about Campari after diving in to the Siesta, check out Twist and Toast’s classic Negroni recipe here.

Is there a Campari substitute?

A lot of folks tend to find Campari a little too bitter for their palate, and will often substitute Aperol for it. Aperol is a little lighter, both in flavor and color, and is often used in sparkling wine spritzers. For me, Aperol has a bit of a sour aftertaste that is coupled with its sweeter flavor. That tends to work well with very specific drinks, like a spritz. If you find that Campari has a flavor that is too strong for you, give the Aperol a spin.

What is the best tequila to use to make a Siesta Cocktail?

A good, smooth Blanco tequila will play well with the bitter red Campari. As the liqueur has a pretty bold taste, the Blanco’s won’t fight with it as they come together. The fascinating combination of Mexican and Italian flavors come together best when they’re not clashing. I found that a spicier Tequila, like a reposado, competes too much with the Campari and distracts from the cocktail’s overall experience. Some folks might like that though, so experiment with it. Finding your flavor is part of the fun.

Siesta Cocktail Recipe
Servings 1
5 minutes


  • 2 ounces Tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Campari
  • 1/2 ounce Lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 ounce Simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce Grapefruit juice freshly squeezed
  • Garnish: Grapefruit wedge
  • Ice cubes


  • Put all the ingredients (Tequila, Campari, lime juice, simple syrup, and grapefruit juice) into a cocktail shaker.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until it is thoroughly mixed and chilled.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a wedge of grapefruit.


Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

FAQs & Tips

Siesta Cocktail Variations

Love the Siesta Cocktail and want more Campari drinks? Did you try and love our Negroni recipe? Check out some of these other recipes from Twist and Toast:

  • Rosita Cocktail – Here’s another Campari and Tequila-based cocktail that “you never knew you needed”.
  • The Americano – The first cocktail James Bond drank in the Ian Fleming novels is a bubbly concoction of Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water. An easy and delicious recipe!
  • Classic Aperol Spritz – Still find Campari too bitter? Then check out our recipe for the Aperol Spritz, featuring the lighter-tasting alternative.

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