Behind the Bar: Tequila Edition

brown banner - tequila

Tequila: we all know and—unless you’ve had a bad experience with it—love it. Or you love it anyway.

Below are some kickass book pairings to go with our favorite agave-based beverages. Hold my salt and queue the lime.

Frozen Margarita

Get ready for a brain freeze! Books with frozen margs have something off-the-wall and mindfuck-y about them. At least in my case, you’re not exactly thrilled about this choice. Or are you?

I’d say Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff would be a solid example, just with how crazy and off-the-wall it is. Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore also meets this criteria, though I 100% disagree with Sam on whether it is good or not (it is not).

Margarita On-The-Rocks

My preferred marg. ESPECIALLY if it’s been muddled or infused with peppers. But that’s a personal preference. With a marg on-the-rocks, you want something with killer writing or a killer premise.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab is a great choice. For the spicy version, I’d recommend pairing with something that has magical realism, like She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore

Tequila Sunrise

Obvi this is the most accessible of the tequila drinks since it’s just OJ and a spurt of grenadine. Good for a starter pack and not-exactly-age-appropriate YA novels. 

The Chronicle of Heloise & Grimple by Sean Gibson is a good one for tequila sunrise because it goes down nice and easy. Author A.K. Small would also recommend pairing this drink with her book, Bright Burning Stars.

Tequila Shot

TO THE FACE. Or, ya know, just like your casual everyday sipping shot like an A-dult. Not my thing, but people like it. Either way, sure to pack a punch and sneak up on you when you least expect it. 

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen is a great example. And sometimes you just need to follow with a shot of tequila, a la Kingsbane by Claire Legrand.


Mmmm… smoky loveliness. Not tequila (I repeat for any pro bartender offended by this categorization, NOT tequila), but they’ve both got that agave thing goin’ on. Consider mezcal to be tequila’s more mature older sister, but still a heck of a lot of fun. 

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh fits nicely here, or Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Sometimes books that would go well with mezcal could also go with a deep red wine

See more books we’d pair with good ol’ tequila or other pairings in the Behind the Bar series.

Continually drunk (though maybe not like right this sec), 


Comment below: What’s your favorite read with tequila?

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