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Cactus Bite Cocktail Recipe

Updated on November 17, 2012
4 stars from 1 rating of Cactus Bite Cocktail

Say ‘tequila,’ and the first cocktail that comes to mind is likely to be a Tequila Sunrise or a Margarita. The truly adventurous may think of a shot with some salt and a wedge of lime, or even taking the dare and eating the worm – although that’s mezcal, not tequila. These are all good cocktails, but there are other options.

One of those options is the Cactus Bite. At a guess, the cocktail got its name for the tequila, made from agave. If that’s the case, then technically, the Cactus Bite should have been the Lily Bite, because no matter what it looks like, agave isn’t a cactus (yes, it’s related to the lily family). And the ‘bite’ part is a bit misleading. Sure, tequila has its bite, and the lemon juice adds a pleasant bit of sour, but they’re well balanced by the sweetness of triple sec and Drambuie. Imagine a good Margarita with a smoky touch.



  • 2 oz. tequila, silver
  • 2 oz. lemon juice, fresh
  • 2 tsp. triple sec
  • 2 tsp. Drambuie
  • 1/2 tsp. superfine sugar
  • dash Angostura bitters
  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Serve garnished with an orange twist.
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 4.5 oz. (approximate)
Calories 236
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 15 g5%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Occasionally, a version of this recipe will call for sweet and sour mix instead of fresh lemon juice and sugar. It’s surely a tempting shortcut. After all, it’s quick and easy, and it can even be pretty inexpensive. Why not eliminate all the tedious cutting and juicing when it can be as simple as opening a bottle?

Well, while Oscar Wilde famously said “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it,” he was also a famously bad example. Don’t just make a cocktail, make a good cocktail, with the right ingredients. If you want to take the Cactus Bite up another notch, use Cointreau or Grand Marnier instead of triple sec. Some tequila cocktails do well with a reposada or even an anejo tequila, but in this case, stick with a silver tequila, or a gold if you prefer the color. Drambuie is based on aged Scotch whisky, and that’s plenty of aging for this cocktail.


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