Matador (Variation)

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Cocktail History

The Matador is a tiki cocktail that was created by Victor Bergeron in the 1970s at Trader Vic’s, his Polynesian-themed restaurant and bar located in Emeryville, California. The original is made with just tequila, pineapple, and lime, but this variation made by Jesse Estes, an agave spirits expert and the author of Tequila Beyond Sunrise, adds Green Chartreuse for additional herbal notes and agave syrup for more sweetness.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Tequila Blanco: This is a spirit made with unaged agave and water. We used Casamigos Tequila Blanco because it has a sweet agave flavor with notes of grapefruit and vanilla. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Agave Blanco Spirit in place of the tequila.

Green Chartreuse: This is a liqueur made in France with over a hundred herbs and plants, spices, sugar, and alcohol. For a mocktail version of this drink, try winter herb syrup in place of the Green Chartreuse.

Pineapple Juice: This is the liquid juice of a pineapple. We used fresh pineapple juice.

Lime Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lime. We used freshly squeezed lime juice.

Agave Syrup: This is a sweetener that is made from the fluid inside agave plants. We made ours at home using Alex’s recipe.

Pineapple Slice: This is pineapple flesh that has been cut into a slice.

Lime Wheel: This is the slice of a lime that has been cut into a wheel shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Chef’s Knife: This is used to cut larger fruits and vegetables into slices for the garnish. We used the OXO Good Grips 8-Inch Chef’s Knife.

Pineapple Corer: This is used to remove the core of the pineapple before it’s juiced. We used the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus, fruits, and vegetables. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer for the lime and the Hamilton Beach Large Juicer for the pineapple.

Tasting Notes

The Matador features aromas of pineapple, lime, and tequila and has a delightfully sweet pineapple-forward taste with unmistakable tequila flavor throughout plus Chartreuse notes in the back of the mouth before ending with a tart and complex herbal aftertaste.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both loved the great flavors and fun complexity this version of the Matador offered, and we will definitely be making it again once the weather warms up.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This drink is very good and quite complex, mostly due to the combination of tequila and Chartreuse. It’s delightfully sweet as a tiki drink should be, but it has some serious herbal character, and the taste of tequila in anything is pretty unmistakable. Although several versions of the Matador are out there, in my opinion, this one is the Matador I’d make again.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I didn’t even realize this was a tiki cocktail until we made it. I guess I’m just used to them having rum bases that when I read tequila on the list of ingredients I assumed this wasn’t tiki, but it was delightfully tasty! It’s a nice break from the classic Margarita or Paloma when you want a tequila drink with a little twist from the Chartreuse.”

Recipe

AuthorTequila Beyond Sunrise

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 ¾ oz Tequila Blanco
 ¼ oz Green Chartreuse
 1 oz Pineapple Juice
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 ¼ oz Agave Syrup
 1 Pineapple Wedge
 1 Lime Wheel

Method
1

Add tequila, Green Chartreuse, pineapple juice, lime juice, agave syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-15 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass over fresh cracked ice.

4

Garnish with pineapple wedge and lime wheel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ¾ oz Tequila Blanco
 ¼ oz Green Chartreuse
 1 oz Pineapple Juice
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 ¼ oz Agave Syrup
 1 Pineapple Wedge
 1 Lime Wheel

Directions

Method
1

Add tequila, Green Chartreuse, pineapple juice, lime juice, agave syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-15 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass over fresh cracked ice.

4

Garnish with pineapple wedge and lime wheel.

Matador (Variation)

Make It a Mocktail: Use Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Agave Blanco Spirit in place of the tequila and winter herb syrup in place of the Green Chartreuse to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Libbey 6425 Footed Beers 10 Ounce Pilsner Glass - 24 / CS
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Luigi Bormioli Regency 17 oz. Pilsner Glass, Set of 4, Clear
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OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef's Knife
OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
Contoured handle design provides control while chopping and cutting; Soft, comfortable handle ensures a safe, non-slip grip, even when wet
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer & Slicer,Silver/Black
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer & Slicer,Silver/Black
Cores and slices whole pineapples quickly and easily; Measurement markings help prevent piercing the bottom of the shell
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Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
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OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
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More Tiki Cocktails

If you like this tiki-inspired cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Ginger Inferno Cocktail Recipe

Ginger Inferno: A rum cocktail made with ginger liqueur, velvet falernum liqueur, lime juice, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, a lime slice, and candied ginger

Jamaican Mule Cocktail Recipe

Jamaican Mule: A rum cocktail made with ginger syrup, lime juice, pineapple juice, Angostura aromatic bitters, candied ginger, a lime slice, and an orchid blossom

Iron Ranger Cocktail Recipe

Iron Ranger: A whiskey cocktail made with pineapple juice, lemon juice, velvet falernum liqueur, cinnamon syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, mint, and a cinnamon stick

Greena Colada Cocktail Recipe

Greena Colada: A rum cocktail made with triple sec, lime juice, lemon juice, Green Chartreuse, velvet falernum liqueur, crème of coconut, mint, and a lime wheel

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-07-17.

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