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Tequila Mockingbird

Does any other cocktail have a name quite this clever? It’s doubtful. The Tequila Mockingbird is a wry pun based on Harper Lee’s 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

tequila mockingbird cocktail served with watermelon garnish

Truthfully, the drink itself doesn’t have any particularly thematic connection to the classic book and film, but it is a flavorful, fruity cocktail that’s perfect for a warm summer day.

How to Make a Tequila Mockingbird

You can make the entire drink in a shaker. No blender is needed! 

tequila mockingbird cocktail served with watermelon garnish

Tequila Mockingbird

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Its most noteworthy ingredient is watermelon. Finding the right amount to use gets tricky. Too much watermelon will overpower most drinks, but too little will dilute the other flavors.


  • 2 ounces of tequila
  • 3/4 ounces of lime juice
  • 3/4 ounces of agave syrup
  • 1 slice of jalapeno
  • 3 1-inch watermelon cubes


1. Start by muddling the watermelon cubes and jalapeno slice together in the bottom of a chilled shaker. Don't mash too hard. You only need to extract the juices.

2. Next, add the tequila, lime juice, and agave syrup.

3. Then add the ice. Shake the shaker vigorously for about 30 seconds. When the outside is covered in beads of cool condensation, the drink is ready.

4. Use a fine strainer to block any bits of watermelon and jalapeno. Generally, Tequila Mockingbirds are served either on the rocks or in a chilled highball glass.

5. Garnish with either a lemon or a lime.  


Watermelon-Free Alternate

Although less well-known, a version of the Tequila Mockingbird exists that doesn't use watermelon. Instead, you'll need:

  • 1.5 ounces of tequila
  • 2 ounces of orange juice
  • 1/2 ounces of triple sec
  • 1/2 ounces blue curacao

To make the drink, first fill a glass with ice. Then pour in the tequila and triple sec. Next, pour the orange juice. Finally, add the blue curacao.

Follow the pour list carefully. You don't mix the drink. Instead, you'll let the ingredients naturally settle, which only happens if they're added in the correct order.

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About the Tequila Mockingbird

Unlike To Kill a Mockingbird, which was definitely written by Harper Lee, the creator of the Tequila Mockingbird is unknown. It first appeared during the 1960s, after the release of the book but before the movie.

Also, unlike the novel, the story of this drink is more of a choose-your-own-adventure. You can find countless variations. While almost all Tequila Mockingbird recipes involve tequila and watermelon, some include crème de menthe, blue curacao liqueur, and many other options.   

Its most noteworthy ingredient is watermelon. Finding the right amount to use gets tricky. Too much watermelon will overpower most drinks, but too little will dilute the other flavors.


Although the origins of the drink are unknown, there’s no mystery as to why it tastes so good.

The bold, fresh watermelon helps counteract the bite of the tequila, creating a cool and refreshing cocktail that’s loaded with electrolytes. Enjoy Tequila Mockingbirds all summer long. 

Tequila Mockingbird
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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