At The Austin Artisan, we love sharing our favorite crowd-pleasing drinks that are perfect for any occasion. 

Whether you’re grilling with your family, hosting a dinner party, or lounging on the shore of Lake Travis, these delicious drinks are sure to liven up your day. The cocktails we selected are not only delicious and easy to make but they’re also packed with summery flavors. 

The Rattlesnake Shot

Rattlesnake shot sits on a table next to snake vase.

The first cocktail on our list is the Rattlesnake Shot, and it’s known for its distinctive look and strong cappuccino flavor (think iced coffee, but on a whole other level). The Rattlesnake Shot gets its nickname from the way the ingredients lay on top of each other without mixing. The end result is three layers or stripes… And when you add a dash of imagination as you look at your shot glass, this little tipple might just resemble a rattlesnake’s tail.

Want to add a Texas twist to your tipple? We suggest giving Texas Dulce Coffee Liqueur a try. Not only does it have that strong coffee flavor–but it offers a base made from prickly pear cactus. We’re pretty sure it is rattlesnake-approved. 😉 

Rattlesnake Shot Recipe: 

Layer the following chilled ingredients in this order:

  1. 1/2 oz. Coffee Liqueur
  2. 1/2 oz. White Creme De Cacao
  3. 1/2 oz. Irish Cream Liqueur

Note: Layering is important here–otherwise you end up with a shot that resembles a milkshake and not a rattlesnake’s tail! So use a spoon to slowly pour in each ingredient. Take your time, and be sure not to “rattle” that shotglass! 

The Cactus Cooler Shot

Beautiful cactus cooler cocktails sit on a table. 

First things first… there’s one thing this cocktail shot does NOT include. And that’s the Cactus Cooler soft drink–a soda inspired by The Flintstones, which we can appreciate. Sadly, the beloved soda is rarely found on store shelves anymore. 

Instead, the Cactus Cooler Shot is a mix of refreshing peach, orange, vodka, and your preferred energy drink. There are a lot of ways to give this cocktail an upgrade. For example, you could take a shot (no pun intended!) at making your own Peach Schnapps using this recipe from The Spruce Eats. After all, peach season is in full swing here in Austin this time of year–and there are tons of Texas orchards to explore! 

But if you want to cut to the chase, here is the basic recipe for a Cactus Cooler Shot. If you want to give it your own inventive twist, feel free to play around with one or more of the ingredients in the recipe. We suggest adding edible wildflowers to give your cocktails a sophisticated flare or mix-and-match the citrus garnish (try swapping out lime for grapefruit).

The Cactus Cooler Shot Recipe: 

1/2 oz. Mandarin Vodka

1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps

Your Preferred Energy Drink

A Splash Of Orange Juice (For an extra boost of citrus flavor use freshly squeezed juice) 

Note: There are two ways to prepare this drink–one is to “drop” a shot glass containing the vodka and schnapps into a larger glass and then drink it that way (if you want to go the Jägerbomb route). The other way is to just mix the ingredients and sip this like a normal cocktail. 

We suggest the latter. 

The Mexican Candy Shot

Mexican candy shot​​

This Mexican Candy Shot is an explosion of sweet and spicy. The flavors of this drink are inspired by Mexican candy–which, if you aren’t familiar, is often comprised of a variety of fruity-flavored sweets covered in a spice mixture (such as Tajin). 

That deliciously tangy flavor translates perfectly into this cocktail. Its got a hint of spice, delicious fruity flavors, and a splash of tequila that is a perfect pre-drink for taco night or a night out.

Mexican Candy Shot Recipe: 

1 oz. Tequila 

1/2 oz. Watermelon juice

Tabasco or any spicy hot sauce (just a dash!)

Lime juice (to moisten the rim) 

Dip your glass into a mixture of sugar, lime zest, and powdered chilies 

Garnish with a lime wheel 

We hope this crafted list of refreshing cocktails will help you beat the heat this summer. You can elevate these featured cocktails with the season’s freshest ingredients–berries, mint, apples, grapefruit, etc. You can also personalize these drinks to align with the theme of your dinner party, or pair with an array of grilled dishes. 

Our Austin chefs live to experiment with flavor profiles and drink pairings. If you’ve got a summer event coming up,  we’d love to discuss an exciting menu with you.