Matador Cocktail

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Cocktail Type


Great for

Dinner Party



A classic Matador Cinco de Mayo cocktail

The Matador cocktail, or el Matador if you are feeling fancy, is a classic sipping cocktail that’s as complex as a bullfighter’s footwork. It may only have three ingredients, but each one has depth and character and when shaken together, they create a timeless cocktail that refuses to be forgotten.



Pre-chill your glasses in the freezer for at least 1 hour before serving. 


Serve in a coupe glass for an authentic 1930s drinking experience.


Sip the Matador slowly. As it warms, more aroma and flavour compounds will be released.



1 Person

30 Ml

1 Oz

1 Parts

30 Ml

1 Oz

1 Parts

30 Ml

1 Oz

1 Parts

Lemon peel, to garnish (optional)



Halffill a cocktail shaker with ice


Add the tequila, orange liqueur and vermouth


Shake for 30 seconds then strain into a chilled coupe glass, garnish and serve immediately 

History of the Matador cocktail

The Matador cocktail recipe might be simple, but its history is a little more complex. Legend has it that the first version of it appeared in the Café Royal Cocktail Book published in 1937, and it featured tequila, orange liqueur, and dry vermouth. This is the original version that we’re making today.   

The second and more common version is credited to Trader Vic’s—an American restaurant and tiki bar chain. Vic’s tequila matador cocktail is a tropical riff on a Margarita, but uses pineapple juice instead of orange liqueur. 

Whatever the real story is, we’re just happy this iconic Matador cocktail survived through the ages.


The Matador has worn many guises over the years and some versions even include mezcal. If you want to learn what makes mezcal different from tequila, then walk this way. Another way to customise your tequila matador cocktail is to play with different tequila types like Espolón Reposado Chardonnay. It is aged in American oak and finished in chardonnay barrels for a truly unique drinking experience. Or if you’re looking for something a little more festive and warming then check out our very merry bourbon Christmas cocktails.

When to serve

The original Matador cocktail is perfect for celebrations or special occasions. It brings a touch of nostalgic class to any event which your guests will appreciate. On the other hand, Trader Vic’s Matador will fit in at any party or event whatever the theme. 

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Reposado is tequila that has been aged for up to one year in oak. This gives the tequila a beautiful golden colour, helps mellow the strong agave flavour and infuses it with flavours of the barrel.

Grand Marnier is a blend of French cognac and bitter orange liqueur. It has a complex flavour profile, and it is used in many high-end cocktails.

Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth is a fortified white wine that is infused with a secret blend of botanicals. It can be enjoyed neat, on ice or as a base for cocktails like our tequila Matador cocktail.

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