Back to The Distiller

3 Summer Fruit Cocktails with ISH Tequila

The newest addition to ISH's non-alcoholic spirits lineup, Mexican Agave Spirit, is a perfect one-to-one replacement for reposado tequila. Yes, you can use this tequila expression in a margarita, but we were so inspired by its oak barrel-aged flavor that we wanted to experiment with it in everything!

Based in Copenhagen, ISH is a non-alcoholic wine and spirits producer obsessed with flavor, which is why they spent 18 months perfecting Mexican Agave Spirit. Their perfectionism certainly paid off! Like GinISH and RumISH before it, Mexican Agave Spirit tastes just like the real thing.

Here are three appropriately fruity summer cocktails that go beyond the basic margarita, paloma, and Bloody Maria to showcase its smoky, pleasantly vegetal flavor.

40ºISH North Margarita

Because of its Mexican origins, tequila is most often used in cocktails with citrus and tropical fruits. We wanted to shake things up a bit and show the versatility of ISH Mexican Agave Spirit, which is made in chilly Copenhagen. This zero-proof cocktail is a distinctly northern twist on the berry margarita, using flavors found 40º or more above the equator (hence the name). Rather than orange juice or triple sec, we used Wilderton Lustre, a bitter orange and herbal non-alcoholic botanical spirit made in the Pacific Northwest. Pucker inducing, but deliciously floral, gooseberries yield a beautiful, fuchsia color, and we reduced the amount of lime juice to account for their sourness. If you can't find gooseberries, you can substitute blackberries or any other tart berry.

Tasting Notes: tart green grapes, multiple citrus juices, fresh agave cactus, with a slightly floral, tropical note reminiscent of pineapple or passion fruit


  • 2 ounces ISH Mexican Agave Spirit

  • ¾ ounce Wilderton Lustre

  • ½ ounce simple syrup (like Liber & Co. Classic Gum Syrup)

  • ¼ ounce lime juice

  • ¼ cup fresh gooseberries, stems and tails removed


  1. Pour all ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth, except for some dark red specks of gooseberry skin.

  2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a chilled coupe glass. (Optional: salt the rim of the glass first.)

  3. Serve immediately.

Halcyon Sunset

Chamomile tea, best known as a folk remedy to help you sleep, might seem like an unlikely ingredient to mix with tequila, a spirit with a reputation as a party animal's drink, but the flavor profile of this pairing is actually quite old. According to Mexican cocktail lore, the original margaritas were mixed with a liqueur made from damiana flowers, which have a scent and flavor quite similar to chamomile. Here, a simple honey syrup infused with chamomile tea adds a complex but comforting sweetness to ISH Mexican Agave Spirit and punchy ruby red grapefruit. Take a mindful moment in between sips to allow the flavor of the soft, cozy chamomile finish to fully develop on the palate.

Tasting notes: complex but comfy: juicy, sweet, with a soft but earthy, herbal-floral, vanilla bean finish


For the Chamomile Honey Syrup:

  • 2 tbs raw, unfiltered honey (it should be solid or semi-solid at room temperature)

  • 2 tbs boiling water

  • 2 teabags of chamomile tea or 1 tbs loose chamomile tea (see note)

For the Halcyon Sunset:

  • 1 ½ ounces ISH Mexican Agave Spirit

  • ¾ ounce Chamomile Honey Syrup

  • 2 ounces fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice

  • garnish: grapefruit slice (optional)


To make the Chamomile Honey Syrup:

  1. Add the honey to a small jar with a tight fitting lid.

  2. Pour the boiling water over the honey and stir until you have a uniform syrup.

  3. Add the chamomile teabags (or loose leaf tea, if using) to the syrup and cover the jar with the lid.

  4. Allow to steep at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.

  5. Squeeze as much liquid out of the tea bags as possible. If using loose leaf tea, strain through a fine mesh sieve into a new jar.

  6. Can be made in batches and kept in the refrigerator, tightly closed, for up to two weeks.

To make the Halcyon Sunset:

  1. Pour all ingredients over ice in rocks glass.

  2. Gently stir to combine.

  3. Garnish with grapefruit slice and serve immediately.

Note: Make sure to use single ingredient chamomile tea that contains only chamomile with no other ingredients.

Pineapple Garden Sparkler

This zero-proof cocktail uses both ISH Mexican Agave Spirit and Optimist Botanicals Fresh, a non-alc spirit packed with crisp, green flavors like basil, tarragon, oregano, and lime zest. With the addition of a simple shrub made with fresh pineapple, this drink is a tropical garden in a glass. Make sure to use fresh pineapple, or fresh frozen, for the shrub. Canned pineapple is way too sweet and lacks the unique, complex flavor of the fruit on which the flavor profile of this cocktail depends. Once you've strained the shrub, you can also eat the remaining, lightly candied pineapple- it's delicious on buttery pound cake, vanilla ice cream, or better yet, both!

Tasting notes: bright, tropical, crisp, caramelized pineapple, oak, fresh herbs


For the Pineapple Shrub:

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup white vinegar

  • 3 cups coarsely chopped pineapple (fresh or fresh frozen)

For the Pineapple Garden Sparkler:


To make the Pineapple Shrub:

  1. Stir together sugar and white vinegar in a small saucepan over medium low heat until the sugar dissolves completely.

  2. Add pineapple, breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon to release the juice.

  3. When most of the pineapple is crushed, increase heat to high until liquid comes to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and cover saucepan.

  4. Let simmer for 30 minutes.

  5. Pour mixture into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Cover and allow to cool, then place in refrigerator overnight.

  6. Strain shrub through a fine mesh sieve, pressing against the pineapple pieces to extract as much liquid as possible. Store pineapple pieces separately for use on toast, cake, ice cream... or just eat with a spoon!

  7. Shrub will keep in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar for up to a week.

To make the Pineapple Garden Sparkler:

  1. In a highball glass, stir together Pineapple Shrub, ISH Mexican Agave Spirit, and Optimist Botanicals Fresh.

  2. Fill glass with ice.

  3. Top with seltzer to taste.

  4. Garnish with pineapple slice..

  5. Serve with a straw.

While we made all of these drinks with ISH Mexican Agave Spirit, feel free to use any non-alcoholic tequila that you have on hand. Or experiment with some of the other tequila alternatives in our shop to see how they influence and change the flavors of these cocktails. Try them out and let us know which you like best!