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I created this strong but smooth, easy-drinking blanco tequila cocktail in honor of my friends Marissa and Jamie, whose podcast The Dreamcatchers features real people doing inspiring work. Catch our episode wherever you listen to podcasts.

The Dreamcatcher blanco tequila cocktail with chartreuse in a rocks glass garnished with star anise
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Why we love this recipe

With just four ingredients, this blanco tequila cocktail has a lot to say. Green Chartreuse brings out tequila’s herbal, spicy characteristics while also adding just enough sweetness. Fresh lime and grapefruit juices round out the balanced flavor profile and make this strong cocktail almost — almost — too drinkable.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

blanco tequila, green chartreuse, grapefruit, lime, and star anise
  • You’ll start with a good blanco tequila. I tend to stock Casa Dragones, and that’s what I used to make this cocktail. This top-shelf tequila is about as smooth, sweet and herbaceous as a mid-priced blanco could be. For a mid-shelf, somewhat more affordable option, Don Julio would also be a good choice. You can learn more about the different styles of tequila in the section below.
  • Green Chartreuse contributes sweet, spicy, and herbal characteristics to this drink. You can learn more about it in the FAQ section below.
  • Freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juices combine to make a smooth, well-rounded tartness. There’s no substitute for freshly squeezed lime juice. For the grapefruit, I prefer to squeeze fresh, but if you’re making a large batch for a party you can get away with using a good-quality cold-pressed juice from the refrigerator section of the grocery store.
  • Star anise has a mild, fragrant licorice flavor that highlights the same notes in the chartreuse. It makes a beautiful garnish.

Types of tequila

Maybe more than any other spirit, tequila means many things to many people. There are three basic styles, one very different from the next. All real tequila is made from 100% blue agave.

  • Blanco: This clear spirit is bottled right after distillation or held in stainless steel tanks for up to four weeks. It retains the flavors and intensity of agave.
  • Reposado: This golden-colored, “rested” tequila has been aged in wood barrels for anywhere between two and 11 months. Its flavors draw partly from the agave, partly from the wood.
  • Añejo: This mahogany-colored, “old” tequila has been aged between one and three years. Its flavors tend to be the most nuanced and complex.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a Dreamcatcher blanco tequila cocktail. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour in tequila.
  2. Pour in Chartreuse, lime juice, and grapefruit juice.
  3. Shake well, until very cold.
  4. Strain into an ice-filled single old-fashioned glass. (You could also serve it up — i.e. without ice — in a cocktail or coupe glass.) Garnish with a star anise and serve.

Expert tips and FAQs

Is tequila gluten-free? Is it vegan?

Yes! Real, good-quality tequila made from 100% blue agave is both gluten-free and vegan. Lesser-quality “mixto” tequilas may not be gluten-free.

What the heck is Chartreuse?

Since 1605, Chartreuse has been produced in France by Carthusian monks from a secret recipe that includes 130 plants. Green Chartreuse, the original product, rings in at 110 proof and is stronger and less sweet than the lesser-known yellow variety. It adds spicy, herbal, and sweet characteristics to this cocktail.

Green Chartreuse is also gluten-free and vegan. (In case you’re wondering, Yellow Chartreuse is gluten-free but not vegan since it includes honey.)

Can I batch this cocktail for a party?

Sure thing. To make eight drinks, combine in a pitcher up to three hours before serving: 2 cups blanco tequila, 3/4 cup green chartreuse, 1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1/2 cup water. Stir, cover, and chill until serving time. When ready to serve, divide among ice-filled rocks glasses and garnish each with a star anise.

More favorite cocktails using these ingredients

The Dreamcatcher blanco tequila cocktail with chartreuse in a rocks glass garnished with star anise

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The Dreamcatcher blanco tequila cocktail with chartreuse in a rocks glass garnished with star anise
4.69 from 22 votes

The Dreamcatcher (A Blanco Tequila Cocktail)

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
I created this signature cocktail for my friends Jamie and Marissa and their inspiring podcast The Dreamcatchers. Green Chartreuse pairs beautifully with the tequila to bring out its spicy, herbal and citrusy characteristics while adding just the hint of sweetness you need to take the edge off. Meanwhile, fresh lime and grapefruit make this strong cocktail almost too drinkable.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
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Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces (60 ml) blanco tequila (we used Casa Dragones)
  • ¾ ounce (22 ml) green Chartreuse
  • 1 ounce (30 ml) freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce (30 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Star anise, to garnish

Instructions 

  • Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice.
  • Pour in tequila, Chartreuse, grapefruit juice, and lime juice.
  • Shake well, until very cold, and strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with star anise and serve.

Step-by-step video

Notes

  1. I tend to stock Casa Dragones, and that's what I used to make this cocktail. This top-shelf tequila is about as smooth, sweet and herbaceous as a mid-priced blanco could be. For a mid-shelf, somewhat more affordable option, Don Julio would also be a good choice. You can learn more about the different styles of tequila in the post above.
  2. For the grapefruit juice, I prefer to squeeze fresh, but if you're making a large batch for a party you can get away with using a good-quality cold-pressed juice from the refrigerator section of the grocery store.
  3. If you prefer, you can serve this drink up in a cocktail glass.
  4. If you like, you can batch this cocktail for a party. To make eight drinks, combine in a pitcher up to three hours before serving: 2 cups blanco tequila, 3/4 cup green chartreuse, 1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1/2 cup water. Stir, cover, and chill until serving time. When ready to serve, divide among ice-filled rocks glasses and garnish each with a star anise.

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktails
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. This was really nice. I would agree that a bot of agave nectar would really balance it out.

    Would warn against Casa Dragones tequila though. Really not a good product. It’s a diffuser made tequila so rather artificial. It allows them to use the whole plant (even the bitter parts) because it strips all the flavor, the tequila flavor is then manipulated back into the product. At the price point Tres Agaves and other additive free single source tequilas are a much better option.

  2. I found adding 1/4oz of simple syrup really helps balance the acidity from the 2oz of citrus and bring out the flavours better

  3. Hi there, love this recipe but this holiday Have some folks who can’t have grapefruit. What would you recommend as a substitute?

    1. Hi, Julie! Especially for the holidays, I think it would be great with freshly squeezed orange juice subbed in for the grapefruit. Hope your guests love it. xx

  4. Some tequilas (and mezcals) may not technically be vegan. Of couse it depends on your definition of vegan. Some brands use animal labor to transport the harvested agave, or to pull the tajona (large stone wheel) around and around in a circle to crush the cooked agave.