The Decadent, Bizarre Margaritas of Netflix's Drink Masters
Skip to main content

Join our newsletter for a shot of tequila news and great deals sent right to your email!


More to Enjoy

  • Whiskey Raiders
  • Rum Raiders
  • Gin Raiders

A Look Inside The Decadent Yet Bizarre Margaritas From Netflix’s Drink Masters Cocktail Competition – Including One Too Dangerous To Drink

Drink Masters

The Cocktails of Drink Masters Are Each More Extravagant Than the Last. Photo: Netflix

Netflix’s Drink Masters cocktail competition is taking the world by storm. Imagine the Great British Bakeoff but with 12 experienced bartenders, elaborate boozy theatrics, a dollop of snarky banter and a $100,000 grand prize. In other words, reality TV gold.

For its premiere, Drink Masters’ 12 bartenders were tasked with concocting their twist on “the world’s most ordered cocktail,” the margarita. By the end of the episode, we were treated to all manner of gourmet jellies, salted foams, fruit purees and more. There was even a drink that judges deemed so dangerous that they refused to drink it.

We’re going to take a look at each and every bizarre margarita in competition, highlighting their ingredients, laborious recipes and presentation whenever possible.

(First Place Winner) When the Smoke Clears – Aisling

Drink Masters

Photo: Netflix

First, we’ll look at the episode’s winning cocktail, When The Smoke Clears. Its maker aptly described it “like a drink and a hug.”

To pull off this winning drink, Aisling rapid infused mezcal with the unexpected combination of pomegranate and morel mushrooms. The cocktail was them combined with white pomegranate seeds, kiwi, and handmade vermouth jellies that the hosts insisted on trying seconds of.

Oaxacan On Top of the World – Kate

Photo: Netflix

Kate’s Oaxacan on Top of the World goes all in on the presentation, featuring a full-blown tribute to an agave field made with chocolate dirt and an orange mezcal jelly wedge.

The main course is a reposado cocktail mixed with clementine, orange and lemon, topped off with a smoked sea salt foam and five-spice syrup. The judges loved both components of this homage to mezcal’s home state.

Deconstructed Margarita – Kapri

Photo: Netflix

It wouldn’t be a cooking show with a deconstruction!

Kapri’s Deconstructed Margarita featured an orange and coriander-infused tequila paired with a tomato lime sangria and sour watermelon jellies – an experience meant to emulate the process of taking a shot, then chasing with juice and a lime wedge.

The sour watermelon jellies were made using a congealant called agar agar, a plant-based gelatin derived from seaweed.

The Fellowship – Meredith

Photo: Netflix

The Fellowship – most likely named after its fantasy-tinted Lord of the Rings-esque presentation – featured dollops of savory spice within a saffron-infused reposado that was mixed with mezcal. If that wasn’t enough, Meredith added saffron-infused ice cubes.

Saffron can prove quite the overpowering ingredient if used in too large a quantity, but the judges thought that Meredith’s cocktail hit the perfect spot.

Bonsai – Suzu

Photo: Netflix

Suzu’s simply titled Bonsai is described as a re-imagination of a bonsai garden as well as an homage to his Japanese roots. The judges loved the clean, delicious flavor and aroma of tea found within, but sadly Suzu didn’t reveal exactly what tea blend was used to make this silky-smooth cocktail.

3-Way Margo – Alex

Photo: Netflix

We’ve arrived at Alex’s infamous 3-Way Margo, which boasted a margarita jelly wedge and a margarita-flavored air that were sadly overshadowed by a dangerous orange-infused sparkling margarita.

The drink spewed a constant stream of frothy bubbles, an effect that Alex achieved by anchoring dry ice to the bottom of the glass. After a moments silence, one of the judges curtly remarked of the dry ice, “if I were to consume one of those pellets, it would stick to my esophagus, it would then create carbon dioxide, and I would choke to death.”

The judges refused even a sip.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day – Natalie

Photo: Netflix

Natalie’s Sunshine on a Cloudy Day Aperol spritz has a presentation befitting of its maker’s career as an Instagram bartender. Inside is tequila, Aperol, lime juice, strawberry syrup and a fluffy prosecco foam.

Sadly, the judges thought it was all style in no substance. And, spoiler alert – it was somewhat bizarrely ranked low enough that Natalie became the first bartender to leave the show, but not Alex and his literally undrinkable dry ice margarita.

Yellow & Red Beets with Honey & Lavender – Loyd

Photo: Netflix

Loyd’s unnamed margarita mixed red and yellow beats with honey and lavender syrup. The presentation was evidently top-notch, but the judges thought that the flavor of beets were an overpowering addition not at home within the flavor profile of a margarita.

Japanese in Mexico – Tao

Photo: Netflix

Tao’s Japanese in Mexico mixed tequila with a signature Japanese flavor blend of sugar snap peas, coconut and yuzu.

The judges loved the cocktail but opined that it couldn’t quite be classified as a margarita.

Beyond Glass Ceiling – LP

Photo: Netflix

Arguably the show stopper in terms of presentation, LP’s Beyond Glass Ceilings mixed blanco and reposado tequila with a handmade “nogave” pineapple nectar syrup and salt foam. The cocktail was sided with a lime jello wedge.

The judges lauded it as one of the very best combinations of presentation and flavor.

Chips & Salsa Marg – Raj

Photo: Netflix

Certainly one of the more “out there” recipes came with Raj’s Chips & Salsa Margarita.

Little was revealed about the contents of the cocktail itself other than the fact that it was topped with a flavorful tomato salsa foam. The judges commended the foam, but thought that the presentation was a little wonky.

The Looking Glass – Michael

Photo: Netflix

One of two cocktails to feature beets as a signature ingredient, Michael’s The Looking Glass used blended beets as a base alongside tequila, orange juice, and agave nectar.

As was said of several of these sometimes too-inventive cocktails, the judges were hoping for it to capture more margarita flavor, but liked it nonetheless.

Here at Tequila Raiders, we do more than write about current events in tequila. We are the only media property reviewing tequilas and aggregating the scores and reviews of other significant voices in the tequila world in one place. If you’re interested in getting a shot of tequila in your morning email, sign up for our Deal of the Day newsletter

This post may contain affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site. This helps support Tequila Raiders at no additional cost to you.

Filed Under:

Follow Tequila Raiders:

Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.