By Marla Cimini for USA TODAY 10Best

This is the perfect tequila cocktail

Tequila lovers may be familiar with all sorts of cocktails featuring their favorite distilled spirit – from a zesty jalapeno Margarita to a refreshing Paloma to a brilliantly-hued Tequila Sunrise.

But there’s one distinctive tequila drink that’s remained under-the-radar in the United States: "La Bandera."

Image courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

Meaning "the flag" in Spanish, this beverage represents Mexico’s three official colors: red, white and green.

This unique drink gives new meaning to the "power of three," as it’s served in three different double-sized "shot" glasses.

One contains blanco (unaged) tequila, the second is filled with freshly-squeezed lime juice, and the third features a spicy tomato juice blend called "sangrita."

Despite how this drink appears, the purpose is not to do quick shots, but instead to leisurely savor the delightful, complementary flavor combination. Over and over in small sips.

The best part? You don’t need to sip the smooth tequila, tart lime juice and peppery sangrita in any order, either. This drink lets you be you. It’s your own personal preference.

Not surprisingly, La Bandera is often a fixture at special holidays such as Mexico’s Independence Day (in September) and Revolution Day (in November).

In fact, green represents independence in Mexico, while white represents unity. And the word sangrita means "little blood" in Spanish, reflective of the revolutionaries who gave their lives.

Traditionalists who order this drink usually request blanco (white / unaged tequila). When ordering a La Bandera, you'll be asked for your own tequila preference, so be prepared with your favorite.



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