The rich, smoky flavor of tequila can be a bit overwhelming for an afternoon cocktail or during a sultry summer night. To create something a little lighter, add the clear sweetness of Sprite and garnish with your favorite fruit. The result is a simple drink that is sophisticated and still refreshing.

The simplest way to make a tequila and Sprite cocktail is to model it on a rum and Coke. Fill a tall glass with ice and add a shot of tequila. Pour cold Sprite on top, and serve either plain or garnished with a lemon, lime or orange slice.

Rich with the aloha good feelings of fresh pineapple juice, this variation on the Acapulco cocktail is the perfect drink for an evening on the lanai. Add roughly equal amounts of tequila and pineapple juice to a lowball glass filled with ice. Add slightly less tequila for a milder drink. Fill the glass with Sprite and stir gently with a swizzle stick.

If you need more of a wake-up at brunch than the usual mimosa or bloody Mary offers, an Alabama Slammer might be the drink for you. Pour 1 part tequila and an equal amount of coffee liqueur into a chilled highball glass; top it off with 2 parts Sprite.

The key to creating your own signature tequila and Sprite cocktail is in balancing the flavors. Too much fruit juice or sweet liqueur and even the carbonation in Sprite will not cut through a cloying taste. Too many strong alcohol flavors and the light bubbliness of the Sprite will be lost. Balance the sweetness of an almond or orange liqueur with the tartness of cranberry or grapefruit juice. Substitute tonic water for 1/4 to 1/2 of the Sprite when making drinks that include raspberry or strawberry liqueur. Finally, consider the quality of your ingredients. The better the quality of your tequila, the fewer things you’ll want to dilute it with.

Tips

Some recipes call for all of the ingredients to be mixed in a cocktail shaker, but it’s never a smart idea to shake carbonated beverages.