Smoky, sultry, and sophisticated, tequila (and its cousin, mezcal) has come into its own as one of the ultimate spirits for adventurous cocktailers. From herbaceous to multilayered and spicy, these are the nine most creative ways to sip this of-the-moment liquor in Chicago for Cinco de Mayo and beyond.

Tequila Thyme at Nacional 27

Feeling herbaceous? This Latin institution delivers with a satisfying mix of Brugal rum, Casamigos Blanco tequila, strawberry puree, thyme simple syrup, and lime. 325 W. Huron St., 312-664-2727

Morning Margarita at Tallboy Taco

The obligatory margarita mention—but with its tweak to the traditional marg with avocado puree, orange, yuzu, lime, egg white, and mole bitters, this one deserves its spot on the list. 325 W. Huron St., 312-664-2727