Jose Cuervo Tradicional Aejo
BEST UNDER $50
Jose Cuervo is a legacy among the best tequila brands, one that has been synonymous with the spirit for over two centuries. That alone warrants its credibility. Its latest release in the Tradicional portfolio, Añejo combines the Cuervo family recipe with a touch of charred American oak to create a remarkably smooth tequila that might be confused for a light whiskey upon first taste. The company matures this blend for 12 months in oak barrels before spending an additional four months in Irish single malt whiskey barrels, adding unique flavors like cinnamon, caramel, and stewed figs to the tequilas already distinctive profile. Priced slightly above the $30 mark, its an amazing value and Fathers Day gift idea thatll warm you and the big guy up any night of the year.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Colleen Graham is a beverage writer with over a decade of experience writing about cocktails and bartending. She has visited tequila distilleries in Mexico, tasted countless tequilas over the years, and wrote a book on the spirit.
Kate Dingwall, a sommelier and spirits writer, updated this roundup. She has been writing about wine and spirits for five years and has visited the Jalisco region over a dozen times. She has even harvested her own agave.
Mi Campo Reposado Tequila
Proudly marrying tradition with innovation, Mi Campo Reposado is a 100% blue agave tequila aged over a three-month period in California wine barrels. This novel process delivers a smoother and more complex profile that tastes far beyond its price point. Its a millennials dream spirit, perfect for sipping or mixing up a paloma without bruising the wallet. I love Mi Campo because its amazingly smooth and a great tequila coupled with amazing value, Luis Morales, general manager of Baby Jane in Miami, Florida, shared. It takes me back to my happiest life moments the second I take a sip. Additionally, the display-worthy bottle showcases striking artwork from Mexico City artist Raul Urias.Price: Starts at $27.99 for a 1L bottle
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Best Under $: El Tequileo Reposado
Courtesy of Total Wine
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Agave, Baking spice, Vanilla, Pineapple
;You can still taste the lovely green and cooked agave amid the baking spice notes and vanilla that come out of the barrel-aging process, says Jamie Gordon, managing partner at Albuquerque, New Mexicos Artichoke Cafe, of this iconic reposado. I get a little pineapple, too, which is one of those flavors youre always happy to find in a spirit.
Gordon also likes El Tequileños story. Founded in 1959 by Don Jorge Salles Cuervo, the brand is now under the watchful eye of third-generation master distiller, Jorge Antonio Salles. It’s the exclusive tequila produced at Jaliscos La Guarreña distillery. It has a history of place, says Gordon, and, most importantly, it’s delicious.;
El Rayo Reposado: Best Mild Reposado Tequila
Price: £37 | Buy now from Master of Malt
This reposado tequila is just the ticket for anyone who wants a wonderfully smooth and equally mild drinking experience. El Rayo Reposado has a very subtle sweetness when first sipped, which quickly turns into a mild spiciness on the finish. Its made from 100% Blue Weber Agave and is distilled in 105-year-old copper stills, before being matured for seven months in whisky casks.
This shorter maturing process is what gives this tequila its lovely mildness, but it does mean the flavour is somewhat lost when used in cocktails. This one shines brightest on its own. So if you want something that packs a bit more punch, we suggest choosing an añejo tequila instead.
Key specs Alcohol content: 40%; Bottle size: 70cl; Type: Reposado
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Gran Centenario Plata Tequila
This tequila hovers somewhere in between a blanco and a reposado. Made with 10-year-old agave from Jalisco, the spirit is aged for 28 days in new French Limousin oak barrelsnot quite enough time to make it a reposado, hence its plata nomer despite its pale gold hue, but still enough to have delicious results. Its a young tequila with more depth and weight on the palate than youd expect; upon sipping you’ll find notes of tropical fruit, a slight smoky aroma, and a white pepper kick at the end.Price: Starts at $29.95;for a 750ml bottle
What Is The Best Tequila For The Money
Best Tequila For The Money3 Amigos Anejo Tequila. 1800 Silver Tequila. Jose Cuervo Gold. 4.4 out of 5 stars. El Jimador Blanco. 4.6 out of 5 stars. Legado Blanco Tequila. 4.3 out of 5 stars. Don Sergio Blanco Tequila. 4.5 out of 5 stars. Cazul 100 Silver. 4.2 out of 5 stars. El Padrino Blanco Tequila. 4.6 out of 5 stars.More items
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Best Gift: Casa Dragones Aejo Barrel Blend
;Courtesy of Casa Dragones
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Nuts, Oak
Our job as bar pros is to be skeptical, but when I took the first sip, I was like, Oh, this is divine, says Chasse. A lot of bottles that people think about for gifting are on the sweeter side, but this one is not super sweet. Instead, the aging program, in both new French and new American oak, lends it complexity and balance.
Chasse finds plenty of peppery spice, nuttiness and a hint of cacao but with a lush mouthfeel that makes Casa Dragones’ tequila feel luxurious. Its sleek, charcoal-colored bottle and turquoise box present the kind of packaging that makes it giftable without wrapping paper.;
Best Reposado: Olmeca Tezn Reposado Tequila
Los Altos is a region of Jalisco, Mexico thats known for producing some amazing tequilas. Its home to the Olmeca Distillery, the makers of Tequila Tezòn. While all of the tequilas are very enjoyable, the brands reposado is superb.
Reposado tequilas are aged for three to nine months, so theyre gently rested and pick up a perfect amount of oak flavors. Tezòn also uses a tahona wheel to extract the juice from the agave, which is an old-fashioned approach that leads to a truer taste. The result is one of the best reposado tequilas on the market and one that anyone will enjoy drinking in any way they please.
Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Roasted agave, leather, pickles | ABV: 40% | Region: Jalisco
Reposado tequila is a great middle-ground for cocktails. The mellow aged flavor can make them a fantastic choice for palomas, tequila sodas, or on the rocks. Blaze LaRoe, Beverage Director at;Chikatana
Before the tequila boom of the last couple of decades, gold tequila was almost the only choice at many liquor stores. This category is a mixto meaning that its distilled from agave plant varietals other than the famous blue Weber. While gold tequilas are not as popular as they once were, theres something appealing about their caramel taste and low price. Youll want to be smart about which to drink, and Two Fingers Gold Tequila is one of the best in this category.
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Best Under $: Teremana Blanco
Courtesy of Total Wine
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Pepper, Citrus, Earth
Leave it to The Rock to have his name behind a classy blanco, which is produced using high-mountain agave roasted in brick ovens and distilled in copper pot stills. Lynette Marrero, bar director at New Yorks Llama Inn, is a fan. Its made in the most authentic way and without any additives, she says, so its great for connoisseurs looking to sip on a serious tequila.” But, she also serves it to people wanting to learn more about the category.
She likes its clean character and wonderful flavor: The agave shines through, complemented by fragrant citrusy and;earthy notes, vanilla and a hint of aromatic peppery spice.;
El Jimador Tequila Silver
Mexicos jimadores are the often unsung heroes of the tequila world. Theyre masters of observing, selecting, and harvesting each agave plant at the peak of its flavor and ripeness. El Jimador tequila pays homage to these men that form the backbone of the agave spirit industry with a clean, authentic, affordable blanco tequila. Its the first spirit I reach for when Im mixing drinks for a crowd, and it makes a mean Margarita or Paloma. But to get the full flavor of the spirit, try sipping it neat or topping it with just a small amount of soda.;
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Calle 2: Best Tequila For Margaritas
Price: £46 |
Sophie Decorbecq, the creator of this smooth, clean and ever so slightly smoky tequila, was a chemist in the cognac industry before upping sticks to follow her passion for tequila. This one is double distilled in traditional pot stills, then matured in oak casks originally used for bourbon. That gives it a delicate complexity: on the nose, you get oak, vanilla and cocoa, while taste-wise its a rich and balanced combination of dried fruit, fresh herbs and vanilla.
Its light for a reposado possibly too light for some but its unique combination of flavours saw it take the gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2009. Great for sipping, and delicious for margaritas.
Key specs Alcohol content: 40%; Bottle size: 70cl; Type: Añejo
What Tequila Is Better For Shots Blanco Or Reposado
Tequila in all its forms can be used in a variety of cocktails. Blanco is generally used in Margaritas and other light, citrusy drinks. Reposado adds the oak and vanilla from the time it has spent in barrels, so it is better used in heavier cocktails, although it will perform very well in a Margarita as well.
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What’s The Difference Between Tequila And Mezcal
You may have heard the rumor that the spirit known as mezcal is simply a smoky version of tequila. In fact, the truth is closer to the reverse of that: the term “mezcal” refers broadly to any distillate of the agave plant produced in Mexico, so the spirit called tequila is simply one specific type of mezcal. While government regulations allow for the production of mezcal in nine different Mexican states, tequila may only be produced in five states: Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, Guanajuato, and certain parts of Tamaulipas. Addionally, while mezcal may be produced from dozens of different agave varietiesresulting in numerous distinct styles and flavor profilestequila may only be produced from the blue Weber agave.
How Is Tequila Made
Tequila is made from the blue agave plant. Its spiky leaves are removed by jimadors to expose the heart of the plant, also known as the piña. The harvested piñas are then crushed and baked in a steam producing brick oven to soften them for shredding.
Once shredded, the pulp is compressed to release the sugary sap of the piñas. This sweet agave juice is diluted with water and yeast is added to begin the fermentation process that lasts approx 4 days).
The fermented agave juice is then distilled by either port or columns stills to extract the alcohol. Finally, depending on the tequila type , it is placed in oak barrels to age.
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Storywood Speyside 14 Aejo: Best Aejo Tequila
Price: £50 |
This luxury sipping tequila is the best añejo we’ve tried. Left for 14 months in scotch whisky casks, it has slightly sweet toffee notes balanced with a rich, oaky flavour. Unlike some longer-aged tequilas, it’s complex, while maintaining a smooth, easy-drinking finish. This makes it ideal both for sipping neat and for use in cocktails, as those delightful flavours still burst through even when mixed with juice.
Don’t just take our word for it, though: the Speyside 14 Añejo won double gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and nabbed a highly recommended medal in the 2020 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, too. It’s also just one of five in the Storywood range and not the only one to win an award.
Key specs Alcohol content:;40%;;Bottle size:;70cl;;Type:;Añejo
Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Extra Aejo
Legacy alone places Jose Cuervo amongst the greatest tequila makers of all time. Reserva de La Familia expands on the brands private stash;by introducing whats been billed as the worlds first extra añejo tequila. It undergoes one of the more unique blending processes, oak-aged for three years and fused with 30-year-old reserved tequila to create a spirit thats akin to a well-crafted scotch. With its mellow flavor profile and velvety finish, whats not love? Now you know why its listed as one of the top 50 most wanted tequilas.
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What Customers Have To Say
A tequila lover stated the glass was beautiful, and she liked how it was quite heavy. Moreover, she appreciates how the glass could hold up to 2 oz of her favorite tequila. Another customer also likes that the glass has the right size to hold her drink. She furthered that even if the tequila glass is made of high quality, it is still reasonably priced.;
Which Tequila Is Better Gold Or Silver
When it comes down to it, silver tequila is better for margaritas than gold tequila. They are aged differently, with silver tequila boasting a stronger, purer taste while being clear in color. Its simplicity makes it the perfect companion to mixed drinks, as it matches beautifully with other flavor profiles.
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Alcohols You Should Just Drink Straight
Staring at the shelves of a local liquor store can be an intimidating experience whether it’s picking out the perfect birthday gift for a liquor connoisseur, or expanding an alcohol repertoire previously reliant on whatever cheap liquor shaped your college experience. Knowing what brands serve up the smoothest, most enjoyable whiskey, rums and more is an important punch in your “achievements of adulthood” card.
But adding booze to mixers and cocktails is all too easy. Masking the antiseptic taste of low-quality vodka with juice, or chasing harsh tequila with a squeeze of sour fruit and salt, doesn’t necessarily heighten your drinking experience. It’s time to put the cocktail shaker down, and up your alcohol-served-neat game.
Choosing a high-quality alcohol means mixers are no longer needed so you can put down the fruit punch-flavored drinks and start drinking like a grown up. These are the alcohols that are so good, you can actually drink them straight.;
Best Value: Pueblo Viejo Blanco
courtesy of Checkersliquors.com
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: White pepper, Agave, Mint
Tequila’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, and the top bottles now command cultish prices formerly reserved for the rarest of Scotches and small-batch bourbons. But there are still plenty of great values for those with the patience to seek them outand it’s hard to think of an inexpensive tequila that over-delivers on quality quite like Pueblo Viejo. A secret favorite in the mixologist comminity, Pueblo Viejo blanco is crafted using 100 percent blue Weber agave, which is cooked in stone and brick ovens and crushed by a traditional rolling mill called a tahona. The classically-made tequila boasts a nose of white pepper and a rustic, unapologetic palate replete with bright agave and fresh mint.
Once you claw your way through the limited-production bottlings and the celebrity vanity projects, you’ll discover that solid tequila can still be found at budget pricesand the Pueblo Viejo blanco is Exhibit A.
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Ultimate Spirits Challenge Best Mezcal
Every year, the Ultimate Spirits Challenge names the “best” in various liquor categories. In 2020, the challenge named Mezcal Vago Elote its top mezcal with a score of 96 points. It’s a unique mezcal in that along with agave in the mash, it is also infused with roasted corn , which imparts unique, un-mezcal-like flavors. The result is a toasty mezcal with flavors of corn, nuts, and agave that’s lightly sweet. Expect to pay around $50 per 750 mL bottle.
El Jimador Reposado Tequila
El Jimador Reposado is well known for its exquisite golden tone, warm seasoned flavors, and a smooth and confident agave flavor that really shines through. This tequila starts its journey with 100% hand-harvested blue Weber agave, which is naturally fermented and double distilled to let you taste the ultimate purity with no unpleasantness added.;
The tequilas aroma is rich with vanilla, toasted wood, fruits, spices, and cooked agave. El Jimador Reposado stays within handmade American oak barrels for two months to achieve its signature flavor, which contains a combination of spice, fruit, vanilla, wood, and subtle toasted hazelnuts.
If you want to create a superb-tasting and classy margarita, try the El Jimador Reposado tequila. This is one of the best tequila for margarita across the globe.
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Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal
Taste a bit of smoke in your cocktail? It’s likely to be mezcal, a Mexican alcohol that differs from tequila in the way it’s distilled, where it’s produced, and which kind of agave it uses. New York Times writer Eric Asimov named Del Maguey Chichicapa his number one pick after sampling several brands back in 2010, when mezcal was on the rise. While it’s quickly gaining popularity in the United States and can be found in bars high and low, drinking it straight is an adventure on its own.
According to the Del Maguey website, Chichicapa, which is named for the village where it’s made, contains “nose of sweet roasted agave and toasted corn, palate of dried fruit and sweet almond,” and “finish of chocolate and mint.” This mezcal is one instance where drinkers aren’t blowing smoke when it comes to being satisfied Emma Janzen from Serious Eats recommends Chichicapa for those intent on “savoring slowly and leisurely.”