The Best Cheap Tequila For Margaritas
May 3, 2021
The margarita is a fun, easy drink thats popular in bars and at parties. It features lime juice and sugar, meaning its pretty sweet right from the get-go. This means that you dont have to be too picky with your choice of alcohol because bad flavors are easily hidden. It also means you can choose from a wide range of flavors sweeten even more with a sweet tequila or balance it out with a more savory, spicy spirit.
Either way, you can go cheap. This is good news for bars as well as frequent party hosts. The best cheap tequila for margaritas is simply one that complements the drink to your taste. Here, weve outlined a selection of super-cheap tequilas that features a flavor palate well-suited to a margarita, whether you want it extra sweet or well-balanced. Many of them work well in other tequila cocktails too.
Just as fun as the margarita itself is the collection of stories behind it. While not a centuries-old cocktail, its history is perhaps one of the biggest mysteries of all. Many people claim to have invented the classic cocktail.
This is a simple, plausible story that many throw around as a talking point, but this bartender has plenty of competition from others who claim to have come up with the drink, citing similar situations with variations on the name Marjorie, such as Margaret.
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Olmeca Altos Tequila Plata
Olmeca Altos Plata is produced entirely of blue agave grown in Mexico’s Los Altos highlands. It’s mildly acidic and sweet with a fruity scent, with herbal overtones of cooked agave.
This is Altos’ most classic style of tequila. According to a Drinks International poll of prominent bartenders worldwide, it is known for its inherent smoothness when drunk and for being a top choice tequila for margaritas among bartenders.
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What Is Tequila Made From
Tequila is made from the extracted juices of the agave plant. By law, tequila must include at least 51 percent Weber blue agave, and the majority of tequilas exclusively use that variety. The agave juice is fermented and distilled, and the tequila is diluted to bottling strength. Tequila destined to be reposado or añejo is aged in wood barrels for two months to a few years. Silver tequila is unaged, but can rest in stainless steel for up to two months. Gold tequila is the only style that can include coloring and flavoring additives.
Best Canned: Zing Zang All Natural
Courtesy of Amazon
Bring the party wherever you go with Zing Zang’s canned Margarita mix. It’s made from just a few ingredients, including agave nectar, cane sugar and a blend of three juicesfresh lime, key lime and grapefruitbringing a bit of Paloma character while retaining a familiar Margarita mix flavor. There is no fructose in this gluten-free mixer.
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Aejo Vs Reposado Vs Blanco
Different tequila types are categorized by how long they are aged. Añejo is aged the longest, followed by Reposado and then Blanco. Añejo is the darkest in color and is excellent for sipping on its own. Reposado will be tan in color and is great for tequila shots or mixing into heavier cocktails. Blanco is clear and is perfect for mixed drinks.
Best Budget: Espoln Blanco
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Floral, Pepper, Pineapple
Theres no need to spend a fortune on good tequila for making Margaritas, though there are plenty of options if you choose to do so. Espolòn Blanco is both an excellent and reasonably-priced tequila, as the brand is highly regarded for its floral, vegetal and fragrant flavors.
Its a delicious tequila with beautiful fruity notes, says Holguin. The agave is grown way above sea level. Its plucked with a high sugar content making for a yummy juice.
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Vivir Tequila Aejo: Best
Price: £39 | Buy now from Master of Malt
The delectable sipping tequila is made from 100% 12-year-old Blue Weber agave and aged in bourbon casks for at least 18 months, sometimes longer. Its incredibly smooth and has a lovely sweetness thats complemented by its aged richness. This is a great tequila to enjoy on its own, but it also makes a deliciously rich margarita.
If youre looking for a complex tipple thats dry and full of flavour, this is it. However, if you prefer your tequila on the milder side, you might want to check out some of the other offerings on this list.
Key specs Alcohol content: 40% Bottle size: 70cl Type: Añejo
There’s A Great Tequila For Every Taste And Budget
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Whether you enjoy tequila shots or want to mix up a great , todays tequila market offers many excellent choices. Blanco tequilas are the most versatile and often preferred because they cost less, while the aged tequilasreposado and añejoare a nice upgrade worthy of the occasional splurge. For most styles, the best tequilas include the words “100 percent Blue Weber Agave” on the label, and you will pay a little extra for premium brands, but the majority of these are relatively affordable.
That means there’s no need to hesitate about mixing any of these best tequilas into your favorite cocktails.
Casamigos Tequila is a perfect introduction to premium tequilas. The portfolio follows the basic grading system for tequilas, which is standard for most brands and includes a blanco, reposado, and añejo tequila.
Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, citrus, cream | ABV: 40% | Region: Jalisco
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What Types Of Tequila Are There
While tequila itself is technically a form of mezcal, there are three main types of agave tequila that you ought to familiarise yourself with before you delve into the world of blue agave-based spirits: blanco, reposado and añejo. Essentially this refers to how long the tequila has been aged for and can also be described as unaged, rested and aged.
Blanco tequila is unaged, meaning that after the distilling process the tequila will be bottled pretty much immediately or aged very briefly.
Reposado tequila is normally aged for a period of two months to a year in barrels . These tend to have a more intense flavour.
Añejo tequila is aged for much longer, often at least three years. It tends to have a much richer, more amber colour and a stronger flavour.
The type you choose depends on your personal taste and, sometimes, what kind of drink youre trying to whip up , but any tequila worth its salt should taste just as good with tonic as it does in a margarita. Yes, you read that right. Tequila and tonic: its delicious and you should try it.
Tequila Partida Aejo $4999
Tequila Partida offers the perfect step into the world of añejo tequilas. Its dark enough for dark tequila lovers, but its also very light with the same sharpness. Overall its definitely one of the best tequilas for margaritas. You can taste the tequilas spice that works great with the margarita mix in making an overall sweet drink with a subtle end burn.
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How To Make A Pitcher Of Margaritas:
Detailed instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a brief overview of how to make pitcher margaritas:
Artenom Seleccion De 1580 Blanco Tequila
ArteNom 1580 Blanco Tequila is created from agave grown at 6,200 feet, putting it in the highland alcohol category.
The aroma is rich roasted agave flavors with ripe pineapple, salty notes, light cinnamon, faint green jalapeño pepper, and dill. It has good taste and complexity right away, and the flavors are beautifully balanced.
The midpalate loses some of the sweetness and introduces white pepper, jalapeño, and cinnamon spice. Things start to dry up in the midpalate, and a little lime is added to the mix. The finish is somewhat dry and a little bit spicy.
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Best High Proof: Herradura Directo De Alambique
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 55% | Tasting Notes: Herbs, Olive oil, Citrus
While most tequila is bottled at 80 proof, there are other options with a higher ABV. One comes from Herradura, a tequila brand owned by beverage giant Brown-Forman. This unaged tequila clocks in at 110 proof, so make sure you are drinking responsibly.
silver tequila has a delicious cooked agave flavor that I enjoy very much, says Holguin. In this expression, the notes are complemented by pepper and herbal flavors, with a slight burn from the higher ABV.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Orange flower blossom, Vanilla, Cinnamon
Wine barrel aging is a technique used by a few tequila brands, including Código 1530. The aged expressions are matured in Napa Valley French oak wine barrels, with the Rosa spending just one month picking up flavors and its comely pink hue. Fermented using a yeast sourced from a small family bakery in the town of Amatitán, the Rosa offers bright agave notes up front before finishing with an unmistakable hint of the cabernet sauvignon that previously occupied the barrels.
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Best Under $: Los Arango Blanco
Region: Guanajuato, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Agave, Herbs
Produced at Tequilera Corralejo in the state of Guanajuato, Jaliscos eastern neighbor, Los Arango Blanco is made with agave steamed relatively quickly in a high-pressure autoclave, then crushed with a roller mill, and distilled in a copper pot. Its one of the best blancos on the market, and at a great price, says Stevie Latona, bar manager at San Diegos Lionfish restaurant. Along with vanilla notes, the toasted agave and fresh herb flavors, he says, create a soft, smooth taste on the rocks or in a cocktail, its one of my go-tos.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Cherry, Mint, Pepper
A NOM is a number used to indicate the distillery in which the tequila is made. To produce this special bottle of ArteNOM, distiller Jake Lustig teamed up with the Camarenas, the family that owns and operates NOM 1579, Jaliscos Destileria el Pandillo. Brick-oven, steam-roasted agave is crushed by a special tahona called Frankenstein, jerry-rigged out of scavenged parts: a junkyard cylinder and an old train wheel axle. After copper pot distilling with a mix of rain and well water, its left to oxidize overnighta key process as oxygen accentuates the blancos fruity nature. Cherry and papaya notes mingle with mint and pepper in a spirit with a big, silky mouthfeel.
Best Overall: Fuenteseca Cosecha 2018
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 45.7% | Tasting Notes: Cinnamon, Olive, Brine
This tequila is a cult favorite among experts, as Yana Volfson, the beverage manager at Cosme and ATLA restaurants in New York, calls it beautiful. Enrique Fuenteseca, the farmer and distiller behind the bottle, chooses the ripest agave in his own estate, subjects the piñas to the autoclave-and-roller mill treatment, and lets the pot-distilled spirit rest in stainless steel tanks afterward for three years. The resulting blanco, says Grover Sanschagrin, is super heavy on the cinnamon, olive, and brine notesits just amazing. Perfect for tequila aficionados, the limited-production Fuenteseca Cosecha 2013 is a worthy collectible.
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Best Spicy: Hella Cocktail Co Habanero Margarita
To add a spicy kick to your Margarita, consider using Hella Cocktail Co.s habanero-infused mixer. The ingredients include just fresh lime juice, sugar and real habanero peppers. This vegan and gluten-free mixer is not overly sweet and provides a nice balance of citrus and spice. And, the habanero helps liven up your drink without being overpowering.
Patron Harvey Nichols Barrel Select Aejo Tequila
Say hello to Patron’s first single cask tequila, a Harvey Nicks exclusive. It’s distilled, then left to mature in a barrel made from French wood for 20 times longer than required to be an Añejo: 33 months. The result is a harvest of just 366 limited edition bottles known as Patron x Harvey Nichols Barrel Select Añejo Tequila.
Sweet and spiced, this Cognac-like tequila is a world away from anything you’ve tried before.
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Cdigo 1530 Rosa Tequila
This tequila is particularly interesting and totally different from anything else on this list. The first thing youll notice is that its not the usual clear colour youll get from a young tequila, instead it has a rose tint to it. Aha! That, my friends, is because this tequila is rested for one month in barrels that previously held Napa Cabernet Sauvignon! This unique process gives the tequila some notes of red fruits that you wont find anywhere else. Put this tequila in a margarita alternative such as a watermelon margarita and youve got yourself a winner.
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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What Triple Sec Is Best For Margarita
Best Triple Sec for margaritas: a quick guide!
- Top choice: Cointreau. Cointreau is great for margaritas because its very smooth: it brings in notes of warm spices and a citrus perfume.
- Second choice: any mid-priced Triple Sec, like Drillaud. Price does indicate quality.
- Splurge choice: Grand Marnier.
Best Tequila For A Margarita Of 2022
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