RANKED! The Mandatory 10 Best Tequilas
In the last few decades, tequila has gone from the harsh, potent, hangover-inducing shot of our college years and become a high-quality, well-respected spirit. Sure, in the ’90s and early aughts, you could find high-quality tequila. It’s just that most of our experiences with it back then involved a plastic-handled, super cheap bottle of liquid fire that we’d take pretty much only in shot form, always with salt beforehand and quickly followed with a lime wedge after. That was it. Today, if you even take a cursory look at the tequila aisle at your local liquor or grocery store (or peruse the internet), you’ll find countless highly-regarded, delicious, slow-sipping tequilas on the market.
That’s why we decided to rank the 10 best tequilas you can pick up pretty much anywhere for a reasonable amount of money.
Check out Mandatory merch at our online shop!
Photo: Kevin Twomey (Getty Images)
Mandatory Staff Picks: The 10 Best Premium Whiskeys
Casa Noble Crystal Blanco
If you’ve never tried a tequila from Casa Noble, you’re really missing out. You honestly can’t go wrong with any of the brand’s offerings. But you should start with its Crystal Blanco. It’s super smooth and full of flavors like sweet agave, tart fruit and subtle black pepper.
Photo: Casa Noble
When George Clooney and Rande Gerber launched Casamigos it seemed like another gimmicky celebrity brand. But this tequila is much more than that. You should start with the brand’s blanco. It’s luxuriously smooth and sippable, but also works well in a fresh, seasonal paloma.
This is a bottle for sipping exclusively. Mixing with this offering is not necessary. It’s full of tropical fruit flavors with just a hint of peppery spice at the end. If you do plan to mix with it, don’t add too many flavors. A simple tequila and soda should do the trick while keeping the flavor at the forefront.
El Jimador Silver
Oftentimes, you purchase a bottle of blanco (or silver) tequila only for mixing with no intentions of drinking it straight. But, El Jimador Silver is so smooth and full of flavor, you’ll want to savor it on its own before adding it to a margarita.
Photo: El Jimador
El Tesoro Blanco
El Tesoro Blanco is one of our favorite bottles. It’s rich, smooth, balanced, and full of sweet agave and subtle peppery spice. It’s well-suited for slow sipping or mixing with just a splash or soda water on a cool, summer evening.
Photo: El Tesoro
A favorite of bartenders, Fortaleza Blanco is a bottle every tequila fan needs. It’s well-rounded and full of floral notes, citrus, and just a hint of spice. Just pour it over an ice cube and you’re good to go.
The best part about Hornitos is the price. It’s cheaper than you’d expect for such a high-quality product. It’s full of vegetal sweetness and fresh citrus. It's perfect for sipping or mixing.
Jose Cuervo Especial Gold
There’s a reason Jose Cuervo is the most famous name in the tequila world. It’s reasonably priced and always high quality. If you’re looking for a classic bottle to add to your liquor cabinet, look no further than Jose Cuervo Especial Gold. It’s just as well suited for sipping as it is for mixing.
Photo: Jose Cuervo
If you want, you can start with a bottle of Espolòn Blanco, but you might as well just skip that one and head directly to the reposado. It’s supremely smooth, perfectly balanced, and full of fresh agave sweetness.
Patrón is one of the most popular tequila brands on the planet and its reposado is one of its most popular offerings. There’s a reason for this. This complex, rich, smooth tequila deserves to be sipped on the rocks while you sit around a roaring campfire.