The 20 Best Tequilas For A Killer Margarita
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Reviewed by Tania Shamshur & Jason Holmes
A chilled margarita glass might be one of the best ways to end a stressful day. And in most cases, the spirit of choice for making margarita is no other than tequila. Though there are many tequila brands, some are exceptional for making margaritas.
So to help you choose the right one, we have compiled the best tequilas for margaritas that can satisfy your cravings. Let’s jump right in.
Best Overall: El Tesoro Blanco Tequila
Best Agave Flavor: Ocho Tequila Plata
Most Refreshing: Cascahuin Blanco Tequila
Best Bargain: El Tequileño Blanco Tequila
Best Herbal Taste: Pasote Blanco Tequila
Best for Beginners: Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco
Cleanest Finish: Don Pilar Blanco Tequila
Best Traditional: Lalo Blanco Tequila
Best Splurge: Cazcanes No. 9 Blanco Tequila
Best Zesty Flavor: ArteNOM Seleccion de 1580 Blanco Tequila
Best Mineral Taste: Terralta Blanco Tequila
Best Sweet: Olmeca Altos Tequila Plata
Best Spicy: G4 Blanco Tequila
Best Mild Flavor: Siete Leguas Blanco Tequila
Richest Flavor: Fortaleza Blanco Tequila
Most Meticulous Process: Casa Noble Blanco Tequila
Most Versatile: Milagro Silver
Best Aromas: Mijenta Blanco Tequila
Best Fruity: Calle 23 Blanco Tequila
Most Sustainable: La Dama Tequila
El Tesoro Blanco Tequila is a delicious and mouthwatering tequila perfect for making margaritas. The tequila is produced by La Alteña Distillery, owned by a community of artisans committed to making exceptional tequila.
El Tesoro means "the treasure," a name to honor the founder's legacy, Don Felipe Camarena, and the traditional methods used to make their tequila that results in rich, agave-forward tequila.
Moreover, El Tesoro Blanco Tequila is one of La Alteña Distillery's six tequila variations. We like that it is bottled immediately after distillation, resulting in a perfectly smooth, light taste for margaritas.
It garnered a Double Gold Medal at the International Spirits Challenge in 2020 and 91 Points at the Beverage Testing Institute Awards in 2020. Whether looking for the perfect tequila for margarita or giving it away as a gift, the El Tesoro Blanco Tequila is an excellent choice.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Smooth and rich with a sweet and salty taste and smell. Complemented with pepper, citrus fruits, vanilla, and other spices.
Ocho Tequila is a premium tequila made with a passion for expressing the full agave essence. It was founded by Carlos Camarena, a third-generation tequilero, and Tomas Estes, the man who brought tequila culture to Europe.
Ocho Tequilas (including Tequila Ocho Plata) are made by hand and go through a fine production process to express the 100% additive-free maximum agave flavor. This results in a smooth and flavorful tequila profile, perfect for any occasion.
Whether hosting a party or enjoying a night out with friends, Tequila Ocho Plata will help you create the perfect margarita.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Medium to full body with an immediate cooked agave taste and smell. Layers of tropical, earthy, licorice, and peppery notes.
Tequila Cascahuín is a unique brand that has been around since 1904. They make their tequilas following a traditional style with the best ingredients and aging processes to give you an authentic taste experience like no other. Four generations have passed, yet Tequila Cascahuín has continued to break boundaries with its unique flavors and aromas.
The outstanding Cascahuin Distillery in El Arenal is among the best in the lowland. They exclusively utilize the finest, completely mature agave and symbolize an authenticity that has been lost in practically all but a small number of tequila makers.
Cascahuin Blanco has a hint of minerality, which is characteristic of El Arenal, Jalisco. Cooked agave's primary scents and natural flavors are reminiscent of the brick ovens that enable the agave to retain the fresh citrus sensations.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: A burst of cooked agave with herbal and grassy notes. Hints of underripe bananas, citrus, pepper, and minerals.
For the past 60 years, El Tequileño Blanco has been the tequila of choice for residents of Tequila and Guadalajara. Only the most outstanding ingredients are used to manufacture this high-quality tequila, 70% agave and 30% Piloncillo (handmade unrefined Mexican sugar cane).
El Tequileño combines estate-cultivated Blue Agave from Jalisco's Los Altos region with mineral-rich water from El Volcan de Tequila. El Tequileño is just a few distilleries that have access to this rare water source.
This silver tequila is aged in American Oak for 14 days, adding balance and depth. We love that this incredibly versatile tequila works well with many of your beloved cocktails, including the Batanga, Margarita, Paloma, and more.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Wonderful aroma of cooked agave, with a hint of herbal notes and delicate anise. A touch of spicy pepper with a long finish.
Pasote Tequila’s history goes way back to the 19th century when Don Felipe Camarena and his family-owned and operated a tequila distillery in Jalisco until it was demolished during the Mexican Revolution.
After the havoc, Don Felipe decided to sell his most treasured agave, which various distilleries bought. His passion for tequila didn't end there as he built his distillery and was able to introduce it to the public in 1937.
Tequilas from Pasote are carefully made and composed of 60% spring water and 40% mix of rainwater. Most tequilas are made with 50% spring water, and the additional 10% of Pasote is enough to incorporate the unique qualities of spring water, such as earthy minerals, into the recipe.
The Pasote Tequila Blanco boasts its herbaceous aroma reminiscent of roasted agave, fresh lime juice, and celery. The tequila Blanco is soft and silky on the mouth, with an obvious minerality. We also noticed rich citrus notes that move toward taro root, salt, and jicama simultaneously.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Mainly herbaceous and vegetal with cooked agave, citrus, salinity, minerals, pepper, and earthy tones.
Casa Dragones is owned by Bertha González Nieves and business partner Robert Pittman, who established the company in 2009. Bertha González Nieves is famous for being the world’s first Maestra Tequilera and was featured in Forbes Magazine’s list of the 50 most powerful women in Mexico.
Casa Dragones got its name after a brave and noble cavalry, one of the Mexican independence movement pillars, called the Dragones. Pittman is the current owner of a house that happened to be the Dragones’ clubhouse, where the group spent a lot of time.
The Casa Dragones Blanco’s nose starts with a robust scent of roasted agave, leading to rich notes of black pepper, citrus, and alcohol. We like that it offers a smooth mouthfeel and notes of black pepper, anise, and mint that welcome your mouth gracefully. Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco is a mild drink, making it one of the best tequila for margaritas.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Perfect balance of herbaceous and sweet with green apple and grapefruit with a hint of spice.
Don Jose Pilar Contreras is the mastermind behind the success of Don Pilar Tequila, which started with humble origins. He already owned an agave ranch in Mexico before moving to the USA. He worked different jobs, from fruit picker to restaurant owner, until gaining success as a tequila entrepreneur.
Don Pilar Blanco Tequila is made from 100% Blue Agave grown on the farm in the beautiful Highlands of Jalisco. Don Pilar, a native of these marvelous lands, produces this exceptional tequila using unique, artisanal techniques.
The Agaves are hand-picked and collected at their optimal maturity, then cleaned and steam-cooked in autoclaves for a whole day. During the 200-hour fermentation process, Don Pilar Tequila is fermented with Champagne yeast and refined with the help of Baroque music.
This crystalline liquid boasts aromas of baked agave, complemented with lime and pineapple. One can sense the slight sweetness and crispness that moves to a clean, zesty finish on the palate.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Clean and crisp with notes of baked agave, pineapple, and light pepper. Light and smooth mouthfeel with a citrus finish.
The Lalo Blanco Tequila brand was named after the owner Eduardo González who was usually called Lalo. Their tequila is 100% pure, natural agave, yeast, and water, and it used to be sold exclusively to Lalo’s family and friends from Guadalajara.
They take pride in their production process, following a traditional cooking process to distill their recipe only two times to retain the original qualities of their agave. Furthermore, barrels are not needed as they only specialize in a Blanco expression.
The initial nose is of vegetal agave, with a pronounced sweetness from the vanilla. Cinnamon and pepper spice hints are also nicely balanced by contrasting citrus notes. A hint of butter and caramel also adds an extra level of depth and richness.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Very present agave flavor in aroma and flavor, paired with cinnamon, sweet potato, dulce de leche, and a citrus and pepper contrast.
Cazcanes is committed to producing the purest tequila possible by preserving its pristine environment. They work in harmony in their boutique-style distillery and ensure that every bottle of their delicious white spirit contains only top-quality ingredients like 100% Weber Blue Agave from Mexico.
No. 9 Cazacanes Blanco's handmade glass bottle houses a delectable 100-proof liquor. A well-rounded flavor profile is formed by the clean, dry taste that pervades sweet floral notes with just a trace of black peppercorn.
Furthermore, this tequila won the coveted San Francisco World Spirits Competition awards for the best tequila and best unaged white spirit in 2018. With this, it received the highest possible rank of double gold for the second year in a row.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 50% | Tasting Notes: Black pepper, grapefruit, and anise with a floral nose and candy corn notes. Smooth, long, and floral finish.
Mexican distillery ArteNOM recently changed ownership, resulting in the need for a new NOM number. The former NOM 1079 is now 1580, and this rebranding is reflected in their new batch of tequila.
Gabriel Lopez-Garibay is the master distiller at Rancho El Olvido. The agave used in this tequila is grown in Jess-Maras, where the soil is rich in lava. This high concentration of lava results in agave plants with higher levels of Brix of sugar.
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, light cinnamon, salty notes, dill, and green jalapeño pepper.
Things start to dry up in the mid-palate, and a little lime juice is added to the mix. The finish is somewhat dry and a little bit spicy.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Full of zesty flavors from lime and lemon, complemented with pineapple, green olives, mint, and baking spices.
Terralta Tequila is Felipe Camarena's fourth brand project, produced at the renowned El Pandillo distillery in Jesus Maria, Los Altos, with his two sons, Alan and Luis. The water utilized at El Pandillo originates from a deep well, 150 meters deep in the earth, where minerality and soil reign supreme.
Terralta Blanco Tequila reflects the rich qualities of the location where their agave source grows. The soils of Los Altos are distinct from those found in other parts of Mexico. Unlike the hard, rocky soils of the Valley of Tequila, the soils of Los Altos are softer and rich in iron, which provides a red coloring.
Terralta Blanco tequila has green vegetal aromas like fresh jalapeno and balanced cooked agave and white pepper hints. We like that the agave is harvested at peak ripeness before roasting in brick ovens and pulverized with a traditional stone, tahona. It's an excellent sipping tequila and is one of the best for margaritas.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Slate-like notes with minerality and earthiness alongside fresh peppery flavors and a minty and tarragon finish.
Olmeca Tequilas are made at the Destileria Colonial de Jalisco, where Jesús Hernández and his team of dedicated workers operate it. The Master Distiller ensures that every step from harvesting to bottling has been done correctly.
Jalisco’s highlands are known for producing some of Mexico's sweetest agave produce. Award-winning Olmeca Altos comes from 100% blue agave grown in this region.
Its production methods preserve the natural sweetness that evolves during aging, as no other type can. Olmeca has been slow-cooking their agaves before transferring them to copper pot stills to get distilled.
Tastewise it's mildly acidic and sweet with a fruity scent and 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 among Blanco tequilas for margaritas among bartenders.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Fresh and clean with a present but not overwhelming herbal notes of steamed agave. Blanched with lime and lemon sweetness.
G4 sounds like a cool, edgy, and interesting name, but it's just a shortened term for Four Generations of tequila mastery. Heirloom family recipes and traditions are maintained in the pursuit of crafting pure luxury tequila at G4. However, Felipe Camarena and his sons also thought that innovation doesn't have to mean sacrificing quality.
Felipe Camarena's expertise in tequila reaches its pinnacle with G4 Tequila. It is made with 50% collected rainwater and 50% natural spring water with an aroma and taste like no other. It features pure agave and synergy with nature that no other tequila can match.
G4's nose comprises mostly mineral and agave notes with a light herbal and vegetal scent. We tasted cooked agave, with traces of black pepper, butter, and smoke balancing the notes nicely. It has a clean and fresh finish, and a slight heat is present and lingers throughout.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Bold spiciness of peppers and cardamom and a hint of vanilla with cooked agave nectar.
Siete Leguas is regarded as a pioneer and excellent producer in the industry in Mexico and the United States. It has undoubtedly gone the "seven leagues," with its roots dating back seven generations. They were once the original producers of Patrón Silver as they got their business off the ground and are now a best-selling preferred brand in Mexico.
Siete Leguas sets itself apart by utilizing two distilleries for its production. A batch is produced in El Centenario Distillery, where they follow traditional methods such as using a 2-ton stone wheel and wild yeasts. The other batch is produced at La Vencedora Distillery, following more modern methods.
It is a full-bodied, 100% agave tequila with vibrant and striking silvery hues. Any connoisseur can immediately distinguish the symphony of beautiful aromas accentuating the delightful grapefruit citrus notes, the delicate mint, and the full-cooked agave with enhanced peppery and spice tones. The agave's nature is always distinct, whether alone or as a mixer.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Crisp onset followed by pepper hints that leave behind cooked agave notes. Silver-hued body with rich earthy and smoky aromas.
In the field of agave spirits, Tequila Fortaleza is perhaps one of the most outstanding, artisanally crafted Tequilas. It has garnered a following of connoisseurs unparalleled by any other label, with only 15 years on the market since its establishment in 2005.
Tequila Fortaleza follows a laborious process known as the tahona method, a technique that has been around for ages and is considered an ancient method. What's distinctive about this method is that some sugar is left behind.
The process starts with 36-hour slow cooking of the agave plant. After, a large round 2-ton volcanic stone is brought out to press the agave's fibers. The volcanic stone is pulled out using a small tractor, separating the sugar from the agave.
The citrus and rich cooked agave aromas overwhelmed our senses as we drank this one-of-a-kind Blanco tequila. Margarine, olive, earth, dark pepper, and a welcome sensory quality are the other flavors in this spirit. This Blanco is created with a unique touch of butter and olive oil to justify its taste.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Astringent blast of minerality, followed by mouthwatering limes, olives, basil, butter, and pepper.
The story of Casa Noble Blanco Tequila is a classic example in the making, following founder and maestro tequilero Jose “Pepe” Hermosillo's decision to produce his first bottles from the historic estate Casa Noble.
One of the many things that makes Casa Noble popular and well-loved is its robust flavors and distinct complexity. One can say this is their signature; how they can maintain this result lies with their cooking process.
Unlike competitors who cook their agave in high temperatures for less than 10 hours, Casa Noble slowly cooks agave in stone ovens, lasting approximately 36 to 38 hours.
Casa Noble Blanco Tequila is perfect for those who appreciate a clean, crisp, agave flavor. This tequila celebrates the fresh flavor of the noble Blue Weber agave, and the tantalizing aromas set the palate for honey flavors and a hint of citrus. The mouthfeel is smooth and buttery, making it both complex and refreshing.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Characterized by Bue Weber agave, which transitions to honey, lemongrass, and a bit of citrus.
The story behind Milagro begins with two college friends, Danny Schneeweiss and Moy Guindi, who were determined to make their mark through tequila. In 1998, the pair established Milagro Tequila.
It is now a symbol of quality and perfection in every sense. It's made from 100% blue agave grown at high altitudes, Jalisco Highlands, where its agave produce is famous for being the sweetest in the world.
In making Milagro, master distiller Pedro Juarez takes his time to roast the piñas in brick ovens for an entire day and a half to carefully and efficiently take the flavors out of the agave. The piñas that have been roasted to perfection are then shredded for pressing. Then fermentation uses two kinds of stills: a pot still and a column still.
We like Milagro Silver's unique aromas of cooked agave, green pepper, and spice that will tantalize your senses. Meanwhile, citrus, herbs, and tropical fruit taste will leave you wanting more. Its finish is refreshing and clean, with just a hint of spicy black pepper and mint.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Silky and spicy that work well with the earthiness of the agave. Well-balanced with citrus and pepper with a lengthy finish.
Mijenta Tequila hit the shelves in the United States around August 2020. It was created by the previous CEO of Bacardi, Mike Dolan, Juan Coronado, Elise Som, and Ana Maria, the Maestra tequilera. Mijenta’s commitment to sustainability is evident in every step of its business, from farming to bottling.
The tequila comprises only the finest ingredient—ripe agaves harvested specifically in the Highlands of Jalisco. You can smell the freshness in every sip of this 80-proof spirit, which has a light floral note, especially from rose petals and acacia mixed with lime and agave.
Our first sip of Mijenta Blanco Tequila is a honeyed floral taste that transitions to vanilla candle wax and pine nuts. We also detected hints in the background, from white pepper to tobacco smoke with an element of cocoa.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Aromatic, elegant, and complex, with unfolding notes of cantaloupe, honey, cinnamon, and a generous finish.
Sophie Decobecq is the brains behind the success of Calle 23, which has been turning heads since its conception. After working in France's Cognac industry for some time, agave piqued her interest, and she decided to pursue a career in tequila production.
What sets Decobecq apart from other female tequila brand owners is her commitment to quality and involvement in every aspect of the distillation process. Additionally, as a foreigner, Decobecq has provided a unique perspective on the Mexican tequila industry, infusing traditional techniques with modern innovation.
We love Calle 23 Blanco Tequila’s light, crisp, refreshing blend of agave liquor with flavors reminiscent of a fruit salad. The taste begins with notes of pear or apple and transitions into subtle cinnamon and spice aromas. We also noticed hints of lime citrus zest around its smooth finish.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Medium body with citrus hints and herbaceous notes. Soft and gentle on the palate with agave, apples, and pears in the finish.
With its sustainable practices, La Dama Tequila has taken the art of drinking tequila to new heights. They are committed to their agave growth practices using the same methods that Mexican ancestors have used for centuries.
Furthermore, they also utilize the most natural process possible for their organic tequila, with indigenous yeast cooked slowly in old brick ovens and then distilled twice. The innovative bottles they use are created from recycled glass, and their packaging is crafted from eco-friendly materials such as agave leaves.
With this tequila’s inviting aroma of pear, lemon, and rosemary, La Dama awakened our senses and transported us to the heart of Mexico. The palate is full of exciting flavors, including caramelized agave and hints of chocolate, and the finish is clean and warm.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Light and creamy with subtle spice and saline aroma. Roasted agave with hints of chocolate, herbs, and fruits.
For some people, making margaritas using margarita mixes may not be the same as using actual tequila. Tequila is the star ingredient of this cocktail, and adding the best tequila for margaritas takes the drinking experience to a whole new level. You can make big batches using the best margarita machines to make your party more fun and memorable.
So, which is your go-to tequila when making margaritas? Can you recommend other brands that we might have missed? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.
All of the tequilas featured above seem amazing in their own ways, right? So if you need more help narrowing down your choices for making the best margarita, consider these factors.
There are different tequilas; just look at the line of tequilas by Don Julio. But most bartenders and mixologists typically use Blanco because it is unaged and transparent.
Silver tequila is also known and often described as having a clean flavor with hints of citrus. Its leading flavor is agave, which can have undertones of citrus, spics, and fruits.
You may also come across reposado tequila and añejo tequila. Reposado tequila is aged for about two months to a year in steel or American/French oak barrels, resulting in a more mellow taste and smooth texture.
Añejo tequila is the most complicated as it must be aged for at least one year to three years, resulting in richer notes of vanilla, oak, cinnamon, and caramel. It also has a darker hue, similar to an orange liqueur.
Blanco tequila gives a traditional margarita taste, while Reposado tequilas and Añejo tequilas will add a deeper flavor to the drink. The safest choice would be Blanco, especially if you’re new to making margaritas.
A high-quality tequila will make all the difference in the drink’s flavor. The ingredients and tequila-making process are important determinants of its quality, and this information can usually be seen on the bottle’s label.
Check if the label says 100% blue agave and two-time distillation. However, some bottles may have different labels but also possess great quality.
You can also research to determine if a particular brand incorporates special ingredients or utilize sustainable practices in making its product. Perhaps you also like to choose a brand that dedicates its product to its workers or promotes eco-friendly methods.
The flavor of tequila directly impacts the taste of the drink. A poorly-flavored tequila will make a margarita bitter, harsh, and simply not enjoyable to drink. A well-balanced tequila will produce a smooth, flavorful, and refreshing drink.
Choose one that has a smooth flavor with notes of citrus or fruit. If you want a more complex margarita, check out those with spices, vanilla, and caramel. Avoid tequilas that are overly sweet or have harsh alcohol flavors.
Ultimately, the goal is to find a balance between the acidity of the lime juice, the sweetness of the agave nectar, and the additional flavor notes of the tequila. With a little trial and error, you can find the perfect tequila for your margarita recipe and enjoy delicious, refreshing drinks all summer long!
It's worth noting that the price of tequila can vary widely, so it's important to find a brand that fits your budget. In general, higher-priced tequilas will produce a better-tasting margarita. Usually, a high price is also an indicator of a stronger tequila. If you're using a lower-priced tequila, you may need to use more of it to achieve the desired alcohol content.
Depending on the style of drink, some tequila types may be better suited than others. As mentioned, Blanco tequilas are the ideal choice for margaritas. But those aged may be too strong to go well with the other margarita ingredients. Feel free to experiment with different types if you like to put a twist on your drink.
Tequila and Mezcal follow the same concept as Brandy and Cognac. All tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila. Mezcal is crafted from any agave plant, while tequila must be made from blue agave.
Moreover, mezcal can be made in any region of Mexico. However, Oaxaca is the traditional area, while tequila can only be made in specific regions, most notably the state of Jalisco.
Two schools of thought are considered for tequila - those who prefer chilled and those who don't. If you like your margaritas on the mellow side, you may want to try chilling the tequila. The cold temperature will help mute the alcohol content, making for a smoother drink.
On the other hand, if you prefer a more traditional margarita with a strong tequila flavor, you may want to skip the chilling step. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what you like best.
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