What’s the best tequila for margaritas? Here’s a quick guide to understanding tequila basics and how to choose the best bottle.
Looking for a great bottle of tequila? With so many options to choose from, finding the best tequila for margaritas is overwhelming. Search the internet for “buy tequila” and you’ll get a wide range of options: some over them over $150! What’s the right fit for your margarita recipe? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick guide to understanding the right tequila for mixing into cocktails:
Best tequila for margaritas: a quick guide!
We could just give you a big list of great bottles of tequila. Instead, first let’s talk about the principles behind tequila, types, and what to look for when you go to the store (or search online).
- Rule of thumb: any mid-priced tequila tastes great in a margarita. Price does indicate quality. Look for 750 ml bottles in the range of $22 to $35. Anything cheaper isn’t worth buying.
- Use expensive tequilas for sipping. Very high-end bottles of tequila and tequila añejo are intended for sipping. Don’t waste this type of tequila on a mixed drink!
- Tequila reposado makes a smooth, sophisticated margarita. There are two types of tequila to use in your margarita: reposado or blanco. We prefer reposado because of the nuanced flavor it adds.
- Tequila blanco is also ideal for margaritas. It has a straightforward agave-centric flavor and spicy finish. You can choose either! Here’s more about the tequila types…
Types of tequila: blanco, reposado, and anejo
There are three types of tequila with names that indicate how much they have been aged. Each one has a different flavor profile. The best tequila for margaritas is blanco or reposado. Here’s an outline of the types:
- Tequila blanco is not aged. The flavor is agave forward, with notes of pepper and citrus and a spicy finish.
- Tequila reposado is aged 2 to 12 months in oak barrels (reposado means “rested” in Spanish). It has a smooth flavor and notes of oak, vanilla, and caramel.
- Tequila añejo is aged 1 to 4 years in oak barrels (añejo means “aged” in Spanish). It tastes richer, with notes of vanilla and cinnamon. Try sipping tequila añejo straight up, and save blanco and reposado for mixing in margaritas.
Best brands of tequila
So, we’ve covered the basics of finding a great bottle of tequila and the differences in tequila types. Want to get even more specific? Here are our picks! Some brands of tequila that are best for margaritas are:
- Espolon Blanco (inexpensive tequila blanco)
- El Tesoro Blanco (mid-range tequila blanco)
- Patrón Silver (mid-range tequila blanco)
- Milagro Reposado (tequila reposado)
- Suerte Reposado (tequila reposado)
What are your favorite brands for the best tequila for margaritas? Let us know in the comments below.
Classic margarita recipe
Of course, we couldn’t leave you without a recipe! Here’s our classic margarita recipe using Patrón Silver. Patrón is a brand of high-end tequila that makes for an astoundingly smooth drink.Print
Every margarita lover’s got to have a Patron margarita recipe! This one blends the perfect proportions to make an astoundingly smooth drink.
- Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt (or for a festive look, useMargarita Salt).
- Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes and shake until cold.
- Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve. Garnish with lime wedges if desired.
*For converting to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons.
** To make a margarita pitcher that serves 8, mix together in a pitcher: 2 cups tequila, 1 cup Cointreau, and 3/4 cup lime juice. Add 3 handfuls of ice and stir until cold. Pour into glasses and serve!
- Category: Drink
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: Cocktails
Keywords: Best tequila for margaritas
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.