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What’s the best tequila for margaritas? Here’s a quick guide to understanding tequila basics and how to choose the best bottle.

Best tequila for margaritas
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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 types of tequila 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:

  1. Espolon Blanco (inexpensive tequila blanco)
  2. El Tesoro Blanco (mid-range tequila blanco)
  3. Patrón Silver (mid-range tequila blanco)
  4. Casamigos (mid-range tequila blanco and reposado)
  5. Milagro Reposado (tequila reposado)
  6. Suerte Reposado (tequila reposado)

What are your favorite brands for the best tequila for margaritas? Let us know in the comments below.

Patron margarita
Patrón Silver is a popular choice for a classic margarita

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. Also try our Casamigos Margarita.

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Best tequila for margaritas

Classic Margarita


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

Every margarita lover’s got to have a Patron margarita recipe! This one blends the perfect proportions to make an astoundingly smooth drink.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 ounces* Patrón Silver tequila**
  • 1 ounce Cointreau (or Triple Sec)
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt or flaky sea salt, for the rim
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice)
  • For the garnish: Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. 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).
  2. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes and shake until cold.
  3. Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve. Garnish with lime wedges if desired. 

Notes

*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 ¾ cup lime juice. Add 3 handfuls of ice and stir until cold. Pour into glasses and serve!

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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4 Comments

  1. BRADLEY KUSS says:

    We lived in Garland, TX from July 3, 1998 to September 7, 2017. There was a restaurant there that had THE BEST Margaritas, hands down! Their recipe wasn’t a secret. It was painted in a mural on a wall in the restaurant. One part Cointreau, two parts Sauza CONMEMORATIVO, Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice from half a lime. I made these at home to go along with two Mexican entrees my wife makes with Mexican rice and refried beans and still do. Though she wants a pinch of sugar added to her margarita. (She has a set of three measuring spoons labeled, from smallest to largest as smidgen, pinch, and dash. I have no clue where she found these and she does not remember where she got them because has had a bad memory for many things since we started dating on 10/31/1972 and married on 6/11/1977.

    We moved to Granbury, TX on September 8, 2017, and found a desert of margaritas. Lots of mixer, very little tequila, no Cointreau much less Triple Sec. Rating: 0 Stars. We did find excellent margaritas at one restaurant. Unfortunately their margaritas are very expensive because, while they do use Cointreau in all of their margaritas, they do not use mid-price range tequilas. They use high price tequilas. Every margarita “style” they sell allows you to pick one of three tequilas, but only one lets you choose your choice of Patron and the price is the same no matter what tequila you pick.

    While you consider Patron a mid-price range tequila, for that margarita, you end up paying for a high-price range tequila. So all in all, my wife and I find that their margarita prices draw a 29 inch vacuum on an onion sack.

    So I continue to make my margaritas based on the Garland’s restaurant’s recipe when my wife makes the two Mexican entrees with Mexican rice and refried beans. And she still thinks my margaritas are as good as the ones at the Garland restaurant.






  2. Billy says:

    I like your list. My favorite (and an incredible value) tequila for making margaritas is Corralejo reposado.

    The Siere Leguas, recommended in comments, is also good. I haven’t had the still strength blanco from Fortaleza.






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We’ll have to try it!

  3. Dave Levine says:

    As long as you asked, I wouldn’t recommend any of the 6 tequilas you list above. My #1 Blanco is Fortaleza Still strength Blanco. There are many others I would turn to before the above 6.

    The best value in any store’s tequila aisle is Siete Leguas Reposado. This has been in my top 5 for years, and never disappoints anyone I have ever served it to,.