Best Tequilas For Margaritas In 2022

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The margarita is America's favorite cocktail, according to Major Market (via BinWise), and just like any libation, it requires a good-quality liquor to really sing. This is especially the case for margaritas, which are most often consumed in the afternoon and to kick off an evening instead of later in the night when one's taste buds might be a bit dulled from a previous drink or two. The good thing is that, these days, a top-tier tequila doesn't have to garner a top-tier price tag — you just have to know what to look for.

Equally as important as the brand of tequila you choose for your margarita, is the type of tequila you use to make one. Per MasterClass, there are five types of tequila but three main players: Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo, each of which have their own distinct flavor profiles and colors. Blanco (also known as Silver) is the most commonly used pick for margarita-making and offers a classic, clean agave taste that lets the citrus and salt flavors shine. Reposado is growing in popularity as a unique swap, as it has a richer, woodsier taste that's more akin to bourbon which brings more complexity to the cocktail. Añejo, meanwhile, is not used for making margaritas, and it's intended more for sipping, which usually means it carries a high price tag and some even richer, more complex flavors that are great on its own but not so much in a margarita.

Choosing the right tequila

Another key component of choosing the right tequila for margaritas — or any type of consumption for that matter — is to make sure it's made from 100% blue agave. Lower-priced options like mixto tequilas (per Fine Cooking), which are only made with 51% blue agave (the rest is sugar) and are most commonly labeled as Gold or Joven tequilas, are likely to leave you feeling pretty low the next morning; the high existing sugar content doesn't pair well with a traditional margarita recipe that calls for Blanco or Reposado tequila. There are a few exceptions however: The ever-popular (and pricey) Casa Dragones is actually a Joven tequila, but it is made from 100% blue agave.

If all this tequila talk seems overwhelming, we've narrowed down 15 picks that offer excellent quality across a range of price points to fit every budget and occasion. So long as you have a respectable brand of orange liqueur, opt for fresh over bottled lime juice, and have some sea salt on hand, you should be well on your way to a truly delicious margarita in no time.

Olmeca Altos Plata

Olmeca Altos Plata is one of your best bets for a good-quality tequila that won't break the bank, and it's very easy to find. Plata means silver in Spanish, which is another name for Blanco, so this bottle is for the traditionalists. This top-rated tequila is perfect for margaritas because it features light, citrusy notes that pair well with fresh limes and your orange liqueur of choice and has a nice long finish. You may also enjoy some peppery notes that bring a little complexity to this well-priced bottle that would work well in other top tequila cocktails.

Drinks International reported in its 2022 Annual Brands Report that Olmeca Altos is the sixth bestselling tequila brand, so you're in good company — not only with consumers but with bartenders as well. The brand is widely available for purchase in liquor stores and online retailers. Olmeca Altos Plata typically retails around $30.

Casamigos Tequila Blanco

Casamigos first gained notoriety for its three high-profile co-founders: George Clooney, Rande Gerber (Cindy Crawford's business-savvy husband), and notorious real estate tycoon Mike Meldman. While the brand instantly became synonymous with sophisticated, glamorous sipping among the glitterati, Casamigos has become a favorite among imbibers of all kinds.

The agave is grown in Mexico's Jalisco Highlands and the tequila undergoes an 80-hour fermentation process, which is nearly twice as long as average. Thanks to the unique terrain, extra fermentation time, and purified water from a local well, the taste of Casamigos Blanco does actually live up to the hype. Not only will you find satisfying citrus aromas on the nose, but you may also experience notes of other fruits and even vanilla, creating a lovely backdrop for a margarita worthy of celebration. Casamigos is widely available for purchase via liquor stores and online retailers. Casmigos Blanco typically retails around $50.

Casa Dragones Tequila Blanco

San Miguel de Allende's Casa Dragones is widely considered to be one of the top Tequila Blancos in the world, and it's our premium pick for an out-of-this-world margarita. The brand's coveted tequila varieties are crafted with the intention of being sipped and they are plenty experiential when served on the rocks, but given the right occasion, Casa Dragones Blanco is an excellent foundation for America's favorite mixed drink. The brand's tasting room is also a must-visit the next time you're visiting the ever-popular city of San Miguel de Allende.

Casa Dragones's full-bodied tequila blanco offers herbaceous and bold, citrus aromas with intense notes of agave, peppercorns, and baking spices. The long, smooth, and delicate finish is perfect for zhushing up a favorite margarita recipe. Casa Dragones is available for purchase through select liquor stores across the country, as well as through online retailers, and typically retails around $75.

Solento Organic Tequila Reposado

An ideal pick for both the wellness enthusiasts and the aesthetes, Solento Organic Tequila produces small-batch, single-estate tequilas in the most beautiful bottles worthy of display. The brand's name is based on the Spanish translation of the words "slow sun," and it invites Solento drinkers to slow down from their high-powered lives and enjoy each moment with every sip.

After being harvested from an estate in Jalisco, Solento's agave hearts are cooked in stone ovens for two days before being pressed. The juice is naturally fermented and distilled, and is aged in oak barrels for another layer of complexity. The brand's highly rated Reposado features slightly sweet notes of citrus, brioche, and caramel, plus a rich, amber color that enhances the margarita-drinking experience. It's also USDA-certified organic — you know, if you're into that sort of thing. Solento Tequila is available at select liquor stores nationwide and is available for purchase through its website. The Tequila Reposado retails for $66.

1800 Tequila Blanco

Whether or not you've purchased a bottle of 1800 Tequila before, you've likely had it, as the brand is a popular choice for bars and restaurants. The brand is a great-value tequila as its made with 100% blue agave while being offered at a price point that typically consists of bottles made with 51%. It also comes in a sleek, beautiful bottle that's inspired by the Mayan pyramids.

1800 Tequila Blanco is best defined by its vegetal notes — perfect for a jalepeño margarita — as well as a fruity, peppery finish. The recipe follows one created in the year 1800 and is double-distilled, and there is also a blend of white tequilas added to create more character and a depth of flavor. The brand is widely available in liquor stores across the country and can also be purchased through online retailers; 1800 Tequila Blanco typically retails around $34.

Espolòn Tequila Blanco

Espolòn Tequila is a popular budget tequila brand that deserves a spot on your margarita radar. While it doesn't go through an aging process that typically brings out nuances and complexities in flavor, there is a bright youthfulness that works well for day-drinking or a large, casual gathering — and is likely why it's one of the bestselling tequila brands (No. 7, according to Drinks International) besides the price point. The bottle is also fun to display on a bar cart; the artwork represents the day Miguel Hidalgo and his Mexican army won the country's independence in 1810 and also honors the 19th century artist José Guadalupe Posada.

Espolòn Tequila Blanco is a super-smooth, yet mild tequila that offers grassy, tropical, and citrusy aromas with a savory-sour finish. The tequila is made in stainless steel pressure cookers and the brand's master tequilero, ​​Cirilo Oropeza, plays classical music during fermentation (per, as he believes the sounds will help activate the yeast. Espolòn Tequila is widely available at liquor stores across the country and through online retailers, while Espolòn Tequila Blanco typically retails around $20.

Milagro Tequila Reposado

Milagro takes an old-school approach for making reliable, good-quality tequila, and it's made in the famed Jalisco Highlands. While it's designed with sipping in mind, Milagro Reposado would make an excellent addition to a margarita for the more adventurous types seeking something other than their usual Tequila Blanco.

Milagro uses mature agave (8-12 years old, versus 3 years or younger that some more budget-friendly brands use) for a deeper flavor and slower, more expensive process to keep things traditional. The agave plants are slow roasted in "hornos," or brick-and-stone ovens, before being extracted and fermented for 72 hours. It is then double-distilled: First, in a traditional pot, then in stainless steel tanks before being aged in oak barrels for 2-4 months.

The Reposado offers aromas of baking spices, vanilla, and caramel with notes of peach and black pepper for a memorable sipping experience. The brand is widely available at liquor stores nationwide and also through online retailers. Milagro Reposado typically retails around $30.

Patrón Silver

One of the most widely recognized (and bestselling) tequila brands on the market, Patrón has been featured in many a hip-hop song through the years, and has become synonymous with luxury tequila. The brand claims that it didn't invent tequila, it just perfected it, and relies on centuries-old methods for production on-site at Patrón's pink, sustainability-minded hacienda.

Patrón uses 8-year-old agave plants to make its famed tequila. After the agave hearts are roasted in brick ovens, they are crushed with a traditional two-ton volcanic stone Tahona wheel and a roller mill before undergoing the fermentation and aging process. Patrón Silver is a popular pick for margarita lovers as it's smooth and sweet with fruity and citrus-y aromas, and a pepper but not overpowering finish. Patrón is widely available at liquor stores nationwide and through online retailers, and Patrón Silver typically retails around $50.

El Jimador Silver

If your main use for tequila is making fruit-forward drinks like margaritas, then this is a great budget pick to consider. El Jimador is not considered the best for sipping but is perfect for whipping up a batch of cocktails. It's the fifth bestselling tequila brand out there, likely due to the low price and excellent margarita pairing. The brand is based in Jalisco on a historic hacienda where the tequila is made from start to finish.

El Jimador Silver is made with freshly harvested and pressed agave hearts that undergo fermentation in open-air tanks, which takes several days. It is then distilled twice for a crisp flavor and crystal-clear color. The Blanco is bottled immediately after and offers a youthful, zesty flavor. This spirit is pretty alcohol-forward and a bit peppery, so it may not be for everyone. But with the right ingredients, it can still make for a pretty mean margarita. El Jimador is widely available at liquor stores nationwide and through online retailers; El Jimador Silver typically retails around $22.

Lunazul Tequila Reposado

Lunazul Tequila is our No. 1 best-bang-for-your-buck pick on this list. It's one of the least expensive options out there while still being full of flavor and complexity, plus it's easy to find. The brand has been crafting tequila outside of the town of Tequila for more than 250 years, and it certainly shows in its wallet-friendly products.

Slow-roasted agave hearts are pressed and fermented with a family strain of yeast that dates back generations before being twice-distilled in custom cognac stills. While Blanco Tequila doesn't get aged, the Reposado variety then rests in bourbon barrels for six months before being bottled by hand — pretty impressive for the price. Lunazul Tequila Reposado features subtle oak, spice, and vanilla notes with aromas of roasted pineapple for a sublime margarita. Lunazul is widely available in liquor stores nationwide and through online retailers. Lunazul Tequila Reposado typically retails around $21.

Pubelo Viejo Blanco

Pueblo Viejo is another good-value brand that deserves a spot on this list. Its flavor profile is for more of an adventurous palate, but its longstanding history makes it a brand to try regardless. While we're touting the Blanco variety, there's also a higher-proof Blanco 104 that will really get the party started.

Pueblo Viejo works with small agave farmers in Jalisco, who harvest the mature plants 7-10 years after being planted. The agave hearts are roasted for 48 hours to bring out a rich, caramel-like flavor and then fermented for three days before undergoing two stages of condensation and aging. The Blanco variety is a bit rustic, and customer reviews note that you might get some savory, vegetal notes, "peppery heat," and a bit of minerality. You might also enjoy citrus, bold spices, and maraschino cherry flavors. Pueblo Viejo is widely available at liquor stores nationwide and through online retailers. Pueblo Viejo Blanco typically retails around $20.

Cazcanes No. 9 Blanco Tequila

Cazcanes is the priciest brand on our list, but it's worth mentioning for entertaining extra-special guests. While a bottle at this price is likely not the best pick for a large party or Margarita Fridays, making the libation with the No. 9 Blanco Tequila will elevate any occasion. This top-rated bottle is sure to become a new favorite, thanks to its delicate balance of sweetness and earthiness.

Cazcanes is a small, boutique distillery that begins and ends with its environment. The brand sources natural spring water from a local well and hand-picks each agave heart at its peak to ensure a spectacular product. The agave hearts are roasted and run through a traditional roller mill to concentrate their flavors before undergoing a wild yeast fermentation and finally landing in a hand-blown glass bottle. Needless to say, the brand has earned its many accolades. Cazcanes is available at select liquor stores and is available for purchase via the brand's website and online retailers. Cazcanes No. 9 Blanco Tequila typically retails around $90.

Don Julio Tequila Blanco

Don Julio is the No. 1 bestselling tequila brand, as reported by Drinks International, and it's one of the most recognizable names in tequila. Yes, there was a real Don Julio, and he actually founded the company in 1942 at the ripe age of 17. Julio also revolutionized the industry, setting the original benchmark for "super-premium" tequila. But the brand's unique history is not the only reason to pick up a bottle.

Don Julio Tequila is not just the world's first "luxury tequila" brand, it remains one of the best. The brand's jimadors (agave farmers) select the finest hand-picked agave hearts and cut them a special way to best preserve the quality of the juice. The agave hearts are steamed in traditional ovens before undergoing aging in white oak barrels. The Blanco brand is a top pick for a stellar margarita as it features a crisp agave flavor and is citrus-forward with notes of tropical fruit. There's a smooth yet spicy finish that will make for a unique margarita-drinking experience from beginning to end. Don Julio is widely available in liquor stores nationwide and through online retailers, while its Don Julio Tequila Blanco typically retails around $55.

Espanita Reposado

One may be first attracted to the Espanita brand for its artistically designed labels, but the brand certainly has some substance to its style. This brand offers the most sophisticated experience for the money on our list with the Reposado being a must-try.

Espanita Artisanal Tequila does things the old-school way, slow-roasting agave hearts in brick-and-stone ovens (aka hornos) before fermenting the juices for five to seven days. However, the brand ages their tequilas in white oak barrels previously used in bourbon production to create its signature flavor profile.

The Reposado variety is certainly worth a sipping experience on its own to enjoy aromas of butterscotch, jasmine tea, spiced butter, and the peppery herbal-ness of agave. The nutty flavor goes down smooth with a velvety, tropical finish that will have you concocting a margarita, stat. Espanita is widely available in liquor stores nationwide, as well as online through its website and other retailers. Espanita Reposado typically retails around $35.

Clean Co. 'Clean T'

If you're seeking out a booze-free tequila option for your bar cart, look no further than Clean Co.'s "Clean T" tequila alternative. While there's no mistaking a liquor substitute for the real thing, this brand comes as close as it gets for a unique and satisfying sipping experience. It's also crafted specifically to complement cocktails, so teetotalers and imbibers alike will enjoy it in a margarita — and any other favorite tequila drinks for that matter.

Clean Co.'s "Clean T" offers sweet and savory flavors of ripe melon, olive, black pepper, and new oak with a pleasant amount of earthiness that parallels blue agave. Pair with freshly squeezed orange juice, lime juice, and sea salt for a booze-free beverage that still complements tacos and guac quite nicely. Clean Co. products are available for purchase via Amazon, Reserve Bar, and Better Rhodes. Clean Co. "Clean T" retails for $29.99.