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Taster’s Club Best Tequila for Cocktails

Written by Emma C | Updated May 2023

Navigate the diverse world of tequila with ease this holiday season. From citrusy and fruity to spicy and herbal, the options are vast, making it challenging to pinpoint the perfect choice for mixed drinks, whether you're craving a traditional margarita or a Mexican twist on the Old Fashioned. Fear not – we're here to assist with the Taster's Club guide, featuring the smoothest blancos, most intriguing reposados, richest añejos, and beyond. Explore our curated list of the best tequilas for cocktails. All of these are available in our bottle shop, and in the spirit of the holiday season, we are extending a 5% discount storewide until the end of the year. You can’t go wrong with any of these picks, so grab one or multiple bottles to celebrate during this festive season. Happy holidays!

Taster’s Club Best Tequila for Cocktails Available in our Bottle Shop
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1. Tequila Ocho Plata

Tequila Ocho Plata comes from the finest, overripe agaves in the Highlands of Jalisco and is made in a traditional, slow-cooked method. The distiller’s single-field estate-grown agaves are looked after carefully by the Camarena family, and they carry the essence – or terroir – of the rancho from which it grew. This unaged tequila contains clean, lively, intense aromas of cooked agave, pepper, citrus, grass, and earth, similar, fresh flavors plus mint and tropical fruit, and a long finish. Try it in a Mexican Martini.

Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Mint, Tropical Fruit, Earth | ABV: 40%

Mexican Martini

Ingredients

  • 1 part tequila blanco
  • ½ part Triple Sec
  • ½ part lime juice
  • ⅓ part orange juice
  • ⅙ part olive juice
  • 1 olive
  • Lime
  • Ice

Directions

  • Wet a martini glass’ lip and dip it in salt, then chill the glass.
  • Fill shaker with ice and all ingredients and shake, then strain into the glass.
  • Add an olive into the glass and a lime wheel as garnish.
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2. El Tesoro Blanco Tequila

This blanco tequila from El Tesoro is unaged and bottled immediately after distillation to capture the essence of the distiller’s Highland Blue Weber agave. The minerality of the soil and water shines through in this traditional, agave-forward tequila. It carries a light, delicate character yet offers many flavors and depth. You’ll get rich, sweet, and spicy aromas of pepper, pineapple, earth, and agave, followed by flavors of spicy floral notes, tropical fruit, and briny olives. This is great in a Tequila Sunrise cocktail.

Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Mint, Tropical Fruit, Earth | ABV: 40%

Tequila Sunrise

Ingredients

  • 1½ parts tequila blanco
  • 4 parts orange juice
  • 1 cherry
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 1 dash of grenadine
  • Ice

Directions

  • Add ice, tequila, and orange juice to a highball glass, followed by the grenadine on top.
  • Garnish with a cherry and orange wedge.
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3. Teremana Anejo Small Batch Tequila

From Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Teremana distillery, this Anejo Small Batch tequila made from Blue Weber agave plants is hand-harvested and trimmed, with just the pinas left behind which are roasted for three days in a brick oven. Once the liquid sugar is extracted and fermented in tanks, the alcohol is distilled in handmade copper pot stills. From there, the spirit rests in ex-bourbon barrels for over 12 months with no sugar added. The resulting tequila is a light golden color, with caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla on the nose, along with lemon, pepper, and agave, followed by a sweet, rich brown sugar flavor. Try it in an Anejo Old Fashioned cocktail.

Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Butterscotch, Custard, Caramel | ABV: 40%

Anejo Old Fashioned

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces añejo tequila
  • ¼ ounce agave nectar
  • A dash of Angostura bitters
  • Brandied cherry
  • Orange peel
  • Ice

Directions

  • Muddle the agave nectar, bitters, and orange peel in a mixing glass, then add the tequila.
  • Top with ice and stir until chilled.
  • Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over ice, then garnish with the brandied cherry.
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4. Olmeca Altos Plata

Located in the center of Los Altos, Olmeca Altos is a collaboration between master distiller Jesús Hernandez, engineers from Kentucky, and two acclaimed bartenders from the UK. The brand uses the traditional tahona method with its Highlands agave, 60% of which comes from its own estate. Olmeca Altos Plata is the brand’s most traditional expression.

Unaged, with roasted agave, pepper, citrus, spicy, brine, and grassy notes and a long finish, this tequila is recognized for its natural smoothness when sipped, but also for being a top choice tequila for margaritas (according to a Drinks International poll among the top bartenders around the globe). Try one for yourself.

Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Lime Peel, Wet Cement, Green Bell Pepper | ABV: 40%

Margarita

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces añejo tequila
  • 1⅓ parts tequila blanco
  • ⅔ part Triple Sec
  • ⅔ part lime juice
  • 1 part salt
  • Ice

Directions

  • Fill a shaker with ice, and add all ingredients.
  • Shake, then strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a salt rim.
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5. Espolón Tequila Blanco

Espolón’s Tequila Blanco is clear, with aromas of herbal, grassy notes, and citrus including lemon and pineapple. You’ll taste vanilla and sweet lemon, followed by dry black pepper, and finally a long, dry finish with a savory, sour aftertaste. The brand’s distiller, Cirilo Oropeza, has been in the business for over 50 years and created the stainless-steel pressure cookers used for cooking the agave and extracting sugars to make his tequila. These cookers give the agave more even caramelizing and an overall cleaner spirit than you’ll find from traditional methods. This blanco tequila works well in an Agave Collins cocktail.

Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Herb, Earth, Floral, Pineapple, Pepper | ABV: 40%

Agave Collins

Ingredients

  • 1½ parts tequila blanco
  • 1 part lime juice
  • ⅓ part peach syrup
  • ⅓ part maraschino liqueur
  • Soda water
  • 1 cherry
  • 1 lime wheel
  • Ice

Directions

  • Add the tequila blanco, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and peach syrup to a highball glass. Stir well.
  • Fill with ice and top with soda water.
  • Garnish with lime and cherry.
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6. Patrón Silver

Patrón is a huge part of tequila’s history – in 1989, when the brand launched, it succeeded in changing the existing public perception of tequila being a low-quality drink to it being an elevated spirit, much like whiskey. Over the next 20 years or so, the iconic beehive bottle was everywhere in bars and liquor stores. Today, it’s still one of the top-selling tequilas. When it comes to its Silver expression, Patrón’s crystal clear, unaged tequila offers a vegetal, earthy aroma of grass, agave, eucalyptus, and green pepper. You’ll taste dry, savory, mineral notes of pepper, agave, anise, and vanilla, followed by a spicy, dry, agave-forward, long, savory finish. The Batanga cocktail is perfect for this classic silver spirit.

Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Marzipan, Dried Fruit, Citrus, Lavender, Chocolate | ABV: 40%

Batanga

Ingredients

  • 2 parts tequila blanco
  • 4 parts cola
  • ½ part lime juice
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ice

Directions

  • Fill a highball glass with ice.
  • Add all ingredients and stir well.
  • Garnish with lime.
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7. Gran Centenario Reposado

Rested in new oak casks, resulting in the perfect balance of taste and smoothness, Gran Centenario’s Mexican top-selling deep gold reposado provides a touch of fruit, like kiwi, on the nose, with sweet tones of cooked agave and light hints of oak, toasted almonds, caramel, vanilla, and clove. You’ll get spice, oak, agave, citrus, and brown sugar on the palate, with a long, oaky, grassy, peppery, and citrusy finish that lingers a while. The distinct, versatile, yet complex spirit is ideal in an El Diablo.

Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Fruit, Caramel, Spice, Oak | ABV: 40%

El Diablo

Ingredients

  • 7 parts ginger beer
  • 3 parts reposado tequila
  • 1 part Crème de Cassis
  • 1 part lime juice
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 blackberry
  • Ice

Directions

  • In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients except for the ginger beer, lime, and blackberry.
  • Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with ginger beer.
  • Garnish with lime and blackberry.
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8. El Jimador Tequila Silver

Young and fresh, el Jimador Silver tequila’s character is authentic and crisp. Made with 100% hand-harvested Blue Weber agave and double-distilled with sparkling clarity, the clear tequila is unaged and comes with medicinal and herbal notes like freshly-cut grass along with lemon citrus and agave. The same notes carry into the taste, and black pepper and a bit of vanilla show up, too. The drink finishes short and warm, with a strong alcohol taste and some black pepper again. This one’s fantastic in a Ranch Water cocktail.

Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Apple, Taffy, Tea, Fruit, Pepper | ABV: 40%

Ranch Water

Ingredients

  • 4 parts sparkling mineral water
  • 3 parts tequila
  • 1.5 parts fresh lime juice
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ice

Directions

  • To a highball glass, add the tequila and lime juice, then stir.
  • Top with ice and sparkling water.
  • Garnish with the lime wedge.
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9. Codigo 1530 Rosa Reposado Tequila

Código 1530’s first-ever double barrel-aged Rosa-Reposado tequila was developed with country icon George Strait. George had been drinking this private tequila for years and even wrote a song about it. Now, he’s offering this very limited edition bottle of his new Código 1530 Rosa-Reposado Tequila – a special twist to the original blanco – for fans to enjoy. Código 1530 is the first brand to produce a naturally pink-hued tequila by resting its pure blanco expression in the finest French white oak Cabernet wine barrels, and then finishing it in Spanish sherry wine barrels to add extra character and a soft, sweet finish. Try this one in a Reposado Manhattan.

Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Agave, Floral, Red Wine | ABV: 40%

Reposado Manhattan

Ingredients

  • 3 parts ounces reposado tequila
  • 1 part 100-proof rye
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • Lime and lemon peels
  • Ice

Directions

  • In an ice-filled mixing glass, combine tequila, rye, sweet vermouth, and dry vermouth.
  • Add a dash of Angostura bitters, then stir until well chilled.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of lime and lemon peels.
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10. Milagro Tequila Reposado

Milagro Reposado is a 100% blue agave tequila rested in American oak barrels for 2-4 months. You’ll enjoy salty, savory, dry, herbal, and woody aromas. Every sip of the light gold Milagro Reposado and its juicy, smooth body delivers delicious notes of brine, citrus, herbal, oak, pepper, spice, warm caramel, and vanilla. The spirit finishes medium-long, with dry, herbal, citrus notes. Milagro Reposado makes an excellent Paloma Rosada cocktail, a bright & fresh take on a traditional Paloma.

Region: Jalisco | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Peach, Black Pepper | ABV: 40%

Paloma Rosada

Ingredients

  • 4 parts grapefruit juice
  • 3 parts blanco tequila
  • 2 parts blended rose liqueur
    Combine these ingredients to make the blended rose liqueur:
    • 4 parts Combier rose liqueur
    • 2 parts Combier pamplemousse liqueur
    • 1 part Koval rosehip liqueur
    • ½ part Élicser Combier
  • 2 parts Squirt or other grapefruit soda
  • 1 part lime juice
  • Himalayan pink salt half rim and rosewater spray
  • Ice

Directions

  • Add Himalayan pink salt to a shallow dish.
  • Wet half the Collins glass’ rim, then roll and coat the rim in salt. Fill glass with ice.
  • Combine all ingredients except the grapefruit soda in an ice-filled mixing glass.
  • Shake, then add the grapefruit soda.
  • Strain into the Collins glass and spray rose water over top.

With all of the many tequila expressions out there, you’re sure to find one (or more) that appeals. And with these amazing cocktail recipes, it’s incredibly easy and enjoyable to enter the world of tequila. If you’re just not quite sure about which bottles make the best tequila for cocktails, though, we’ve got you covered with our tequila club. You simply sign up and get a new bottle shipped right to your door. While you won’t know what’s coming, you will know it’s guaranteed to taste great and mix well with the best cocktails.

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