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The 3 Best Tequilas For Mixing + A Shot

June 13, 2019

The 3 Best Tequilas For Mixing + A Shot

Tequila is one of those spirits that has a distinct high and low end. When it’s good, it’s transcendent. When it’s bad…it can be pretty harsh. There’s a fine line between subtle vegetal agave toastiness and an alcohol burn that’ll kick up a gag reflex. A great bottle of tequila will engage your palate while getting you lit. A bad one will toss you in a gutter and leave you for dead.

The great thing about good tequila is that it doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. You don’t need to travel too far up the shelf at the liquor store to find a serviceable bottle that works as both a tasty shooter and a solid cocktail base. There’s a nice range to choose from starting at $20 per bottle — each sure to hit every marker of smooth drinkability.

The three bottles below show a range of relatively cheap bottles of tequila that hit that perfect Paloma or marg-mixer. We’ve mostly erred towards Blanco (or plata) tequilas here to keep costs down. Generally speaking, if you dig the Blanco expression, you’ll really love that label’s Reposado and Añejo options

Use this list as a starting point from which to build your tequila shelf.

Corralejo Reposado

Story: Located in Corralejo, Pénjamo, Guanajuato, Hacienda Corralejo is the home of Tequila Corralejo, one of the most awarded tequilas in the world. The distillery makes a number of tequilas, including blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo. Referred to as “Mexico’s best tequila for the world,” Corralejo’s tequilas are designed to be mixed into your favorite cocktails or sipped neat, depending on your taste.

Tasting Notes: This highly prized (but not highly priced) tequila was aged for four months in three different barrels, including French oak, American oak, and Encino oak. The result is a tequila heavily influenced by the various woods — creating a very smooth, balanced tequila with hints of vegetal agave, pine, and vanilla.  Only $34.99

Espolon Blanco

Story: You might be wondering about the unique, spooky, skeleton riding a rooster on the bottle. Espolon means “spur” in Spanish. It’s a reference to the rooster, a popular Mexican symbol. Like a few other distillers in the world (including Copper & King’s), Espolon blasts rock music while its agave is fermenting. Who knows if this moves the needle, but this rocking distillery, founded in 1998, has won numerous awards over the past two decades.

Tasting Notes: This filtered blanco tequila is surprisingly smooth and light. It’s as well-rounded as a tequila that spent months in a barrel maturing, even though it didn’t. It’s sweet, subtly vegetal, with hints of spice and citrus. It’s as at home in a Margarita as it is in the form of an easy to drink shot. Only $25.99

Story: Casamigos spares no expense in creating a great tequila. Their Blanco distillate goes through traditional processes and ends up in stainless steel tanks for two months to add a little extra something to the mix. This extra layer of mellow aging — without adding wood color and flavors — works wonders in making this a very easy drinking tequila, even if it is a little on the spendier side.

Tasting Notes: Mint, agave, and echoes of vanilla open up this sip. There are bitter notes that tie back to a vegetal state and a slight chewiness. The taste is so damn smooth will remaining agave rich. It ends with a breath of fresh air and a note of spiciness. Only $43.99