Tequila’s distinctive characteristics, range of styles, and impressive versatility in cocktails continue to secure its glowing reputation among bartenders and drinks aficionados. While the Mexican spirit lags behind vodka and bourbon in U.S. sales, its popularity continues to climb, resulting in a dizzying collection of new products on the market. It’s fair to say that tequila’s reign as America’s favorite spirit may not be far off.

To guide readers looking to stock their bars with quality tequilas, we asked drinks experts from around the country to share their tried-and-true brands. From easygoing, citrusy blancos and smooth, earthy reposados, to a rich and warming añejo that won’t break your budget, keep reading for the bottles that made the cut.

The Tequilas That Offer the Best Bang for Your Buck

  • Espolòn Blanco and Reposado
  • LALO tequila
  • Olmeca Altos
  • Tapatío Blanco and 110 Proof
  • Tequila Fortaleza Blanco and Reposado
  • Arette Reposado
  • Hiatus Tequila
  • Tequila Herradura Silver
  • Pueblo Viejo Blanco
  • Tequila Ocho Single Estate Blanco
  • Inclusive One World (Inclusivo Reposado and Añejo)
  • Tequila Tromba Blanco
  • Cimarron Reposado
  • Socorro Tequila
  • G4 Tequila Reposado
  • Milagro Silver Tequila
  • El Tesoro
  • Volcán De Mi Tierra Blanco
  • Gran Centenario Añejo

Espolòn Blanco is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

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“The best bang-for-your-buck tequila is Espolòn Blanco. I find myself going back to this tequila
quite frequently, in part because it is widely available and affordable. Espolòn Blanco has found itself in more than a few cocktails as well as the occasional shot along the way. The agave is prevalent, and there are light traces of citrus and vanilla that follow. Sometimes less is more when it comes to spirits, and this tequila is exactly that. —Caleb Olson, bartender, Society Cafe at Walker Hotel Greenwich Village, NYC

“Espolòn is one of my favorite approachable tequilas where you get your money’s worth. A quality sipper if you’re into sipping blancos, but a great choice for a classic Margarita or well-crafted cocktail. With notes of vanilla, citrus, and pepper, it works well in a balanced drink. You can find this tequila just about anywhere, so next time you want to try something new or are not sure what to choose, give it a go.” —Greg Coll, director of food and beverage, Dawn Ranch and Agriculture Public House, Guerneville, Calif.

Espolòn Reposado: This six-month-aged, 100 percent Blue Weber agave tequila is a workhorse tequila for cocktails and can also be enjoyed on its own, with or without ice. The fact that you can get 100 percent Blue Weber agave at this price — I promise you won’t find a more versatile or balanced reposado tequila anywhere near this price.” —Matt Landes, founder and CEO, Cocktail Academy, Los Angeles

LALO Tequila is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“I’m a big fan of LALO Tequila. Super-smooth finish with excellent minerality. Owners are related to the original makers of Don Julio.” —Mary Ellen Angel, owner, Angel Share, Houston

Olmeca Altos tequila is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

Olmeca Altos has been one of my go-to tequilas for many years. I’ve actually visited the distillery three or four times, staying for several days on one trip to get an in-depth look behind the scenes. Finding an oven-cooked, pot-stilled tequila at around $25 isn’t an easy task these days. Grab a bottle and shake up a round of cocktails.” —Charles Joly, mixologist and co-founder, Crafthouse Cocktails, Chicago

“Olmeca Altos continues to be our choice for best all-around tequila. Made in the Los Altos Highlands in Jalisco, Mexico, it’s quite simply an excellent cocktail tequila. Its distinct citrusy notes and easy drinkability make it an Abigail Hall favorite.” —Derek Jacobi, beverage director, Abigail Hall at the Woodlark Hotel, Portland, Ore.

Tapatío Blanco is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“Olmeca Altos is solid for its price, but I really love Tapatío Blanco — especially their 110 proof if you can find it.” —Nicholas Lappen, bartender, Backbar and Boston Baijiu Bar, Somerville, Mass.

“Tapatío Blanco: Hands down the best bang for your buck in the agave category. A tequila that is made using traditional methods, no additives, no nonsense. Just excellent tequila! Made at La Alteña distillery along with some of the best tequila being produced.” —Harrison Ginsberg, bar director, Overstory, NYC

“Both overproof and affordably priced, Tapatio Blanco 110 proof is one of my favorite tequilas. Made at the same distillery as El Tesoro, the juice itself is aromatic and packed with lively flavor. Sip it neat to warm the belly and awaken the senses, or mix it in a classic Paloma or highball for maximum flavor.” —Mark Phelan, beverage director, 16 On Center, Chicago

“Tapatio 110 proof: Incredibly full-flavored. Higher alcohol makes regular tequila cocktails really pop. Responsibly made. Great value for the proof.” —Michael Neff, bar director, Bar Loretta, San Antonio, Texas

Fortaleza Blanco is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“The best bang for your buck when it comes to tequila would be Fortaleza Blanco. The owner Guillermo is very old-school traditional in the process of making and packaging his product. Not many distilleries can say that they can still operate and produce tequila without any electricity. He was one of the few who still used a donkey in the tahona process until it passed away a few years back. The 100 percent blue agave is picked up right off the first sip and is followed with some spice, almost like cinnamon. This blanco can almost have a mineral earthy taste that hits the palate just right enough. I love to enjoy this traditionally made blanco on a rock. Let’s also not forget, no additives! I highly recommend it!” —Victor Pichardo, beverage director, Hat Trick Hospitality, San Francisco

“Working at a tequila and mezcal bar with so many amazing tequilas to choose from, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Although it may not be the most well-known tequila, I always recommend Fortaleza Reposado, which delivers such a smooth and flavorful taste. For about $60, this tequila will have you believing you’re sipping a $200 high-end tequila. It is very well balanced with lighter notes on the palate and earthy tones with the finish. With light vanilla and caramel notes, Fortaleza Reposado brings a very smooth yet warm, earthy finish that will have you asking for another.” —Jennifer Banda, bar supervisor, Naranja Tequila & Mezcal Bar, San Antonio, Texas

Arette Reposado is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“My favorite tequila out there is Fortaleza. That being said, the price for that has increased substantially over the last couple years. So, my vote for ‘bang for my buck’ would have to be Arette Reposado. Rich in flavors of citrus, earthiness, vanilla with the sweetness of agave, it is aged six months in white American oak, 100 percent natural, and is family-owned and -operated by the Orendain family (fourth generation). In addition, the Suave line of tequilas by Arette are incredible if you want to spend a few more dollars.” —Scott Taylor, beverage director, Harris’ Restaurant, San Francisco

Hiatus Tequila is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“My personal favorite is Hiatus Tequila because it’s a premium and authentic brand with a nice price point. The owner takes pride in offering a true taste of tequila, so he doesn’t cut any corners with the process. There’s no artificial coloring or strange vanilla taste and it’s incredibly smooth and clean tasting with a spicy noise. It’s definitely underrated for the price and works well behind the bar, or on a bar cart because of the shape of the bottle and cool branding that reminds you to take a ‘hiatus’ every now and then (which we can all use as a daily reminder).” —Mario Briones, bartender, JaJaJa Plantas Mexicana, NYC

Herradura Silver is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“I’m a big fan of Herradura Silver tequila. It’s smooth and offers a distinctly sweet taste of agave and oak notes. I recommend it because of its robust aroma of cooked agave and vanilla that it leaves in your mouth. People come in all the time asking, ‘What’s your best tequila?’ I always recommend Herradura because of their unique line of high-end tequila at a great price with a great story behind each bottle.” —Allen Macias, director of food & beverage, Salt Tequila Bar, Irving, Tex.

Pueblo Viejo is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

Pueblo Viejo is my go-to for ‘best-bang-for-your-buck’ tequila brands. Produced by Distilleria San Matias, one of the oldest distilleries in Mexico, it’s a beautiful blanco with light herbal and citrus notes. It’s one of the most popular tequila brands in Mexico for a multitude of reasons: history, domestically owned, and unadulterated process. It has been noticeably penetrating the American market over the past five to seven years for the very same reasons, and additionally, it has a very competitive price point, retailing at around $19 a bottle. I also recommend Arette, Cazadores, and El Jimador.” —Trevor Langer, head bartender, Bar Calico, NYC

“We opened someday with Olmeca Altos as our well. It has a lovely, restrained flavor, with some butterscotch notes and nice agave and citrus notes on the nose and palate. However, we switched to Pueblo Viejo because it was at a better price point, and we wanted to be able to offer customers tasty tequila cocktails at an approachable price without compromising flavor and quality. Pueblo Viejo stands up very well in drinks because it is more robust and has great agave flavor (in comparison, Altos has a perceived sweetness and almost diluted flavor), is slightly grassy and vegetal, has a bit of butterscotch and vanilla flavor, and sings in shaken and stirred cocktails. We also add a half-ounce in our mezcal cocktails to boost the agave flavor and add a bit of backbone.” —Graham Files, owner, someday, Portland, Ore.

“My go-to tequila for cocktails and as my house tequila is Pueblo Viejo Blanco. It’s vegetal, bright [and has] citrus notes, with an aroma of green apple that carries a long finish. Not only is this an easy-to-drink blanco, it mixes extremely well in cocktails and comes with a great price point, ranging from $16 to $22 a bottle. The best price for a liter for sure, without compromising taste and quality for a reasonably priced blanco. Plus, Pueblo Viejo has a 104 overproof blanco that crushes!” —Meaghan Montagano, bar queen and manager, Strange Bird Hospitality, NYC

VIVA XXXII is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“In a world where tequila is commercialized by celebrities, we enjoy supporting small brands doing big things. VIVA XXXII is a small woman-owned brand built to give back without breaking the bank. We love this handcrafted tequila for its crisp and clean taste but we love it even more because they donate 10 percent of net proceeds to animal welfare charities, truly encompassing their motto, ‘Tastes Good, Does Good.’ The entry-level VIVA XXXII Joven is 100 percent blue agave blanco blended with its sister expression three- year-old extra añejo. We enjoy it neat or on the rocks, but have been having fun infusing the reposado with Szechuan peppercorns for our summer cocktail menu. It is a high-quality tequila that is a must-have on any bar. Plus, Phil (the dog on the side of the bottle — short for Philanthropy) appreciates our support. —Olivia Whirty, bartender, Giusto, Newport, R.I.

Tequila Ocho Single Estate Blanco is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

Tequila Ocho Single Estate Blanco: Giving agave the same provenance that the likes of wine and Cognac are treated to, this brand was built by the late, great Tomas Estes and family (who continue running the brand today). Ocho is to tequila what Del Maguey is to mezcal — from their focus on raising the knowledge and standards of the whole category, to an enduring and never-ending support of the bartending community. A brilliantly made tequila at a mixable price point where you know the year and field where the agave was harvested. It doesn’t get much better!” —Iain Griffiths, creative director, Hidden Leaf, Midnight Cafe, and Midnight Theatre, NYC

Inclusive One World is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“When choosing tequila to serve at Tomo, we are looking for well-crafted spirits that showcase the individual and community the products come from. A few spirits we love at Tomo come from the small company Inclusive One World. Inclusive One World is owned by a First Nations Native American born on the Mohawk territories of the Iroquois confederacy and curates a special portfolio of spirits from all over the world. Their Inclusivo Reposado and Añejo are both incredible for their price point and compare to some of the most sought-after tequilas. The reposado has a beautiful aroma of honey, vanilla, and roasted agave that is great on its own or mixed into a cocktail. Inclusivo offers the best bang for your buck, producing small-batch tequilas that showcase the quality of the agave, care in the production, and aging process.” —Greg Bonney, bar director, TOMO, Seattle

Tromba Tequila Blanco is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

Tromba Tequila Blanco: A highland agave [that] does not disappoint agave lovers. This juice has an immense amount of character. Minerality, citrus, sweet agave, green veggies, peppercorn — all of the ‘sweet’ spots tequila blanco should hit.” —Liz Dabecco, head bartender, Evening Bar at the Shinola Hotel, Detroit

Cimarron Reposado is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

Cimarron Reposado: At $25 a liter, you cannot beat the quality of this reposado for the price. 100 percent agave, no additives, subtle barrel flavors of cinnamon and vanilla, with a nice black pepper note on the nose. A totally sippable tequila on its own, but a great addition in classic tequila cocktails.” —Dustin Grilli, beverage director, Funkenhausen, Chicago

Socorro Tequila is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“With bottles ranging from $32 to $39, Socorro Tequila is the best bang-for-your-buck tequila on the market today. With rich, earthy, caramel flavors that flawlessly work together, Socorro has an unexpected depth and warmth you wouldn’t expect from a product in that price range. It is not only a perfect sipping tequila, it also remains versatile to mixology, bridging flavors together without getting lost.” —Brittany Lack, general manager, Electric Shuffle, Dallas

ELVELO is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“At the bars in 101 Hospitality, we use ELVELO for our ‘first pour’ tequila ($23). It has a great agave-forward palate and black pepper on the finish, which won’t break the bank.” —Judy Elahi, bar director, Michelin-starred Gravitas and 101 Hospitality, Washington, D.C.

G4 Reposado is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

G4 Reposado: Felipe Camarena is now the fourth generation of agave distillers in the family and he might be the only one who gets terms like ‘mad scientist’ attached to him, but nobody is complaining about the results. The tequila isn’t attached to celebrities, and the packaging isn’t flashy, but it’s traditional and authentic. True, it’s a few more bucks than some of the agaves owned by American mega-companies, but you get so much more bang to go with it.” —Mike Trow, director of bar operations, RPM Restaurants, Chicago

Milagro Silver Tequila is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

Milagro Silver Tequila is light, aromatic, with vanilla notes that transport the drinker straight to the Jalisco highlands, where the blue agave of Milagro is grown. Milagro was among the first agave spirits to usher in the transition from tequila’s reputation as a party drink to a pedigreed sipping spirit. It retains this transitional quality: a straightforward, balanced profile that makes it easy to sip or incorporate in a cocktail. Milagro’s master distiller values the terroir — and works to preserve the regional particularities that make this tequila reminiscent of Jalisco.” —Jason Hedges, certified sommelier and director of beverage, Laurent Tourondel Hospitality’s L’Amico, The Vine, and Skirt Steak, NYC

El Tesoro is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“When it comes to tequila, I tend to lean towards the tahona-milled tequilas. This is the most traditional way of making tequila, utilizing a large volcanic rock shaped into a wheel to crush the agave and ferment all of the pulp and juice together, providing a naturally sweeter and smoother profile. It’s more laborious than most of the commercial tequilas, which tends to up the price point a bit. However, El Tesoro tequila keeps things value-friendly while upholding tradition and delivering a delicious bottle to mix or sip.” —Phil Collins, beverage director, TableOne Hospitality (Mother Tongue, Los Angeles/La Société Bar & Cafe, San Francisco), NYC

Volcán De Mi Terra Blanco is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“I am a huge fan of agave and I love tequila in general, but if I have the choice, I drink blancos because I want to feel and taste the full agave flavor coming out of the bottle. For people who also love tequilas that highlight the agave, I always suggest Volcán De Mi Tierra Blanco. It offers such a beautiful mix between lowlands and highlands blue agaves, giving you a mouthful of pepper, grapefruit, and cherry flavors and is fantastic when enjoyed in a cocktail or on its own. This is an exceptional tequila to play with and create new innovative cocktails. At The Chester at Gansevoort Meatpacking, we offer the Green Door: a mix of Volcán Blanco, pistachio syrup, lime, and tonic water. One of my favorite creations with this tequila.” —Federico Doldi, director of food & beverage, Gansevoort Meatpacking, NYC

Gran Centenario Añejo is one of the best bang-for-your-buck tequilas, according to bartenders.

“Almost like a whiskey on the palate, Gran Centenario Añejo has some subtle chocolate notes with aromas of caramel. Aged longer than most within this price range, this budget añejo is a decent sipper with a buttery mouthfeel. Oaky sweetness on the nose, the finish is pleasingly warm.” —Karl Paredes, head bartender, Big Alma, San Francisco