If you’re buying a bottle of tequila there’s a high probability that some or all of the spirit inside will wind its way into a Margarita. Fully deserving of its place among the world’s most iconic and beloved cocktails, Margs are easy to mix and even easier to enjoy.
After squeezing fresh lime juice (always fresh!) and selecting your orange liqueur of choice, it all boils down to the tequila. And it’s no exaggeration to say that this is the most important of the cocktail’s three components. Tequila occupies the lion’s share of its recipe, meaning the quality and character of the base agave distillate ultimately dictate whether the Marg is magnificent or disappointingly mediocre.
To help you make this all important decision, here are the 15 best tequilas for Margaritas.
Table Of Contents
Best Blanco Tequilas for Margaritas
Casco Viejo Tequila Blanco
Offering excellent value, Casco Viejo’s blanco will set you back just over 20 bucks. The quality of this flavorsome spirit could easily command a higher price point — but it doesn’t, meaning you can easily mix these Margs by the pitcher. Average price: $23. Rating: 91.
Tequila Zarpado Blanco
This blanco tequila has alluring peppery spice and a rich agave core. Those qualities pair seamlessly with orange liqueur and lime, delivering a classy Marg that’s easy on the wallet. Average price: $23. Rating: 93.
Olmeca Altos Plata
Olmeca Altos is widely available and also screams budget-friendly option. With whiffs of spicy jalapeño on the nose, and a distinctive peppery note throughout, this tequila dazzles with a spiced salt rim when mixed in a Marg. Average price: $26. Rating: 92.
Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila
For a tequila that matches the approachable, easygoing nature of the Margarita, seek out Tres Agave blanco. This expression is packed with well-rounded fruity notes, while its agave spice is also dialed down. All of which also makes it a great candidate for shaking up Tommy’s Margaritas. Average price: $30. Rating: 91.
Focusing on this brand’s celebrity association does it a disservice. (It’s owned by The Rock, in case you’ve been living under one and weren’t aware.) This is top quality tequila that highlights all of the earthy, vegetal goodness of agave, and its depth of flavors ensures that the spirit leads the charge in the cocktail. Average price: $31. Rating: 92.
Casa México Silver
The attractiveness of this bottle’s branding carries through into the spirit and holds its own when mixed in cocktails. Its profile is a lot more complex than most competitors at this price, which makes for a flavorful Marg that hits notes you never knew existed. Average price: $35. Rating: 91.
Los Arango Tequila Blanco
This blanco offers many of the attributes found in the bottles lifted above, while also introducing an enticing kiss of white flowers (think jasmine and orange blossom). To allow those to fully shine in a Marg, go easy on the triple sec and avoid a salted rim. Average price: $45. Rating: 92.
Tequila Ocho Plata
There’s so much to say about Tequila Ocho Plata but let’s distill it down to three words: Buy this bottle. Among the finest tequilas on the market, this bottle proves blanco can and should (on occasion) be enjoyed neat. But mixed in a Marg, the cocktail is taken to new levels of poise and grace, with the supporting ingredients only amplifying the spirit’s incredible character. Average price: $46. Rating 96.
When VinePair conducted our tasting for the best triple secs and orange liqueurs for Margaritas, we needed a high-quality blanco tequila as a control variable. We turned to Patrón Silver and it comfortably stepped up to the plate, proving its versatility by always shining in the mixed drink (while also highlighting the unique qualities of the individual liqueurs). Consider this bottle the benchmark for mixing Margs. Average price: $48. Rating: 95.
If bottom lines were no issue, there’s a high probability that your favorite bar would mix Fortaleza Blanco in its Margs. Like Tequila Ocho and Patrón, this tequila takes blanco to whole new levels of complexity and nuance, and can easily be sipped neat. It’s also a sure-fire, simple way to upgrade this cocktail. Average price: $54. Rating: 95.
Best Reposado Tequilas for Margaritas
Some purists might argue Margaritas should only be made with blanco tequila. But rules are meant to be broken, and tasting this reposado, you get the feeling that sentiment is on the mind of its producers. It’s flavor profile is floral and almost botanical — a stark departure from most reposados. Choose this one for a Marg unlike any you’ve tasted before. Average price: $32. Rating: 93.
La Gran Señora Reposado
Delivering a more traditional reposado profile, La Gran Señora effuses agave character and serves just a kiss of vanilla on its finish. Its elegant profile and slightly elevated price point make this the ideal option for special occasion Margaritas. Average price: $54. Rating: 94.
Best Higher Proof Tequilas for Margaritas
The first thing that stands out about this bottle is its 1-liter size, which is larger than most. Those with an eagle eye will also notice its alcohol content — another aspect that goes above and beyond, clocking in at 44.5 percent ABV rather than the standard 40. Both of those factors boil down to this tequila being custom designed with bartenders and mixology in mind. It goes without saying that Elvelo therefore makes an incredible Margarita. Average price: $35 (1 liter bottle). Rating: 91.
PM Spirits Project Blanco Still Strength
There’s no denying that this is a pricey bottle of blanco, but this expression from the New York based importer PM Spirits takes an even more radical approach to proof, arriving at still-strength 55 percent ABV. Pick up a bottle and prepare for Margarita unlike any you’ve tasted before! (You won’t be disappointed.) Average price: $64. Rating: 93.
Best Cristalino Tequila for Margaritas
Maestro Dobel Diamante
Aged in oak then stripped of color using a special filtration process, this Cristalino offers the best of both worlds. It lands on the palate with luxurious weight and depth, but its bold flavor profile maintains the spicy soul of agave. All of which lead to a heady and decadent Marg, perfect for whenever you want to be a little extra. Average price: $43. Rating: 93.
What is the best type of Tequila for Margaritas?
TL;DR: Blanco tequila. It’s unaged, and a more pure expression of what the agave plant can do than both the more mellowed-out reposado (aged in oak between two months and two years) and anejo tequila (aged two years or more in oak). If you can only choose one tequila, you need something right away, and you don’t have time to experiment with different Margarita recipes, then you need to grab a blanco tequila.
Is it ever better to use Reposado and Gold Tequila in a Margarita?
The Margarita Cadillac is perfect for someone who doesn’t like blanco tequilas. It’s made with reposado tequila, Grand Marnier, and lime juice. Some people enjoy the added complexity that reposado can add to a drink (if the drink is properly made to showcase the spirit).
There’s also the Coralina Margarita, Patron’s Margarita of the Year. The Coralina uses Patrón Reposado, something that the man behind the cocktail, Riesler Morales, says is crucial to the structure of the drink. The Coralina is also topped with red wine, though, so it’s far from your average Margarita.
Whatever you do, don’t use gold. Gold tequila is most often a tequila made with added colors and caramel for sweetness. Never use gold if you want a quality Margarita.