Tequila hasn’t yet claimed the crown of best-selling spirit in America — both bourbon and vodka still stand in its way on that front — but Mexico’s famous agave distillate has firmly established itself as a staple of stateside drinking culture.

The category benefits from arriving in a range of styles, from earthy and spiced blancos to subtly aged reposados, and luxurious añejos. Those different guises provide versatility: Tequila stars in a variety of cocktails, most notably the Margarita, and proves just as adept for sipping occasions.

As interest in tequila spikes, conversations surrounding production techniques and ingredients are also gaining importance. Bottles made with additives and/or using corner-cutting equipment simply don’t cut it among modern day bartenders and agave aficionados.

In this ranking of the best of the best in the category, you won’t encounter blancos that taste like birthday cake or expressions stripped of all agave character because of diffusers. Instead, you’ll find bottles for every budget that highlight the impressive depth of styles and technique the category has to offer.

Here are the 30 best tequilas to drink in 2022.

Under $25

Casco Viejo Tequila Blanco

Casco viejo is one of the best tequilas.

This blanco delights with fresh, spicy agave character, and a well-rounded flavor profile. Sweet citrus notes lead to a pink peppercorn kick on the finish, delivering an experience well above anything else at this price point. Average price: $23. Rating: 91.

Under $50

Espolòn Tequila Blanco

espolon is one of the best tequilas.

A popular well pour at bars and a reliable pick you’re all but guaranteed to encounter at any liquor store, Espolòn delivers a punchy, vegetal-spiced profile that’s perfect for everyday mixing and entertaining large parties. Average price: $26. Rating: 89.

Olmeca Altos Plata

altos is one of the best tequilas.

When the occasion calls for batched Margaritas, whether fresh or frozen, Olmeca Altos Plata serves a standout option. Cooked agave forms the core of its profile, while sweet tropical fruit and baking spices add extra layers of flavor. A jalapeño kick on the finish promises to pair perfectly with a chili-spiced salted rim. Average price: $26. Rating: 92.

Corralejo Silver Tequila

corralejo is one of the best tequilas.

Of all the inexpensive options, it’s surprising that Corralejo Silver continues to fly so under the radar. This blanco tequila brims with a vegetal, enjoyably rugged character. Its suitability for Margs is a given, but don’t overlook this one for a characterful Bloody Maria. Average price: $30. Rating: 91.

Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila

tres agaves is one of the best tequilas.

Seek out this tequila for an approachable profile, with gentle ripe fruit aromas and subtle floral notes. Sips are rounded and balanced with just a hint of green agave spice. Average price: $30. Rating: 91.

Teremana Small Batch Tequila Blanco

teremana is one of the best tequilas.

Most notable for being the tequila of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Teremana eschews the celebrity norm with a very pure expression of agave, and nothing in the way of added sweet flavors. Saline notes mix with wet rocks on the palate, wrapped around an enticing agave core. Average price: $31. Rating: 92.

DE-NADA Tequila Blanco

de nada is one of the best tequilas.

This bottle will look familiar to anyone who caught Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen ringing in 2022 after enjoying shots on the hour, every hour. Its profile certainly lends itself to drinking neat, with herbaceous and wet grass aromas leading to green olives and citrus fruit on the palate. Sipping rather than shooting would be our recommendation (sorry Anderson!). Average price: $40. Rating: 93.

Angelisco Tequila Reposado

angelisco reposado is one of the best tequilas.

Aged for nine months in former Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, this reposado maintains an attractive agave spice, while licorice aromas bring an extra dimension to the nose. The oak influence remains present throughout without ever overtaking the base distillate. Sip this on the rocks or mix in place of blanco in shaken cocktails. Average price: $44. Rating: 92.

Los Arango Tequila Blanco

los arango is one of the best tequilas.

This perfumed blanco exudes herbaceous and floral aromas. Jalapeño and mint continue its clean, green profile on the palate, while white pepper provides a prickly finish. Add a splash of lime, an optional shot of triple sec, and a vibrant bubbly water for a refreshing Ranch Water. Average price: $45. Rating: 92.

Los Dos Tequila Blanco

los dos is one of the best tequilas.

Lime zest meets creamy agave to kick off the nose on this wonderfully expressive blanco. Saline notes and a hint of white flowers lie underneath, with peppery spice and anise entering the fray on the palate. This is a great-value sipping blanco that also shines in cocktails. Average price: $45. Rating: 93.

Severo Tequila Plata

severo is one of the best tequilas.

Intense floral aromas and vibrant tropical fruit immediately invite on this crisp and clean blanco. A range of freshly picked herbs, the type one might find in a fragrant Thai salad, combine with rose petal and papaya on the palate. Average price: $45. Rating: 93.

LALO Tequila Blanco

lalo is one of the best tequilas.

Founded by — and named after — the grandson of Don Julio González, Lalo exhibits a remarkably pure agave character. Underripe mango and orange blossom aromas season an otherwise vegetal nose, while the palate is zesty and refreshing. Sip or mix this one. Average price: $46. Rating: 93.

El Sativo Añejo

el sativo is one of the best tequilas.

A sweet-sipping aged spirit, El Sativo Añejo never strays too far from its cooked agave roots. Light vanilla and baking spices bring a subtle dessert-like quality to the nose, while prickly spice reins in the richness of the palate. This is an enjoyable añejo that offers great value. Average price: $47. Rating: 92.

El Pintor Tequila Blanco

el pintor is one of the best tequilas.

Arriving with an attractive and evocative bottle label, the agave for El Pintor is roasted in traditional brick ovens; ground using a tahona and mechanical mill; and fermented in open-top vats. With an agave-forward nose, this blanco serves heaps of savory spices, and fresh green mango and apple notes. Bottled at 42 percent ABV, this attractive profile promises to persist in cocktails. Average price: $48. Rating: 92.

La Gran Señora Silver

la gran senora blanco is one of the best tequilas.

Made using agave grown in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, this blanco offers a precise balance of tropical fruit and earthy, peppery notes. Most notable is its concentration of flavor, which delivers notes of wet rocks and green olives in high definition, and gives the impression that the final alcohol content is higher than it actually is (without the burn). All of which makes this ideal for cocktail creation. Average price: $48. Rating: 94.

Mijenta Tequila Blanco

mijenta is one of the best tequilas.

Mijenta is a sustainably focused brand engaged in a number of community initiatives, which means you can feel good about buying a bottle. Its profile satisfies, too, with rich cooked agave notes, green grass aromas, and some light, floral flavors. Average price: $49. Rating: 92.

Under $100

Chinaco Tequila Blanco

chinaco is one of the best tequilas.

Chinaco opens with concentrated fresh agave notes, followed by brine and green chile spice. A rich palate offers well- rounded balance. Some of what you’re paying for here is, admittedly, propping up the packaging, and there are more complex blancos at this price. But there’s no arguing against this bottle making a great bar cart addition. Average price: $50. Rating: 92.

Paladar Tequila Blanco

paladar is one of the best tequilas.

Made using estate-grown agave that’s fermented in pine vats with proprietary yeasts, Paladar is a floral, mineral-driven blanco. Rich cooked agave notes bring a sweetness to the finish, though the profile is otherwise crisp and clean. Average price: $50. Rating: 93.

Don Fulano Tequila Blanco

don fulano is one of the best tequilas.

This tequila is among a handful of bottles that bring blanco to a higher level of concentration and complexity. In this case, we’ve arrived in the floral, tropical fruit realm of blanco tequila, with attractive agave character also present throughout. Average price: $51. Rating: 95.

Tequila Ocho Single Estate Blanco

tequila ocho is one of the best tequilas.

On the opposite end of the stylistic spectrum, but similarly complex and nuanced, Tequila Ocho’s blanco smells of dill pickles and brined cactus, with subtle hints of green olives, white flowers, lime zest, and fresh mint. The palate is energetic and bright, and somehow lands both balanced but remarkably pepper-spiced. There’s a reason agave aficionados love this tequila. Average price: $51. Rating: 96.

Tequila Partida Añejo

partida is one of the best tequilas.

Aged for 18 months, this añejo marries floral aromas with a kiss of sweet oak on its inviting nose. The palate is approachable, well rounded, and rich, and finishes with a nice crack of black pepper. All things considered, this is a great- value aged sipping spirit, and cocktail creation hasn’t been priced out of the equation. Try it in an Old Fashioned. Average price: $51. Rating: 93.

Terralta Tequila Reposado

terralta is one of the best tequilas.

Terralta, a combination of “terra” and “alta,” or high land, is produced at a distillery that sits nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. This reposado serves an impressive bouquet, spanning fresh fruit, minerals, spice, and earth, with only the slightest hint of oak. Concentrated and full of life on the palate, this is ideal for sipping neat or on the rocks. Average price: $53. Rating: 94.

Fortaleza Blanco

fortaleza blanco is one of the best tequilas.

Cross the door of any cocktail bar that cares about its agave spirits program and you will almost certainly encounter this peppery blanco tequila. Its aromas arrive in the form of textbook green bell pepper agave spice, while subtle fruit sweetness makes an appearance on the palate. While drinking neat reveals the true extent of its depth, mixing will take any tequila cocktail to the next level. Average price: $54. Rating: 95.

El Tesoro Tequila Reposado

el tesoro is one of the best tequilas.

Equally beloved by bartenders and agave aficionados, El Tesoro’s entire lineup shines as an example of agave excellence. The distinctive floral and fresh berry notes that define the blanco expression enjoy the slightest addition of sweet oak in this reposado, adding an extra dimension to the palate. Add this bottle to your home bar now. Average price: $55. Rating: 96.

Casa Noble Tequila Reposado

casa noble is one of the best tequilas.

This reposado spends 11 months in French oak barrels. As its golden honey hue suggests, this tequila exemplifies a richer style of reposado, though oak never fully overtakes its earthy, spiced, cooked agave core. Both price and profile place this one as a sipper. Average price: $60. Rating: 93.

G4 Tequila Reposado

g4 is one of the best tequilas.

Aged in former George Dickel Tennessee whiskey barrels, this reposado arrives full of funky, tropical fruit exuberance, with hints of dried herbs and fresh agave following. Its rich fruitiness translates to a full-bodied palate, which enjoys a careful measure of sweetness. Choose this bottle for a decadent Tommy’s Margarita. Average price: $60. Rating: 94.

PM Spirits Project Blanco Still Strength

pm spirits is one of the best tequilas.

While almost all tequilas clock in at 40 percent ABV, this blanco is bottled at a distillation proof 55 percent ABV. The higher-than-average alcohol content brings extra focus to its aromas and added bite to its spice. Though slightly pricey, the extra proof helps reimagine all the classic tequila cocktails we know and love. Average price: $64. Rating: 93.

Tepozán Añejo

tepozan is one of the best tequilas.

After resting for 14 months in ex-bourbon barrels, this añejo has developed an enticing maple syrup aroma, which hints at the luxurious palate that awaits. While the presence of agave gets a little lost on the nose, it comes through on the palate, building floral notes and invigorating spice upon its sweet oak core. Average price: $65. Rating: 93.

Patrón Tequila Extra Añejo

patron extra añejo is one of the best tequilas.

Aged for at least three years in American, French, and Hungarian oak barrels, this bottle leads the charge in the extra añejo field. Dried fruits and nuts, red berries, and sweet cooked agave set the tone, while each sip lands with velvet texture and impressive complexity. This isn’t just an excellent extra añejo but a high-class aged spirit, period. Average price: $89. Rating: 95.

Over $100

Tequila Komos Reposado Rosa

komos is one of the best tequilas.

French oak Napa Valley red wine barrels give this reposado a striking rosé hue and set the narrative for its aromatic and flavor profile, which delivers ripe red berries, sweet oak, and an undercurrent of earthy spice. There’s nothing conventional about this reposado, and it may not be one for “purists.” But the bottle and liquid provide a surefire conversation starter — albeit an expensive one. Average price: $110. Rating: 91.

FAQs

What type of tequila is the smoothest?

While any expression of tequila can be considered “smooth,” many believe that extra añejo tequilas, which are barrel-aged for a minimum of three years, are particularly smooth and complex, and best for sipping.

What are silver and gold tequila?

Often labeled as “blanco” or “plata,” silver tequila is typically unaged and is clear as a result. Many tout silver tequila as agave’s most undiluted expression and the best measure of a brand’s range. Gold tequila, often labeled as “joven” or “oro,” is also typically unaged, though can include a blend of unaged and aged tequilas. In some cases, gold tequilas get their color from the addition of caramel colorings and other flavors.

What are the best-selling tequilas?

The popularity of tequila has exploded in recent years, and as the spirit has evolved, so, too, has the number of brands on the market. In addition to a number of other brands, Don Julio, Tequila Ocho, Patrón Tequila, Jose Cuervo, and El Jimador are among the best-selling tequilas. (Check out the full list of the top 10 best-selling tequilas in the world.)

What is the best tequila for shots?

Any tequila on this list can be the best tequila for shots if you really put your mind to it. While we at VinePair prefer our tequila mixed into cocktails or served neat, if you’re taking shots, opt for a quality tequila under the $25 price point.