A margarita is tequila’s natural vehicle, no matter what type of margarita you prefer. A delicious margarita can be served on the rocks, frozen, or flavored. You can make them even better by choosing the right tequila. What’s the best tequila for margaritas? We have lots of great suggestions based on the type of margarita you prefer.
What Are the Different Types of Tequila for Margaritas?
We all have our favorite way of making the perfect margarita. Ours is simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and triple sec, although another orange liqueur or even freshly squeezed orange juice work wonderfully too. No matter how you make the base of your margarita, it’s the tequila that really matters.
There’s a school of thought you don’t need to get fancy when it comes to tequila for your margaritas. Some say that any inexpensive silver tequila works because the other ingredients mask the tequila’s sharper flavors.
There’s some truth to this, but we also know that using a good tequila can make for a more enjoyable, smoother drink.
There’s no shame in using inexpensive tequila. In fact, we’ve included our favorite cheap tequila in our list. But knowing the difference between the different types of tequilas will help you achieve the margarita taste you prefer.
Blanco tequila and silver tequila are used interchangeably to describe tequila that is clear, with a stronger flavor of agave.
In many cases, Blanco tequilas don’t undergo an aging process and go directly to the bottle. Their flavor is often a bit more unrefined, but many still say that these are the best tequilas for margaritas.
Tequila Blanco is available in a range of price points, and you’ll notice a difference in flavor nuances among them. Cheaper Blanco tequilas will be sharp and a little bitter, while higher quality silver tequila will be smoother with more noticeable notes of black pepper.
Reposado tequilas have been aged in barrels for two to eleven months before they’re sent on for bottling.
An aged tequila like this will usually have a light amber color and a warmer, smoother flavor profile than Blanco tequila. You’ll be able to taste hints of oak mixed with the agave plant in reposado tequila.
Añejo tequila has been aged at least three years in wooden casks. It’s common for Anejo to be aged in oak barrels that have been previously used for American whiskey. This lends all sorts of interesting notes of oak, heavy vanilla, and spice.
Anejo is an excellent sipping tequila, but it’s not the most popular for margaritas – not because of how it tastes, but because fans of this type of tequila don’t like to “ruin” the taste by adding other flavors.
All tequilas are made from Blue Weber agave plants, although they don’t have to be 100% agave.
Tequila distillers can use additives like cane sugar or agave syrup. You might see a tequila marketed as 100% blue agave, but the reality is that the actual percentage can be much lower. A tequila that isn’t 100% pure agave is called tequila mixto.
Mezcal is different from tequila in that instead of only Blue Weber agave, any type of agave plant can be used. Sugars from cooked agave are fermented, and that’s how mezcal is born.
Best Tequila Brands For Margaritas
Best Blanco Tequila For Margaritas – Casamigos Blanco
Casamingos Blanco was founded by George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman. Their vision was to create a wonderful, smooth-sipping tequila.
The idea is that you don’t need to add salt and lime to make it taste good, which you don’t. Still, we think it makes a wonderfully refreshing margarita.
This Blanco tequila rests for two months, contributing to its smooth and crisp flavors. We think this goes best in homemade margarita mixes that use real lime juice instead of premade lime syrup.
Runner-Up Best Silver Tequila for Margarita Cocktails – Patron Roca Silver
Roca Patrón Silver is a very close second-place choice for best Blanco tequila, so it felt wrong to completely leave it off our list. Patron is one of the most famous tequila brands, and this one stands out as a really good tequila for a margarita.
Patrón silver uses volcanic stone to press the agave, and it’s then left to ferment in its own fibers.
This creates a very crisp, full-bodied tequila that has subtle notes of herbs and earthiness. Patrón Silver tequila is also easy to find in any well-stock liquor store.
Best Reposado Tequila For a Margarita – Casamigos Reposado
Casamigos tequila brand makes it onto our list again, this time for their reposado.
This premium tequila is aged seven months in oak barrels, offering more depth and complex flavors. You might notice the most subtle notes of chocolate in this, which lends itself really well to the orange liqueur used to mix margaritas.
Best Anejo Tequila for a Margarita – Espolon Tequila Anejo
If you like tequila with a light, crisp flavor of agave, this one might not be for you. But, if you like your margaritas to be made with a rich, complex tequila that offers a bit of its own natural sweetness, this Espolon Tequila Anejo knocks it out of the park.
This is a good quality tequila that’s aged for at least a year in American oak barrels. Then it’s finished in charred barrels that were previously used for Wild Turkey.
There’s a significant depth of flavor here, and it’s a great tequila for a margarita or sipping.
Best Agave Tequila for Margaritas – Fortaleza Tequila Blanco
All tequila is made from agave, but not all of them are 100% pure. Tequila aficionados speak highly of Fortaleza Tequila Blanco, which is 100% agave and doesn’t fall short of taste or smoothness.
Fortaleza tequila is one of the few that we noticed a bit of olive oil flavor to it, along with vanilla and some herbaceousness.
In our opinion, this one far outpaces other white tequilas in terms of flavor and will definitely add some new flavors to your margarita.
Best Cheap Tequila For Margarita Cocktails – Herradura Silver
Herradura Silver is a great affordable tequila with a nice smooth flavor. A good silver tequila is always nice to have on hand for an impromptu margarita night, and this is one that won’t break the bank.
Herradura Silver has a nice, crisp agave flavor (it’s 100% agave). It’s double distilled, which lends to its smoothness, and we picked up on some citrus and vanilla that complement margaritas nicely.
Best Tequila For Frozen Margaritas – Espolon Blanco Tequila
Espolòn Blanco is our top choice for frozen margaritas. We enjoy a nice frosty frozen margarita, but sometimes the tequila flavor gets watered down by all of the ice, especially as it begins to melt. Espolòn Blanco has more than enough flavor to stand on its own in a frozen margarita.
We noticed some really nice flavors of green apple and citrus fruits. Frozen margaritas often taste sweeter than margaritas on the rocks and might even be rimmed in sugar instead of salt.
We love how the fruit, sweetness, and clean agave taste of this tequila complement our favorite frozen cocktail.
Best Tequila For Margaritas With No Hangover – Cazadores Tequila Anejo
In all honesty, we really didn’t believe it was possible to enjoy more than one margarita (or maybe two) without feeling the effects the next morning. However, Cazadores Tequila Anejo takes it a lot easier on you the next day than other tequilas.
We’re not saying you can drink half a bottle of the stuff and feel fine the next day, but this tequila is very smooth without all the sharp edges. We loved the subtle notes of baking spices, vanilla, and slightly spicy pepper in this gold tequila.
Best Strawberry Margarita Tequila – Olmeca Altos Plata
Strawberries are natural partners to the lime in a margarita, but we’ve found that not every tequila is a good fit for this sweet and delicious cocktail. We think Olmeca Altos Plata is one of the best tequilas for a strawberry margarita, as well as other fun flavors.
This tequila is citrusy, and it has a bit of sweetness to it. There’s not a lot of earthiness or black pepper flavor to this, which we think is important when making a sweeter, fruitier margarita. Master distiller Jesus Hernandez is to thank for this well-balanced, very sippable tequila.
Best Tequila For Skinny Margaritas – Casa Noble Blanco
Skinny margaritas are made using ingredients like fresh lime juice and orange juice instead of sweeter, more calorically dense ingredients like simple syrup and triple sec. Because these ingredients are lighter and not as sticky-sweet, you want a tequila that’s crisp and shines through. Casa Noble Blanco is one of the best tequilas for the job.
This is an award-winning Blanco tequila that’s triple distilled, offering nice fruit, citrus, and just a bit of smoky sweetness. This tequila makes for a very refreshing margarita.
This tequila brand also makes the Casa Noble Crystal that we’re equally crazy about.
Best Small Batch Tequila for Making Margaritas – Casa Dragones Blanco Tequila
Casa Dragones Blanco is a high-quality tequila that’s distilled in small batches and, in our opinion, is one of the best tequilas if you want a really nice, elegant, and balanced upscale margarita.
Casa Dragones Blanco tequila is one of the more expensive tequilas on our list, but we think it’s worth it if you enjoy a nice sipping tequila that can also make your margaritas top-notch.
Best High-End Tequila For MakingMargaritas – Don Julio Anejo Tequila
There are tequila aficionados out there that say a high-end tequila has no place going anywhere near a margarita. We think there are times when you can make an exception, as is the case with Don Julio añejo tequilas.
This falls in the family of aged tequilas since it spends fifteen months being aged before it’s charcoal filtered. The result is smooth and a bit oaky with hints of honey. Don Julio Anejo is worth the splurge.
Best Flavored Tequila for a Margarita – Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila
What’s a list of the best tequilas for margaritas without including one that takes it over the top with unique flavors?
We enjoyed Sauza Cucumber Chili tequila and were blown away when we tried it in a margarita. The spice and black pepper combined with cucumber are perfect compliments to the fresh citrus in a margarita.
Best Margarita Tequila to Have on Hand For Other Cocktails – Tequila Ocho Plata
If you love margaritas but also like to enjoy your tequila in other types of cocktails, we give props to Tequila Ocho Plata for its smooth flavor and versatility that goes well with a variety of mixers.
This tequila has a nice clean agave flavor that isn’t dominated by other notes, and it tastes just as yummy in other tequila cocktails, like a Paloma, tequila sour, or a Mexican Mule.
We’re all familiar with Jose Cuervo, but why limit yourself when it comes to making margaritas? There are some amazing profiles to explore in our list of the best tequilas for margaritas, and we covered all the bases. What type of tequila do you prefer for your margaritas? We’d love to hear!