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Discovering the Best Tequila for Margaritas

April 18, 2023 by Anna-Bet Stemmet

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Keen to level up your cocktail game with the best tequila for Margaritas? Todo bien, amigo! From smooth and silky blancos to aged and complex reposados, we’ve scoured global shelves and tasted our way through the world’s most popular tequilas to bring you the best options to elevate your Margarita experience. So, grab your cocktail shaker and a pinch of salt, because it’s time to raise a glass to the top tequila for Margaritas of 2024. 

What’s in a Margarita?

Close up of two Frozen Margaritas in a coupe and Martini glass respectively, posed against a white wall with palm leave shadows in the background

Ah, the beloved Margarita—it’s the queen of cocktails and the ultimate thirst-quencher! This classic drink features a tangy mix of tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur. Served over ice and rimmed with salt, it strikes the perfect balance of sweet and sour. The tequila brings the punch, while the lime juice adds a zesty kick, and the orange liqueur adds a touch of sweetness.  

Whether you’re sipping it on a sandy beach or clinking it at home, a Margarita is always a good idea if you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing cocktail. It’s no wonder it has inspired its very own annual day of appreciation.   

How to choose the best tequila for Margaritas

Shots of mezcal

When selecting the best tequila for Margaritas, we like to keep the following three quintessential rules of thumb in mind:  

Choose 100% agave tequila

You can follow the best Margarita recipe in the world, but if you are not using 100% agave tequila, it’s always going to feel like it’s lacking something essential. Unlike mixed tequilas, which may contain additives and artificial sugars, 100% agave tequila is made purely from the agave plant, offering a smoother and more authentic taste.  

Learn more: What’s the Difference Between Mezcal and Tequila?

Select an authentic tequila

Did you know that for a tequila to be classified as authentic, it must be produced in one of the five designated regions in Mexico where the Weber blue agave grows? If not, it’s simply considered an agave spirit. These regions were officially identified by the Mexican government and the Consejo Regulador del Tequila. 

Authentic tequila is also carefully crafted using a traditional process that involves cooking, fermenting, and distilling the agave juice to create a smooth and distinctive flavor.  

Read next: 13 Easy Tequila Summer Cocktails for Beginners 

Consider types of tequilas for Margaritas (blanco, joven & reposado)

A sweeping view of a plantation of Blue Agave plants

The best Margarita recipes call for high-quality tequila – this we know – but what type is the best suited for making a great cocktail? In the opinion of our esteemed panel of drinks experts, it comes down to three kinds, namely blanco, joven, and reposado tequila.  

Blanco tequila (silver)

Blanco tequila is a type of tequila that has not been aged in oak barrels and is bottled immediately after distillation. It is known for its clear colour and strong, pure taste of blue agave.  

Joven tequila (gold)

Joven tequila, also known as gold or young tequila, is a blend of unaged blanco tequila and aged reposado or añejo tequila. The unique blending process gives joven tequila a distinct flavour profile, combining the smoothness of aged tequila and the freshness of blanco tequila.   

Reposado tequila (aged)

Reposado tequila is a type of tequila that has been aged in oak barrels for at least two months, but no longer than a year. This aging process gives it a slightly golden hue and a smooth, mellow flavour with notes of vanilla and caramel, while still retaining the unique taste of agave. It offers a more complex and intriguing base for a Margarita. 

Learn more: A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Tequila 

12 Best tequilas for Margaritas

Here are the 12 top tequilas (in no particular order of importance) The Mixer team recommends for shaking up the perfect Margarita recipe in 2024:  

1. La Gritona Reposado

Close up of a Frozen Lime Margarita with a striped paper straw, with a second, empty glass in the background next to a cutting board with cut limes

La Gritona Reposado is one of the best tequilas for cocktails if you like your spirits with a complex and brooding character. It has lovely notes of caramelised fruit, ginger, and pepper. Try it in a Frozen Margarita recipe.  

2. Maestro Dobel Diamante

Pineapple and jalapeño Margaritas

Maestro Dobel Diamante ranks among the best tequilas for Margaritas thanks to its double distillation process and maturation time in Hungarian White Oak barrels. It is full-bodied, smooth, and complex, with enticing notes of oak, vanilla, butterscotch, and a touch of spice. Try it in our Spicy Margarita recipe. 

3. Casa Dragones Blanco  

Two Strawberry Margaritas served with quesadillas

Ranking among the best silver tequila for Margaritas, Casa Dragones Blanco has a fresh and herbaceous aroma with notes of grapefruit and green apple, that finishes crisply with hints of almond twinkling along a bright, lingering aftertaste. Try it in our Strawberry Margarita recipe. 

4. Espolòn Blanco

Front View of Delicious Lime Margaritas in ice bowl

Arguably the best blanco tequila for Margaritas if you love ample aromas of sweet agave, Espolòn Blanco carries notes of tropical fruit and lemon zest, underpinned by a hint of pepper that anchors the light-to-medium bodied palate, ending in a clean, stylish finish. Try it in our Classic Margarita recipe. 

5. Milagro Reposado

Two Frozen Mango Margarita cocktails with tajin rim and mint garnish, served on a blue platter

When discussing the best reposado tequila for Margaritas, it’s impossible not to mention Milagro Reposado. This is a great option for folks who are new to the world of tequila. It has a sweet and slightly woody flavour with a nicely integrated aromatic profile that showcases savoury and citrus notes as well as hints of vanilla, anise, and spearmint. Try it in our Mango Margarita recipe.  

6. Olmeca Altos Plata

Two glasses of Watermelon Martini on a serving platter with a rose next to a pool on a sunny day

The best type of tequila for Margaritas depends a lot on personal preference, and if you dig a spirit with plenty of swagger, you’ve got to try Olmeca Altos Plata. This unaged tequila has a tidy kick of roasted agave layered over a sweet nose and a soft palate with tinges of lime, and spice, ending on fruit and pepper. Try it in our Watermelon Margarita recipe.  

7. Tapatio Blanco

Two Grand Margaritas with lime wheel garnish for Cinco de Mayo

If you want your cocktail to be infused with notes of spicy earthiness, cracked black pepper, and sweet cinnamon, the best tequila for a Margarita will be Tapatio Blanco. Try it in our Grand Margarita recipe with the grand dame Grand Marnier as co-star.  

8. Patrón Roca Silver

Three Pineapple Paloma variation cocktails on a golden tray with a pineapple in the background

Another one of the best tequilas for Margaritas in the blanco category, Patrón Roca Silver boasts a complex tonal blend of agave, anise, light pepper, and a creamy mouthfeel. Try it in our Pineapple Margarita recipe.  

10. Código 1530 Rosa

Two Cranberry Paloma Cinco de Mayo cocktails with lime and cranberry garnish

A tequila for cocktails that never seems to disappoint in the easy-to-sip department, Código 1530 Rosa comes to the party with captivating earthy notes with bright hints of red fruit sweetness. Try it in a Cranberry Margarita recipe 

11. Lobos 1707 Tequila Joven

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

If you are looking for the best tequila for Strawberry Margaritas (a niche choice we know, but just go with it), Lobos Joven is bold and robust, with notes of wine, wood, and medium roast cocoa. Try it in our (you guessed it!) Frozen Strawberry Margarita recipe.  

Also see: 12 of The Best Cocktails for Beginners

12. Herradura Directo de Alambique

Three Blue Margarita cocktails served with empanadas in a kitchen setting

Finally, the best type of tequila for a Margarita for folks who adore a fresh, natural flavour, Herradura Directo de Alambique has an abundant aroma of sweet apple and green pear, following through on a balanced palate of sweet agave and dried fruit laced with hints of warming herbs and spices. Try it in our Blue Margarita recipe 

Bonus tips for crafting the perfect Margarita

Let’s elevate your Margarita game with some insider tips! Whether you’re hosting a party or just enjoying a cocktail at home, these tricks will make your Margaritas unforgettable.

Perfecting the mix

Close up of a woman's hand squeezing fresh limes using a dainty ceramic juicing tray on a white backdrop

  • Fresh lime juice: Always use freshly squeezed lime juice when possible. It’s the backbone of a great Margarita, providing natural acidity and brightness.
  • Premium orange liqueur: Upgrade from triple sec to a premium orange liqueur like Grand Marnier for a deeper, richer citrus flavour.
  • Agave nectar sweetness: Use agave nectar instead of simple syrup for a more authentic and smoother sweetness that complements the tequila.

Garnish like a pro

Two Rosemary Gimlet Christmas gin cocktails

  • Salt rim with a twist: Instead of plain salt, try a mix of coarse sea salt and a bit of chilli powder or smoked salt for a kick. Dip the rim in lime juice, then in the salt mixture.
  • Citrus zest: Garnish with a twist of lime, lemon, or even grapefruit zest. It adds a burst of citrus aroma with each sip.
  • Fresh herbs: A sprig of rosemary or a few leaves of fresh mint can add an unexpected aromatic layer. Lightly slap the herbs before adding them to release their essential oils.

Serving techniques that wow

Three empty margarita glasses in a modern kitchen setting

  • Chilled glassware: Chill your Margarita glasses in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before serving. This keeps your drink cold longer and adds a frosty touch.
  • Big ice cubes: Use large ice cubes or an ice sphere in your Margaritas. They melt slower, keeping your drink well-chilled without diluting it quickly.
  • Batching for parties: If you’re hosting, batch your Margaritas ahead of time. Mix all ingredients except the ice in a pitcher and keep it in the fridge. When guests arrive, simply pour over ice and garnish.

Get crafty with it

Close up top view of green and red chillies

  • Infused tequila: Infuse your tequila with flavours like jalapeño, pineapple, or even cucumber for a unique twist. Just let the ingredients steep in the tequila for a few hours, or overnight.
  • Flavored salts: Create custom-flavoured salts for your rim. Combine sea salt with flavours like lime zest, smoked paprika, or even crushed dried hibiscus for vibrant colour and taste.

These tips and tricks will not only enhance your Margarita but also impress your guests with your cocktail craftsmanship. Cheers to making every sip an extraordinary experience!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Mixer UK has curated a selection of the 12 top tequilas to use in Margarita cocktails in 2023. Our choices include Espolòn Blanco, La Gritona Reposado, Maestro Dobel Diamante and nine others. Find the full list of top Margarita tequila choices on The Mixer UK.

The Mixer UK has identified a selection of 12 top tequilas to use in Margarita cocktails in 2023. Our top options include Espolòn Blanco, Herradura Directo de Alambique, Lobos Joven and nine more. Find the full list of top Margarita tequila options on The Mixer UK.

The Mixer UK has cherry-picked 12 top tequilas to use in Margaritas in 2023. Our list includes Espolòn Blanco, Herradura Directo de Alambique, Lobos Joven, and nine more. Find the full list of top Margarita tequila selections on The Mixer UK.

Both silver and reposado tequila can be used for Margaritas, but the choice ultimately depends on personal preference. Silver (blanco) tequila is clear and unaged, with a strong agave flavour and a sharp, citrusy taste that works well in traditional Margaritas. Reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels for 2-12 months, giving it a smoother taste with hints of caramel and vanilla, making it a good choice for a more complex and nuanced Margarita.

When it comes to making Margaritas, both silver and reposado tequilas are viable options. The decision, however, relies on personal taste. Silver tequila is transparent and unaged, featuring a distinct agave taste and a zesty, citrusy flavour that's ideal for classic Margaritas. Meanwhile, reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels for up to 12 months, giving it a mellowed taste with subtle notes of caramel and vanilla, making it a great choice for a more intricate and sophisticated Margarita.

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