The 13 Best Tequilas To Use For Margaritas

As the world's fourth best-selling cocktail in 2022 (via Drinks International) and the best-selling cocktail in the United States (per Binwise), the margarita is an extremely well-loved drink. Iterations of the margarita have been around since the Victorian era, however, a cocktail bearing the name only became widely known in 1953, as Difford's Guide reports. Its incredible and enduring popularity since this time is attributable to a number of reasons. VinePair suggests that these include the margaritas' refreshing, balanced taste, the ease with which it can be prepared, and its inherent versatility.

The key to all three of the aforementioned appeals is the margarita's base spirit, tequila. To put it simply, the quality, style, and strength of the tequila that is used will largely dictate what the final cocktail is like. Consequently, carefully selecting a tequila that is well-suited to the cocktail is a must. Generally speaking, these are unaged, clear tequilas known as blancos (via KQED), although different variations — such as tequilas aged for under a year called reposados — can result in delicious margaritas complete with an interesting twist.

When collating this list we have included tequilas of different ages, strengths, and price points in the hope that there will be something suited to everyone. It should also be noted that this list is non-exhaustive and there are numerous tequilas out there, which would also perform well in this classic cocktail. After all, what makes a great margarita is simply a matter of preference.

1. Espolòn Tequila Blanco

Espolòn was the brainchild of spirits industry veteran Cirilo Oropeza, who began working on the company in 1995 (via The Spirits Business). From that year until his death in 2020, Oropeza built a name for Espolòn — and himself — thanks to incredible dedication and passion as Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Campari Group explained: "Cirilo Oropeza was a true legend in the world of Tequila and the spirits industry at large — unrivaled in his curiosity, passion, and dedication to his lifelong dream, but above all, he was a great man [...] His contributions and unconventional methods undoubtedly changed the Tequila category. As he perfected his craft, we joined him in his exuberance at watching Espolòn conquer the palates of connoisseurs around the world. He will be dearly missed, but his techniques will live on and inspire generations of Tequileros to come."

One of the tequilas Oropeza crafted using these techniques was Espolòn Tequila Blanco, an unaged, agave forward spirit that also provides flavors of tropical fruit (via Espolòn Tequila). While strong in an alcoholic sense, the tequila is not overpowering, making it a great choice for those who like an easy-drinking margarita. Finally, its relatively low price point (per Distiller) makes it a natural choice for mixing.

2. Patrón Roca Silver

Anyone who knows anything about tequila will have almost certainly heard of Patrón. According to Statista, the brand sold 3.2 million nine-liter cases in 2021 alone. This mass volume has been driven by the wide variety of tequilas, which the brand offers, one of the most interesting being Patrón Roca Silver.

As reported by Drizly, Patrón Roca Silver differs from many other tequilas as it is produced using the tahona method. This, VinePair reports, is a technique invented by the Aztecs wherein the roasted agave is crushed by a huge wheel hewn from stone. The time and labor-intensive process result in an earthier-tasting tequila. Unsurprisingly, Stephanie Moreno, editor-in-chief at Distiller, described the earthiness of Patrón Roca Silver: "The aroma of sweet cooked agave is fairly dominant on the nose. Other characteristics, such as mild earthy and mineral notes, are present. Some sweetness is there on the tongue, but not intensely so. Cooked vegetal notes come through on the palate with the sweet agave, but they are in balance with the tequila."

Using Patrón Roca Silver to make margaritas will add an extra layer of complexity to your cocktails without introducing the other, more challenging flavors and dark appearances often associated with reposados. As such, Patrón Roca Silver is a handy tequila to have nearby, although its relatively high price point will mean many will probably opt to savor it straight.

3. Tapatio Blanco 110

While some like the easiest drinking margarita possible, there are others who want to experience the punchy presence of alcohol and the associated buzz that comes with it. For these people, Tapatio Blanco 110 should be their tequila of choice. This is because, at 55% ABV (via Speciality Brands), Tapatio Blanco 110 is as strong a tequila as you can legally buy (via Tequila.Net). But, perhaps even more importantly, it is a 55% ABV tequila that has the nuanced flavors, subtleness, and drinkability of a 40% ABV tequila (via Speciality Brands).

As reported by Difford's Guide, all tequila made at La Alteña Distillery is created via the tahona method. A fact that undoubtedly contributes to some strong flavors developing and thus ensures that the drinker's palate isn't solely dominated by the presence of such high concentrations of alcohol. Spicy and peppery notes (via Speciality Brands) help embellish the tequila's drinking experience. When added to a margarita, or any cocktail for that matter, the high alcoholic content will result in a powerful and immediately distinctive drink. However, the featured flavor notes will also result in a complex mouthful that is just as tasty as it is strong.

4. Espanita Reposado

The first reposado on our list is from Espanita, a brand that has won multiple awards, including having its Añejo named the best tequila of the year at the 2021 Bartender Spirits Awards, as per San Francisco Drinks Guide. Espanita's reposado has also received great acclaim, most notably receiving 94 points and a double gold award at the 2020 USA Spirits Awards (via Chilled Magazine).

One of the key processes behind the reposado's appeal is, somewhat unsurprisingly, aging. This six-month-long process takes place inside oak barrels, which were originally used to store bourbon (per Espanita). The flavors imparted by this process are absolutely essential as they help temper the spirit, whilst also bringing out its sweetness, according to Paste Magazine.

When it comes to mixing, the smoothness inherent to aged tequilas results in a different kind of margarita being made; one that is more complex than sharp. If an embellished version of a margarita is the drinking experience you are striving for you, then will be hard-pressed to find a tequila more suited to the job than Espanita's reposado.

5. Fortaleza Blanco

Retailing at around $50 (per Total Wine), makes Fortaleza Blanco a relatively expensive, unaged tequila. However, the extra cost is more than justified by the complexity, character, and sheer quality of the spirit as once again explained by Stephanie Moreno via Distiller : "Fortaleza Blanco Tequila is a tequila that manages to be fairly balanced in its earthy, vegetal, and sweet agave notes. It has an average mouthfeel without being slick or too sweet. Raw pineapple, green olives, and lime round out the palate. The finish is only slightly bitter and is dry, but not bone dry. This is a tequila that has a solid character and is a good yardstick by which to measure other valley tequilas."

The quality of Fortaleza's blanco should come as little surprise. Business owner, Don Guillermo, is from a long line of tequila makers, the first of which was a great-great-grandfather who founded a distillery way back in 1873 (per Tequila Fortaleza). In fact, Don Guillermo now implements his family's historical knowledge by using traditional tequila making techniques, including the use of a brick oven to roast the agave and a tahona to crush them. The resulting blanco could make a margarita that is both fruit and earth-forward. An incredibly intriguing mixture of flavors that would make for a delightful cocktail.

6. ElVelo Tequila Blanco

The range of ElVelo tequilas were designed specifically with mixing in mind, reports Altamar Brands. This accounts for the blanco's slightly higher ABV, which stands at 44.5%, as opposed to the U.S. market minimum of 40% ABV (per Decanter). As with Tapatio Blanco 110, the extra alcohol present within ElVelo Blanco gives cocktails a greater assertiveness. This will divide tequila drinkers. Those that are in search of a more flavorful drink will enjoy the increased presence, while those who are looking for an easy drinking experience may find it too harsh. This is nothing to do with the quality of the spirit itself but rather the two distinctive camps that most tequila drinkers find themselves in, as per Robb Report.

The experts at VinePair report that this strength is married with an abundance of flavor, most namely savory notes. The tequila's powerful presence on the palate when combined with its low price point of around $30 marks ElVelo Blanco as an affordable luxury. One that will instantly improve all home-mixed cocktails, margaritas especially.

7. Maestro Dobel Diamante

While we have discussed the two main types of tequila used for margaritas — blancos and reposados — there are several more styles every home mixologist should be aware of. Longer aged tequilas, known as añejos, are rarely used in cocktails outside of traditionally whisky-based ones, as the spirit's complexity, not to mention its price point, make it more used to sipping, as per VinePair.

A further style of tequila that is beginning to take markets by storm is the so-called cristalino, which is usually aged tequila, such as añejo, that has been filtered to become clearer and smoother while retaining its flavors of oak and spice (per Forbes). For cocktail making, cristalinos allow bartenders increased access to complex flavors without changing the appearance of a drink. A fact that can catch even a seasoned tequila drinker off guard.

Maestro Dobel Diamante is a fantastic example of a cristalino, expressing the clarity, complex spiced aromas, and sweet tastes that the subcategory is becoming known for (via Maestro Dobel). At nearly $100 (via Total Wine), this bottle may not be the first one you reach for when making a margarita. However, if you are keen to create an incredibly flavorful margarita for yourself or an esteemed guest, then this is the perfect choice.

8. G4 Reposado

G4 is a well-respected tequila brand that has been producing spirits from its base in Jalisco for over 80 years (via G4 Tequilas). The brand highlights that all tequilas are made using homegrown agave that is farmed using sustainable practices, including the avoidance of all things artificial. This farming approach has paid dividends with G4's reposado demonstrating an uncommonly powerful aroma and flavor of agave (per Master of Malt), a fact which is sure to earn it points among tequila connoisseurs.

The spirit also contains numerous other dimensions with some viewing it as a tropical fruit-forward spirit that gains an extra edge thanks to it being aged in old whiskey barrels, as per VinePair. The mixture of strong fruit and agave flavors make the G4's reposado highly suited to making all types of margaritas, including Tommy's margarita. According to, this is a margarita where the orange liqueur is replaced by agave nectar, resulting in an agave forward drink. With this knowledge to hand it is not difficult to see why this agave rich reposado is so well-suited.

9. Olmeca Altos Plata

Many of the tequilas on this list are a fantastic choice for when you are knocking up a margarita or two. However, if you plan on batch making a vast amount of margaritas, say for a party, many people are unwilling or unable, to use an expensive top-shelf tequila. Fortunately, the quality of your margaritas need not suffer when seeking a cheaper choice, as your base spirit thanks to Olmeca Altos Plata. This brilliant tequila is sold at the jaw-droppingly low price of around $20, as per VinePair.

To put it simply, Olmeca Altos Plata is probably the best tequila at this price point period, thanks to its smooth, well-rounded drinking experience, subtle citrus flavors, and agave-rich aroma (via Olmeca Altos). What's more, this specific tequila has made a name for itself as the perfect base spirit for a classic margarita. A fact reflected by it being voted one of the best tequila for margaritas by bartenders, as reported in Drinks International.

10. Arette Tequila Blanco

Arette's Blanco is probably the most versatile blanco's on this list, being well suited to both straight sipping or as a base spirit for cocktails, margaritas included (via Indie Brands). This is largely due to the fact that Arette's Blanco prioritizes a softer approach than other tequilas, as highlighted by it being bottled at 38% ABV in Mexico. Rest assured that those purchasing in the United States will receive a spirit with a market minimum strength of 40% ABV (via VinePair), however, the refusal to create an overly assertive tequila speaks volumes about the brand.

Instead, Arette Tequila Blanco finds appeal due to its savory notes of green pepper and crushed peppercorns. Flavors that may have been overwhelmed had the alcoholic content increased. At around $20 a bottle (via Bottle Barn), Arette's Blanco stands out as a versatile spirits cabinet staple that will provide numerous drinking options without breaking the bank.

11. Herradura reposado

Herradura, the world's last tequila-making hacienda (via VinePair), has a long and illustrious history when it comes to the agave-based spirit. Not only has the tequila been made on site since the late 19th century, as per Difford's Guide, but the distillery was also the birthplace of the reposado style of tequila. Released in 1974 (via Difford's Guide) while under the ownership of Gabriela de la Peña, Herradura's reposado transformed the tequila market. 

Herradura's version of the spirit is aged for just under a year in previously charred American oak barrels. This aging process results in a finished tequila that has some more refined flavors, including a presence of oak and spice. There's also a vanilla and agave presence in the tequila. This complexity makes it a great addition to any bar, as Arte Agave creator Walter Easterbrook explains: "It's a very well-rounded reposado that you can sip neat, throw on rocks, or mix into an amazing cocktail. It hits all the points I like. It's not too sweet or too spicy; it's perfectly balanced" (via Priced under $50 (via Liquor and Wine Outlets), this bottle is an accessible means of trying the original reposado in your margarita. A spirited choice that will undoubtedly elevate your cocktail.

12. El Tequileño Platinum Blanco Tequila

If you are looking for a more upmarket margarita drinking experience but not one that employs the full complexities of a reposado, we would recommend El Tequileño's platinum blanco. While on the more expensive side at over $50 (via VinePair), the platinum blanco delivers a different character to other blancos on the market, thanks to a short aging stint in oak barrels (per El Tequileño).

Numerous publications, Master of Malt included, note how well this particular tequila works in margaritas. This may be because the agave used to make El Tequileño's platinum blanco is sourced from the highlands of Jalisco. A choice that greatly influences the final characteristics of the spirit, as explained by the head bartender at Mezcal Bar, Jose Valle via VinePair : "Here, the agave is grown in what's considered a higher-stress environment because they are closer to the direct heat of the sun. Highland tequila has a fruitier flavor that can be attributed to the sweetness of the agave." The sweetness inherent to this specific tequila is tempered with savory notes imparted by the short barrel aging, making it a multifaceted spirit that is perfect for mixing margaritas. 

13. Don Julio Blanco

As the brand that introduced the modern market to premium tequila (via VinePair), Don Julio has more than earned itself a place in tequila history. Yet, it is not just history that keeps Don Julio relevant, but also the enduring quality of its spirits, the blanco included. As Ron Bechtol, an established spirits journalist, highlights: "The nose is bright and sassy with fresh agave aromas bolstered by some lemon and grapefruit. A little smoke accompanies pear and citrus peel on the palate. The flavors persist on the finish with agave making a return appearance, along with some lingering pepper" (via Distiller).

Another way that Don Julio is retaining relevance is through its focus on producing its award-winning tequilas in a sustainable fashion. As reported by Asian Trader, Don Julio's Blanco was the first tequila to receive accreditation guaranteeing the sustainability of its agave growing and harvesting practices. A fact that is becoming increasingly important as huge demand applies pressure to Mexico's agave growing industry (via Food Print). Thanks to the tequila's accreditation, you can enjoy this citrus-forward tequila (via Difford's Guide), in a premium quality margarita without concerns that you are aiding unsustainable farming practices. In short, it's a win for both your drink and the planet.