The Absolute Best Tequilas To Try In 2023

Tequila is a versatile spirit that can be served neat, on the rocks, enjoyed with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime, or in a frozen cocktail. There are five types of tequilas to choose from based on where the ingredients are grown, how long they've aged, and the distilling process. However, not all brands deserve the same recognition. The best tequilas to try in 2023 – whether you're a spirit connoisseur or want a delicious beverage – have standout flavors, make sustainable farming efforts, and are made with intricate fermenting-distilling methods.

Tequila hasn't always been considered a superior drink. The spirit has a long history, beginning in Mexico, where the maguey agave plant was a gift from the gods, which offered medicinal benefits such as fertility and calming effects. However, as the beverage grew popular outside of Mexico, a different type of agave plant was used — differentiating mezcal from modern-day tequila. Today, top-quality tequila comes from blue agave plants that can take up to ten years to grow before the sap can be harvested, fermented, and aged. While people usually take shots of tequila at bars, sipping tequila allows drinkers to appreciate its complex flavors. Are you looking for a new tequila brand to try in 2023? Check out these ten unforgettable tequilas!

Best earthy flavor: Plata Tequila Ocho

First, we have the best earthy tequila that speaks to the slow authentic process of harvesting and distilling agave nectar. Plata by Tequila Ocho is one of four types available from the company based in Los Altos De Jalisco. Plata is an unaged, clear tequila that is mostly known for its fresh-cut grass flavor that comes from the Blue Weber agave plant grown and harvested in Mexico. The quality soil there produces round, fresh agave hearts. However, the company only harvests when they are overripe to ensure quality sweet juices.

Tequila Ocho grows its agave plants for a minimum of seven to ten years. Once aged, the company hand-harvests the plants. This meticulous method elevates the flavor, as it means they don't need to use harsh chemicals or additives. In old-fashioned clay ovens, the agave slowly roasts, which brings out more sweet flavors. The agave ferments with naturally occurring yeast in the region. Copper pots — that have been modeled after age-old traditions — draw out unwanted compounds during the distilling process. From beginning to end, this tequila takes on an overall authentic, earthy quality that is smooth and loved by tequila drinkers. At approximately $40-$50, this bottle falls in the mid-range in terms of price — a pleasant surprise considering its superior taste. The company suggests sipping Plata neat, but its flavor will turn heads in a cocktail, such as a barbaloma or a lemonada as well.

Best sustainable tequila: Reposado Casa Noble Tequila

As the need and desire to live more sustainable lives increase, it's important to support companies taking responsibility for their ecological footprint while still producing top-quality products. Reposado Casa Noble Tequila comes in as the best sustainable tequila to try this year. Knowing this company cares for the environment only highlights its delectable flavors.

Tequila is a spirit that relies heavily on the environment. The soil, weather, and growing conditions must remain stable for ten years before the tequila-making process can begin. For this reason, agave farming takes up a lot of space and resources. Casa Noble Tequila is dedicated to balancing the give and take that comes with growing agave, which is why they make their own compost and harvest agave by hand to reduce the need for large machinery. Using COA harvesting knives, they quickly and efficiently harvest blue agave.

Costing about $55, the mid-range price is a great deal for a sustainable brand. The estate-grown agave has volcanic soil that contributes to the bottle's complex flavor, along with notes of sweet florals and an oakiness from the French barrels. Careful attention to detail and the company's love and care for the environment earn this brand a place on the list of the best.

Best organic tequila option: Casa Azul Tequila Soda

Casa Azul Tequila Soda is the perfect marriage of classic and modern taste! Made with tequila sourced from Mexico, this refreshing canned spirit is a mixture of sparkling water and agave nectar for added sweetness and fruity flavors. The combination makes a delicious, yet mellow beverage that was practically made for sipping on long summer nights. Destined to be your new favorite bubbly drink, this soda comes with a punch of flavor at a reasonable cost.

‌Unlike other hard seltzers, Casa Azul is a drink that doesn't contain a long list of additives or harsh chemicals. Its ingredients include organic cane sugar and stevia as sweeteners, and, as a bonus, all of the sodas are gluten-free. As far as nutrition goes, a twelve-ounce can contain one gram of carbohydrates, so you can drink them while sticking to a low-carb diet.

This summery beverage is light, refreshing, and full of authentic tequila flavor. Casa Azul Tequila Soda ranks high on our list as a tasty, affordable, organic drink to enjoy. An eight-pack can be bought for $30, and there's even a variety pack that lets you test all of the brand's flavors. Keep the cost lower and try out a four-pack for about $15.

Best tasting unaged tequila: Blanco Hotel California Tequila

Unaged tequila is known as blanco due to its crystal clear appearance. The fermented agave nectar is typically distilled and then immediately bottled for consumption. This means it does not take on flavors from the barrels and often has a strong, spicy taste that packs a punch. However, this doesn't mean a Blanco tequila doesn't have a high-quality smoothness. Merely, it has a more pure, intense flavor that highlights the natural agave. The sweetness of the plant comes through, along with hints of florals and honey, which will be appreciated by experienced tequila drinkers.

More of Blanco Hotel California Tequila's flavor comes from the fact that it uses 100% de agave. Part of the reason tequila has such a bad reputation — that often induces wincing thoughts of shot glasses — is that many other brands use about half agave and other lower-grade, lower-quality alcohols. When searching for a top-tier brand, look for one with 100% agave on the label.

Blanco Hotel California Tequila is a mid-range price of about $50 for an award-winning 750 ml bottle. The brand won silver in TAG Global Spirits Awards and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, earning recognition for its great taste. If an unaged tequila isn't high on your sipping list, try this brand in a tangy, citrusy cocktail for the perfect zing.

Best overall Añejo: Código 1530 Double Cask Finished Single Barrel Añejo

Anejo is another type of tequila that can be differentiated by its rich, caramel color. As it ages, the color gets darker. To be considered Anejo, the tequila must age for one to three years. This type of tequila takes more time to make and is typically a bit more expensive. However, it usually has a more sophisticated and layered flavor. Similar to alcohols like brandy and wine, tequila takes on some of the flavors from its fermentation barrel.

Código is a well-known brand that is based in Amatitán, Jalisco, MX, and has been making quality tequila for several generations. The company uses harvesting and fermenting methods that have been passed down and perfected over the years. Another way they stand out is the French Oak Cabernet wine barrels that they use when aging — giving it an extra tasty finish. This careful attention to detail combined with the fact that they do not use harsh chemicals or additives makes an excellent-tasting tequila.

This bottle is on the high end of the price range at $265, but the smooth flavor makes it worth it. Most high-quality tequilas are meant to be sipped. On the rocks, this could be a refreshing afternoon beverage that you won't forget. But the flavors are best appreciated when served neat. Ice or mixing this drink with other pairings will take away from its subtle range of flavors.

The best tequila to serve on the rocks: Cierto Private Collection Blanco

Cierto Tequila comes from a long line of talented distillers — passing down their knowledge and traditional methods throughout generations. The brand offers an award-winning Blanco tequila, Cierto Private Collection Blanco, that is one of the best options to serve on the rocks. Cierto allows its private collection Blanco to rest for several months before bottling. However, this does not affect the crystal clear appearance or the sweetness of its aroma. If the flavor, aroma, and appearance are not enough to convince you, this bottle has won over eighty awards!

Although this technically is not an aged tequila, the brand is one that instills a sense of quality and trust. The company's long history ensures quality tequila inside every bottle. A bottle costs approximately $100 for 750 ml and is best enjoyed in a tumbler or lowball glass with ice. This option also tastes great in a cocktail, such as a fresh agave margarita, a tangerine margarita, or served with just a dash of lime juice in a salt-rimmed glass.

Best option for sipping: Don Julio Rosado

This well-known brand of tequila recently launched the Don Julio Rosado, a perfectly blended reposado aged in Ruby Port wine casks so it boasts a delightful rosé hue. A reposado like this has refreshing flavors and a smooth finish that tastes great over ice or sipped neat. Thanks to this spirit's lightness, it's excellent when served cold with a slice of lemon or lime or with a dash of club soda. This is a tequila savored and adored by classic tequila lovers and wine drinkers alike.

Classic Reposado tequila falls in the middle range of aging: It isn't aged as long as Anejo but still aged from two months up to a year. This gives the drink an already tinted shade, but the unique wine casks really take this brand to another level.

Don Julio is made from 100% Blue Weber Agave, which is grown in the highlands of Jalisco. The unique volcanic soil and the high elevation create a perfect environment for agave to thrive. A company like this knows that the agave plant determines the taste and quality of its tequila, which is why they don't harvest an entire field like other brands. They harvest individual plants at the precise time they ripen. Don Julio's renowned brand and the time and effort that goes into this Rosado puts it on the high end of the price spectrum. A 750 ml bottle costs about $115-$140.

Best Hi/Lo Tequila: Costa Tequila The Anejo

Amazing tequila comes with a hefty price tag, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for low quality. Costa Tequila, a brand that's based in Jalisco, Mexico, has worked for years to introduce a tequila that was affordable but maintained its superior flavor and smoothness. Stephen Gavula III teamed up with Master Distiller Ingeniero Agustin Sanchez to carefully orchestrate a tequila that would win awards in 2019 for being the first Hi/Lo blend. This unique combination of tequila is made of 100% blue agave grown in two locations and combined for an ultra-smooth finish.

The high portion of the spirit comes from The Highlands in Los Altos, whereas the low comes from Valle de Tequila, aka The Lowlands. The different soils, altitudes, and growing conditions alter the taste of the agave. Hearts harvested in The Highlands tend to have a more floral, fruity flavor whereas the earthy and spicy notes come from the agave grown in The Lowlands. The two different types of agave hearts are then roasted together in ancient brick ovens to alow their flavors to meld together. These two halves come together to create great-tasting tequila that's smooth and more affordable than other brands. A bottle of The Anejo is $58.99.

The Best affordable tequila made with care and quality: LALO blanco

With no additives or extra ingredients, this brand is perfect for those who love the natural agave taste. Lalo Blanco is the best Blanco tequila for drinking neat because it's a crisp and unaged tequila that reveals its complex layers with each sip. Without the use of barrels for aging, the agave plant's taste hits your tastebuds. This 100% blue agave tequila is made in Mexico and offers a crystal clear look with strong aromas and a smooth texture. Lalo is certainly a spirit to be appreciated by connoisseurs but also enjoyed by the masses at an affordable price range.

Lalo achieves an elegant body of flavor with a meticulous process that begins with cooking the agave hearts in stone steam ovens. Cooking the agave consistently and allowing it to rest ensure that the hearts are soft and plump, which makes pressing the juices easier. Using water to balance the sugar and the same type of yeast that makes champagne, the fermenting process draws out a sugary flavor. The brand does two rounds of distilling — a primary round and a second round for refining the flavor and alcohol levels.  Most Blanco tequilas are overlooked in terms of taste. Lalo is a pure and delicious product that pays special tribute to the blue agave plant by foregoing the aging process altogether.

Best tequila with the most complex flavors: Mijenta Añejo

Just like other bottles of Añejo tequilas, Mijenta Añejo has a higher price tag due to the longer age times and extra efforts. However, even at $199.99 for a bottle, this newly released product is hard to come by because of its incredible flavor and high demand. This bottle offers a flavor combination that is intricate and unique. You can luxuriate in the flavors and remain guilt-free because of this company's dedication to sustainability and ethical farming, making it a favorite on the market.

Almost the opposite of a pure Blanco, this Añejo is aged for eighteen months in four different oak barrels to bring out the subtlest of flavors. Drinkers will note a sweet, yet earthy aroma, and everything from spicy to fruity flavors. Mijenta's slow process is unfiltered, which means the taste rings true. The company also believes that aging tequila should enhance the agave but not overpower it. Subtle hints of coffee, butterscotch, dried fruit, and more can be picked up on by drinkers but they don't overwhelm the palette.

This brand not only delivers amazing-tasting tequila, but they do it responsibly. Mijenta is a carbon-neutral company and it earned the coveted B Corp certification, meaning the business is transparent about its practices and committed to protecting the environment and community where they're based.

An Unforgettable Blanco: Tequila Eterno Verano

Smooth and flavorful, Tequila Eterno Verano Blanco is an absolute must-try for those with a passion for quality. At a reasonable $49.99, this bottle tastes undoubtedly top-shelf with hints of baking spices and refreshing citrus flavors throughout. Eterno Verano Blanco is so delectable you won't want to hide the intricate flavors in mixers but rather sip and savor it on the rocks or neat. This unique tequila was made with a never-ending summer in mind and immediately makes you want to kick your feet up, find some salt and lime, and a group of friends to share it with.

This tequila is made entirely from Blue Weber agaves grown in both the highlands and lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico. What sets Tequila Eterno Verano apart is the care taken during the harvesting, which lasts anywhere from five to eight years. This results in a complex, smooth, and intense flavor profile that can only be achieved through patience and expert practice. To add to the appeal, the brand also bottles its tequila in recycled glass and utilizes natural cork, so you can focus on flavor only while you sip.

Best for your sweet tooth: SALT Tequila - Salted Chocolate

SALT Tequila Salted Chocolate is an exciting and slightly whimsical addition to the beverage scene. This 100% Agave Tequila is produced in the Jalisco mountains and harvested after seven to 10 years. This 80-proof tequila is the result of dedication, as it took numerous blends, recipes, and experiments to lead to the final smooth, clear, and naturally flavored tequila that's offered today. On top of an impressive blend, the salted chocolate flavors are not something you'll soon forget, whether you enjoy this brand on the rocks, mixed up in spiked hot chocolate, or an alcohol-infused dessert. The addition of salted chocolate adds a unique and delectable twist to the traditional tequila experience.

Crafted with precise care, this brand pushes boundaries with its salty, sweet flavors that pair perfectly with the agave. Those who try out SALT Tequila – Salted Chocolate will note hints of sweet milk chocolate, rich mocha flavors, and a bold taste of Himalayan salt for a well-balanced combination. Each sip is an experience unto itself, with layers of flavor that unfold as you drink. The quality of the SALT is evident with every sip, leaving the drinker with a sense of satisfaction and pleasure.

Best tequila seltzer: High Noon Tequila Seltzer

You've likely seen High Noon Vodka & Soda on bar menus and store shelves, but more recently, the brand launched its version of tequila and soda, and it does not disappoint. High Noon Tequila Seltzer has an unparalleled blend of flavors that tantalize the senses to leave a lasting impression on the palate. Seltzers have become increasingly popular over the years for their lower sugar content and higher alcohol percentages. High Noon Tequila & Soda has combined all of these best qualities to serve up the quintessential summer beverage. Perfect for sipping by the pool, on the beach, boat, or around the fire, High Noon has found a way to bottle summer up in a can, and it's best served cold.

This new product is a testament to the brand's innovative approach toward developing fresh ideas. Made with real fruit juice for natural sweetness and tequila sourced from the finest agave plants in Mexico, this is a refreshing blend of flavors with no added sugar, gluten-free, and just 100 calories per can. The four invigorating flavors of lime, grapefruit, strawberry, and passionfruit offer a variety for every taste bud. On top of that, the brand doesn't use artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners, which means you can sip a refreshing beverage and forget about harmful chemicals and additives.

Another great sipper: O'rte Tequila Reposado

O'rte Tequila Reposado is a premium, top-shelf tequila that's hailed for its smooth flavors. Single estate means the agave was harvested from an individual farm, ensuring every bottle offers a consistent, reliable flavor profile. This particular brand is also kept in oak barrels for at least two months but could be up to 12 months, which can be realized in the gorgeous, golden color.

While enjoying a glass of O'rte Tequila Reposado, either neat or on the rocks, customers will detect several flavors. Floral honey, a subtle bell pepper, and a hint of mint are noticeable. There's also an oakiness from the barrels along with a sweet butterscotch, vanilla flavor that will surprise your tastebuds and have you coming back for more. At $79.99, you can rest assured that you're getting a high-quality beverage that's worth the price tag. Save this bottle for sipping and savoring; you won't want to lose any of the flavors in mixed drinks.

Best Non-Alcoholic: Ritual Zero Proof

Ritual Zero Proof, a non-alcoholic brand, is quickly making a name for itself in the beverage industry for those who don't drink, are allergic to alcohol, and much more. Anyone who loves the rich flavors found in tequila but isn't looking for the buzz or the hangover that often accompanies a margarita can rejoice at finding Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative.

Stirring up a classic margarita or getting a little more adventurous with a fruity Paloma or a refreshing Lemonada will be just as easy and tasty with this tequila alternative. Ritual Zero Proof uses a fine blend of ingredients to achieve a similar flavor to real tequila. Customers will notice hints of grassy flavors and a distinct smoky taste with a fire similar to the real stuff. Zero Proof is perfect for cutting back on alcohol or simply spicing up a boring glass of soda or juice. At a low price of $29.99, this beverage is perfect to have on hand for nights when you don't want to indulge too much or if you want to offer an alcohol-free option when entertaining guests.