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We Asked 12 Bartenders: Which Tequila Offers the Best Bang for Your Buck? (2024)

It’s no surprise that Americans are constantly shopping for tequila — it’s now the second most-popular spirit in the United States, second only to vodka. As the market for the spirit has grown, large beverage companies have bought up tequila brands and celebrities have cashed in, splashing their names across labels and using their influence to promote their bottles. In this crowded market, it can be especially difficult to discern quality, as not all tequila is made equal.

While there are plenty of high-end expressions to splurge on, many tequilas remain affordable compared to other luxury spirits like bourbon — especially if you know where to look. That’s why we asked 12 bartenders what bottles we should reach for when we’re seeking the best bang for our buck. These bottles come in at various price points, but each one presents a great value. These are the best tequilas for getting your money’s worth, according to the pros.

The best bang-for-your-buck tequila, according to bartenders:

Tequila Ocho Plata
Dulce Vida Blanco
Don Fulano Tequila Blanco
Lalo Blanco Tequila
Lunazul Blanco
La Gritona
Cimarron tequila
G4 Tequila Blanco
Dobel Diamante Cristalino
Tequila Tapatio Blanco
Hiatus reposado
El Tesoro Blanco

“Tequila Ocho Plata has a crisp aroma, and you can [sense] the agave with light citrus notes. The taste is very complex and it has a touch of earthiness. [It’s] delightfully explosive to sip.” —Cristian Martinez, beverage director, The Foundry Rooftop, Dayton, Ohio

“Dulce Vida Blanco is a high-quality product at an affordable price. You won’t find many certified additive-free tequilas at this price point, and this one is also organic. I love using Dulce Vida Blanco as my go-to tequila for drinking neat, as well as for use in cocktails because it’s so approachable and clean-tasting.” —Johnny Codd, bar director, Selland Family Group, Sacramento, Calif.

“It’s got to be Don Fulano Tequila Blanco, an excellent, traditionally produced highland tequila from the Atotonilco that’s proofed with water sourced from volcanic springs. I love the value it offers; it’s herbaceous and mineral-driven with earthy and fruity undertones. It is compelling enough to stand as a sipping tequila but also makes lovely tequila-based cocktails.” —Keenan Davis, bar director, Che Fico, San Francisco

“In my opinion, Lalo Blanco Tequila is a great bang for your buck. First, the price point is there. Second, there are no additives or diffusers, just three ingredients: yeast, water, and agave. It’s clean and delicious.” —Engracio Clemena, beverage manager, La Societe, San Francisco

“One of my favorites is Lunazul Blanco. This tequila can be found in your local liquor store for under $40. With notes of citrus, pepper, and spice, this tequila works wonderfully in Margaritas and sipping neat.” —Demi Natoli, beverage manager, White Limozeen, Nashville

“In most markets, La Gritona is my go-to. It’s a great reposado tequila that can be enjoyed neat or in a cocktail such as a Paloma or even an Oaxacan Old Fashioned. You’re getting great-quality tequila and also supporting a small, women-operated distillery — which is a priority since there aren’t many out there.” —José Medina Camacho, co-founder and beverage director, Adiõs, Birmingham, Ala.

“Cimarron Tequila has great value. It is made by the Fonseca family, who have been making celebrated tequilas for over 140 years such as Don Fulano and Fuenteseca. For less than $30, you can get your hands on the additive-free Cimarron Blanco, which is clean, bright, and vegetal.” —Sam Penton, director of bars, Rosewood Miramar Beach, Montecito, Calif.

“G4 Tequila Blanco embodies Felipe Camarena’s passion, innovation, and heritage. [It’s an] event from the very first sip to the last. Additive-free and distilled with rainwater, G4 boasts a smoothness akin to velvet.” —Chris Belk, wine director, Bern’s Steak House, Tampa, Fla.

“I really enjoy using Dobel Diamante Cristalino considering the price and quality you’re getting through their lineup. It’s a delicious on-the-rocks sipper or perfect in a thirst-quenching Margarita when you consider it’s a charcoal-filtered reposado.” —Henry Ottrix, beverage director, Lucina and Xiquita, Denver

“Even as the price has gone up slightly, I still think that Tequila Tapatio Blanco is one of the best products in the category. Don’t let the screw cap or the name that is also prominent in the world of hot sauce fool you — the spirit inside is everything you want in a bright vegetal, blanco tequila.” —Karl Goranowski, beverage director, BATA, Tucson, Ariz.

“Personally, I find Hiatus Reposado to be one of the best tequilas for the price point. As a smooth and complex expression, it makes for amazing Margaritas. It also suits the balance in classic cocktails [containing] aged spirits, like a Vieux Carré or a Manhattan variant.” —Keith Larry, partner and bar manager, Little Rascal, NYC

“El Tesoro Blanco is never hard to find and is made by a living tequila legend, Carlos Camarena. Made from highland agaves that are cooked in ovens and tahona-crushed, El Tesoro is an impressive ‘everyday’ tequila. Plus, [it has] no additives, so it is a perfect representation of what tequila should taste like with notes of beautifully cooked agave.” —Beau du Bois, vice president of bar and spirits, Puesto, San Diego

*Image retrieved from MaksymFilipchuk via stock.adobe.com

The article We Asked 12 Bartenders: Which Tequila Offers the Best Bang for Your Buck? (2024) appeared first on VinePair.

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