The Margarita cocktail is a classic crowd-pleasing made of three ingredients: an orange liqueur (like Cointreau), fresh lime juice, and quality Tequila.
Tequila plays the most important role when making this drink, and there are plenty of high-quality options. Generally, we always want a 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila that packs a punch without adding too many harsh notes to your drink.
In my opinion, and many of my fellow bartenders agree with me, the best Tequila for a Margarita is Fortaleza Blanco, especially the Still Strength expression. Yet, there are various others that also guarantee an excellent Cocktail, which you can find below in our guide to the best Tequila for making Margarita cocktails.
Our Top picks
- Best overall: Fortaleza Blanco Tequila - Still Strength
- Best Reposado: La Gritona Reposado
- Best Budget: Espolon Blanco Tequila
Which Type of Tequila Should I Use?
Typically, a Margarita is made with a Blanco Tequila. A Blanco Tequila, also called Silver Tequila, is unaged and known for its clean, crisp, and agave-forward taste.
Alternatively, you could make your Marg with a Reposado. Reposado Tequila is aged up to one year. Therefore, it has a more mature and mellow taste. Used in a Margarita, you'll get a more balanced but also less refreshing cocktail.
I advise, don't use Añejo or Extra-Añejo Tequila. These Tequila types are aged for a long time and are typically much more expensive. Their flavors work best neat or slightly chilled.
How We Chose Our Recommendations
We tested the most commonly mentioned Tequila bottles, our preferred expressions, and also asked experienced bartenders for their favorites, which brought up some additional, pretty exciting options.
Further, we also asked our audience on Social Media about their favorite Tequila to use in a Margarita and tasted not all but quite a large number of them.
The recipe we use for our tastings is:
- 2 parts Tequila
- 1 part Cointreau
- 1 part Fresh lime juice
Now let's look at our list of the top Tequilas to use for making a tasty Margarita cocktail.
1. Tequila Fortaleza Blanco - Still Strength
Fortaleza Tequila is a relatively unknown brand producing A-grade Tequila. The Still Strength expression packs a real punch and clocks in at 46% ABV; -For your reference, the regular Fortaleza Blanco "only" contains 40%.
This recommendation came from our audience and was our absolute favorites. This Tequila is so good and rich in flavor that I wouldn't use the whole bottle only for Margaritas. It's an excellent Tequila for sipping as well.
Why we like it: The Fortaleza Still Strength is brighter than the regular bottle. The flavors are intense and pronounced as the Tequila is bottled directly after distillation - without being watered down.
2. Siete Leguas Blanco
Siete Leguas is a recommendation by Lui Fernandes, head bartender & owner of Labaredas BBQ & Bar. This absolute gem of a Tequila wasn't on our initial list but convinced us immediately.
The aroma of Siete Leguas is intense. It's full of sweet agave notes paired with lots of earthy notes. Also, the palate is rich in flavor. Dominated by rustic and earthy flavors, you can taste peppery notes and sweetness in the background.
Why we like it: Siete Leguas is an outstanding option in a Margarita cocktail. It's not the cheapest choice, but you get an excellent bottle that made it into my personal Top 3 for mixing in a Margarita.
3. G4 Blanco de Madera Tequila
G4 Blanco de Madera is a high-proof premium Tequila with a super smooth and delicate taste. It has a similar flavor to the standard Blanco of G4 but has an intense finish and a strong taste of agave and minerals.
It's a limited release. The agave plants are wood fermented, and the final Tequila is bottled at 45% ABV instead of the regular 40%.
Why we like it: G4's Blanco de Madera is one of the best Blanco Tequilas we had recently. It's slightly sweet with exceptional complexity.
4. Roca Patrón Silver Tequila
Roca Patrón Silver is the second expression by Patrón on our list. The line focuses on old production methods like using a stone wheel tahona for milling agave.
This traditional way of milling piñas is said to extract more flavors. The result is a milder and more refined Blanco, especially compared to Patrón's standard Silver.
The price for this Tequila is premium, but you also get an extra 5% of ABV. On the palate, this is hardly noticeable as the Roca expressions are super smooth. Instead, you will notice the sweet notes of cooked agave, lemon and lime zest, and pepper.
Why we like it: To me, Roca is the best Patrón Tequila to mix in a Marg. It's full-bodied, complex, and simply a delightful base for a cocktail.
5. El Tequileno Tequila Blanco
El Tequileno has an excellent reputation in Mexico, where they're one of the best-known Tequila producers. In the US, the brand is not as famous yet, but catching up. All their Tequila expressions are free of additives and of high quality.
For mixing a Margarita, their Blanco Tequila is your best option. The palate shows the typical notes of cooked agave but also quite unusual fruity notes like pear, peach, and grapefruit.
Why we like it: Using agave from the Highlands of Jalisco, this Tequila is on the sweeter side. That sweetness paired with fruity flavors makes it an excellent choice in cocktails like the Margarita.
6. 4 Copas Tequila Blanco
The 4 Copas Tequila isn't the best-known on this list. Many won't have heard of this one before. Yet, this organic Blanco Tequila clearly stands out.
It is super smooth and has some interesting earthy notes to it. In fact, it's soo clean and smooth that you should not only use it in a Margarita but also try to sip it neat.
Why we like it: Its unique flavor profile of earthy and floral notes makes it a fantastic choice for a classic Margarita cocktail. And the fact that this bottle is also a certified organic Tequila is a plus.
7. Espolon Blanco Tequila
One Tequila that was frequently recommended as the best affordable option for a Margarita is Espolon Blanco. The competitive price point is certainly one reason to put it on a list of the best Tequilas for mixing in a Margarita. But the price is not everything.
The aroma and taste of this Tequila are remarkable, not only in relation to the low price. It isn't the most complex Tequila and probably not recommendable for sipping, but Espolon is a beautiful mixing Tequila.
Why we like it: Exquisite notes of agave, pepper, and citrus and more of the same on the palate. Espolon is an excellent choice if you're on a budget.
8. Olmeca Altos Plata
Founded by two renowned bartenders, Dre Masso and Henry Besant, Olmeca Tequila is produced with the aid of master distiller Jesus Hernandez. The result is an affordable Tequila that works brilliantly in cocktails, at home as well as in professional bars.
Olmeca Altos Plata is full of sweet agave notes with only a hint of lemon, lime, and spicy mint. It's not the best Tequila to sip neat, but an excellent ingredient for cocktails. Just what you need when you want to make a delicious Margarita.
Why we like it: Olmeca is great in mixed drinks. Plus, it's affordable, making it a fantastic choice if you're planning to serve Margs at a party.
9. Don Julio Blanco Tequila
Don Julio Blanco is another excellent choice made by one of the more famous Tequila brands. Previously, this was one of the more expensive Tequilas, but today it's actually quite affordable compared to the competition.
That is not because Don Julio has lowered the price but because the competition has notably increased theirs. The quality, just like the price, stayed the same.
Why we like it: You get a wonderfully smooth Tequila with hints of citrus and pepper. In a Margarita, Don Julio works beautifully in combination with Grand Marnier. And if you like to sip a Tequila neat from time to time, Don Julio is also suitable for that.
10. Herradura Silver
Herradura Silver Tequila is a product of one of the largest distilleries in Mexico. Still, Herradura roasts their pinas in traditional clay ovens.
On top, even the silver expression ages in barrels but not long enough to be labeled a reposado. These wooden notes in a Blanco are rare and make Herradura Silver a great ingredient for a Margarita cocktail.
The time in the barrel also makes this expression quite edgy. Instead of smoothing out the raw parts of this spirit, the spicy notes of the wood even emphasize them.
Why we like it: You can never go wrong with Herradura Blanco as a mixer. It has solid quality, is widely available, and has an affordable price point.
11. Patrón Silver
Patrón Silver remains one of my favorite Blanco Tequilas. Back in a time when good Tequila was scarce, Patrón Tequila's mission was to bring high-quality Tequila to the United States. What was a bumpy ride at the time is taken for granted today. Patrón paved the way for many boutique Tequila brands after them.
The Silver expression is still a small-batch Tequila. Tastewise it's super crisp, bright, and smooth. It has a beautiful balance and notes of citrus fruits and agave.
Why we like it: Patron is still the pioneer for many premium tequila brands. And as the brand's flagship, Patrón Silver can not be missed here.
Best Reposado: La Gritona
Price: $35 to $40
La Gritona Reposado Tequila is relatively new but already one of the most sought-after Tequila brands when it comes to reposados. It was one of the few bottles on our list mentioned by almost all experts - They must be doing something right.
Kaitlyn Stewart, global Bartending Champion & Beverage Consultant, is one of the experts recommending La Gritona Tequila. For her, it's definitely a bottle of Tequila that is worth its price:
"La Gritona: this is a fantastic Reposado Tequila... It's damn delicious, and it's worth every penny."
La Gritona does an excellent job of capturing the authentic flavors of agave. The spirit is slightly sweet, super smooth, and brings in mellow herbaceous flavors alongside cooked agave notes.
Why we like it: La Gritona ticks all the boxes and is by far our favorite Reposado Tequila for making a Margarita. Another plus is the comparably low price point.
Why Trust Cocktail Society
This list was written and edited by Timo Torner. Timo is a certified bartender and has been writing about the craft of making cocktails, bars, and spirits for more than a decade.
He visited distilleries, wineries, and cocktail bars all across the globe, tasting raw Tequila in Jalisco, Mojitos in Cuba, Soju in South Korea, and red wine in Cape Town and Australia.
His favorite spirits are Gin and Mezcal, and his greatest passion is striving for perfection in cocktails and writing about it.
Learn more about us here.