The 12 Best Tequila for Margaritas, Chosen by Bartenders

By Timo Torner / Last updated on August 10, 2023

Do you want to improve your made-at-home cocktails by using the best tequila for Margaritas? We've got you covered.
Best Tequila for Margaritas

Ranging from smooth and crisp blancos to deliciously complex reposados, we've reviewed audience recommendations and gathered expert advice. With these recommendations, we have tasted the world of the most popular tequilas to come up with the best options to bring your Margarita to the next level.

In my opinion, and many of my fellow bartenders agree with me, one of 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 and elevate your Margarita experience.

Our Top picks

What's in a Margarita

Margaritas are the ultimate summer cocktails, featuring a tangy mix of tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur, served over ice and rimmed with salt for that perfect balance. A hint of sweetness from agave syrup or simple syrup creates the ideal sweet-sour balance in the drink. Here's what you need to make the drink:

  • Tequila: The heart of the Margarita, infusing it with agave-derived flavors and varying levels of smokiness or smoothness.
  • Lime Juice: Fresh lime adds essential tartness to balance the sweetness of the orange liqueur.
  • Orange Liqueur: Typically a triple sec like Cointreau, for sweetness and citrus aroma.
  • Sweetener: A sweetener is optional, but sometimes a hint of agave syrup helps to pronounce the agave flavor in the cocktail.
  • Salt rim: Provides a contrasting salty note and visual appeal.

The Types of Tequila for Margaritas

Tequila plays a crucial 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. But which types are best in this cocktail? Check out these tequila types when making your next margs and detect the differences in flavor:

  • Blanco tequila - Typically, the best Margaritas are made with a Blanco Tequila. A Blanco, also called Silver Tequila, is unaged and known for its clean, crisp, and agave-forward taste.
  • Reposado tequila - Reposado Tequila is aged in oak barrels for up to one year. Due to this maturing process, it has a more mature and mellow taste with hints of spices and caramel. Used in a Margarita, you'll get a better-balanced but also less refreshing cocktail.
  • Joven tequila - Joven-type tequilas are a blend of blanco and reposado and are also taste-wise in-between them both.

I advise, don't use Añejo or Extra-Añejo Tequila. These Tequila types are aged for an extended time and are typically much more expensive. Their flavors work best neat or slightly chilled.

How to Choose the Best Tequila for Margaritas

We tested the most commonly mentioned tequila bottles, our preferred expressions, and asked experienced bartenders for their favorites, which brought up some additional, 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.

Here are the things you should look out for when buying tequila.

Always Choose 100 % Agave Tequila

Even if you use the ideal proportions of a top Margarita recipe, if you don't use 100% agave tequila, the results will be lacking in flavor and taste. 100% agave tequila is made only from the agave plant, offering a cleaner, purer, and simply better taste. Mixed tequilas, or tequila mixto, only consist of 51+% of the agave plant. These bottles may contain additives such as additional sugar to make the spirit more palatable.

Only Select Authentic Tequila

A tequila classified as authentic must be produced within one of the five designated tequila-producing regions in Mexico. These regions are defined by the Mexican government in cooperation with the Consejo Regulador del Tequila

This official tequila regulatory council makes sure that authentic tequila is carefully crafted, following traditional processes involving the steps from harvesting, cooking, and fermenting, to distilling agave juice to create a smooth spirit with a distinct agave note.

How We Tasted the Tequila

The Margarita recipe we use for our tastings is:

  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Fresh lime juice
  • Salt rim garnish

Add all ingredients into your shaker with plenty of ice, shake for 8 to 12 seconds, and strain over ice into a salt-rimmed glass.

The 12 Best Tequilas for Margaritas

Here's the unsorted list of our 12 top tequilas the Cocktail Society tasting team recommends for shaking up perfect Margaritas in 2023.

1. Tequila Fortaleza Blanco - Still Strength

Tequila Fortaleza Blanco - Still Strength
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: 46%
  • Price: $75


Fortaleza Tequila is a relatively unknown brand to the masses, 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 favorite choice. 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 Blanco Tequila
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: 40%
  • Price: $50


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 has 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 Tequila
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: 45%
  • Price: $60


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
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: 45%
  • Price: $75


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

Roca is the best Patrón Tequila to mix in a Marg. It's a full-bodied, complex, and delightful base for a Margarita cocktail.

5. El Tequileno Tequila Blanco

El Tequileno Blanco Tequila
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: 40%
  • Price: $50


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

4 copas blanco Tequila bottle
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: 40%
  • Price: $45


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 so clean and smooth that you should 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

Espolon Blanco Tequila
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: 40%
  • Price: $25


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 this list of Tequilas. 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 brand and probably not recommendable for sipping, but Espolon is a beautiful spirit for mixing with distinct hints of citrus and green apple.

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

Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: 40%
  • Price: $26


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, and 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 Tequila
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: $49
  • Price: 40%


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

Tequila Herradura Silver
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: 40%
  • Price: $38


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 an excellent ingredient in 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 Tequila bottle
  • Type: Blanco
  • ABV: 40%
  • Price: $49


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, Patron Silver is 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 Tequila for Margaritas: La Gritona

La Gritona Tequila Reposado
  • Type: Reposado
  • ABV: 40%
  • 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, and super smooth, and brings in mellow herbaceous flavors alongside cooked agave notes, vanilla, and spices.

Why we like it

La Gritona, aged in American oak barrels, 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.

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4 comments on “The 12 Best Tequila for Margaritas, Chosen by Bartenders”

  1. I love Margaritas, and I think the 12 best tequilas for margaritas are listed here very well!

  2. I love tequila and margaritas, so I was excited to try out some! I was really impressed with some of the choices, and I think I'll be ordering a Fortaleza. Cheers

  3. We just got back from Tequila, where we toured Fortaleza and el Tequileño, among others. We tasted fortaleza (our favorite tequila, and the reason we flew to Mexico) and loved their still strength tequila. We bought several bottles to bring home. Anyway, my question......what ratio do you use tequila/lime/cointreau for a margarita? Our biggest issue making it this way is finding quality limes but willing to try again.

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