Tequila is a spirit that continues to grow in popularity, both as a sipping spirit and in mixed drinks. From Margaritas to the ever-popular Paloma or Salty Dog, it’s a spirit that is being discovered by new audiences. The main reason for this is the price point, which tends to be on the lower end compared to other agave spirits.
The word tequila is derived from the Nahuatl word “teocintli”, meaning “the place of the agave” and, while that place may be Mexico, you now can find quality tequila brands in a host of other places too — if you know where to look.
Whether you’re looking to collect bottles from different brands, curious about Mexican history and culture, or want an inexpensive bottle of tequila to enjoy with friends, the following list of the best tequilas under $50 represents some options to consider.
Siempre Tequila Plata, $39.95
Introducing Siempre Tequila Plat, 12X- award-winning Blanco tequila that combines a refined handcrafted process and vibrant, concentrated character.
Made from 100% blue agave and double-distilled, it's refined in small batches and handcrafted to ensure a crystal clear appearance and complex aromas. Notes of pepper, nutmeg, oregano, and sea salt blend delicately with floral scents evoking springtime and candied fruit hints.
This is a tequila you’ll enjoy exploring and sharing. It's exceptionally smooth; made for sipping neat or on the rocks.
Maestro Dobel Diamante Reposado, $49.95
Maestro Dobel Reposado Tequila is a cristalino of distinction. Only the finest blends of reposado, añejo and extra-añejo tequila are selected and blended to create Maestro Dobel, which is then filtered before bottling to remove its color. The result? A tequila of smooth and flavorsome character that’s impressive in the glass and on the palate.
There is a creamy, citrusy entry to this tequila that's loaded with sweet baking spices. Serving up baked apples and caramelized pears with notes of butterscotch and vanilla, the palate exhibits nice acids and watermelon undertones that gently give way to spicy white pepper and cinnamon.
Enjoy it straight up and neat or try it in cocktails, like a Margarita or Paloma.
Casa Noble Crystal Blanco Tequila, $34.95
Casa Noble, which translates to "Noble House," is a collection of premium 100% blue Weber agave tequilas. The cornerstone of the brand is Casa Noble Crystal Blanco, a white-gold tequila with a clean and expressive nose, a lively palate, and complex aromas that carry hints of cooked agave and citrus fruits, with an undertone of fresh agave and fresh herbs.
It's the ideal spirit for mixing delicious margaritas and agave cocktails – or enjoy neat or with a touch of mineral water to bring out even more of the complex flavors of Casa Noble. Or, try one of the many Casa Noble margarita recipe options to experience this tequila in a whole new way.
Fortaleza Blanco Tequila, $49.95
In a world dominated by blended tequila and flavored tequila, Fortaleza Blanco stands apart from the rest. Using time-honoured production methods, Fortaleza is distilled slowly in small copper pot stills for an unblemished flavor.
The Blanco’s flavor includes cooked agave, vanilla, butter, citrus, black pepper, and herbs. Aromas of citrus, and rich cooked agave fill your nose in this unique and very special Blanco tequila. Also present: butter, olive, earth, black pepper, and a deep inviting vegetal complexity. The finish is long and deep, complex yet easy to drink.
This Blanco has a great taste and finish that stands up next to more expensive tequila on the market but at a fraction of the price.
El Jimador Anejo, $33.89
At a budget-friendly price, El Jimador Anejo is the perfect tequila to take your taste buds on a journey to an all too often overlooked corner of the tequila world: aged and dark.
The dark amber-aged tequila blends the classical taste of agave with smooth, buttery notes of caramel and walnut from the 12-month cask maturation, plus a hint of cinnamon and spices at the finish.
Enjoy this smokey, oak-aged tequila as a simple mixed drink with lime and soda, or try it straight up, neat, or on the rocks. Whether you’re hosting a party or enjoying an evening at home, every sip brings you back to the Mexican countryside.
El Espelòn Blanco Tequila, $29.95
Get the party started with Espolon Blanco tequila! This simple, affordable tequila has a clean agave taste and an authentic – in a good way – old-school Mexico flavor.
Grassy, herbaceous, and citrus notes are combined with a hint of sweetness. Clean, crisp, and refreshing flavors that make it perfect for sipping. It is the purest expression of passion for Mexico's legendary spirit. Masterfully distilled with pure spring waters and carefully fermented in earthen-ovens, El Espelòn honors Mexico's rich art and history.
This 100% Blue Weber agave tequila is perfect to mix or shoot as it can be enjoyed in many different ways. With notes of floral and tropical fruit and a clean finish, this tequila pairs well with vermouth and lime juice for a margarita, or with lemon juice for a tequila sunrise.
Herradura Reposado Tequila, $44.89
Herradura Reposado tequila is one of those excellent mixers that can be sipped on its own. While many cocktail makers endorse the use of silver tequila only, a good Reposado tequila like this Herradura can kick your margarita or classic tequila cocktail flavor up to a new taste level.
Herradura is a 100-year-old tequila brand with a reputation for making great agave spirits. That tradition continues with the Herradura Reposado, a silver tequila enhanced by eleven months of barrel aging. A barrel resting process like this imparts added smoothness and nuanced flavors to the tequila, which lends its character to southwestern cocktails like Palomas made with grapefruit soda and lime juices.
Herradura's Reposado is specially crafted for cocktails, but it also works very well in simple sipping drinks when you're looking for just a touch of sweetness. Enjoy on the rocks, or with one of Playa Azul's awesome cocktail recipes.
Corralejo Anejo Tequila, $42.95
Corralejo's Añejo is one of the only añejo tequilas in the market that enjoys the same quality and attention in production as its high-end competitors but doesn't have the high-end price.
This is the real taste of Mexico. If you’re asking yourself what Corralejo’s secret is, it seems to be picking the highest quality Agave from estates scattered across the state of Guanajuato. The award-winning Corralejo Añejo is aged for 36 months in charred American Oak barrels, resulting in silky smooth tequila. The oak barrels used in aging this tequila give it its characteristic spice, smoke, and hints of vanilla.
Enjoy it straight or on the rocks, or use it to create a delicious margarita. It makes for an excellent choice for sipping or shots, Corralejo cocktails are designed to set the tone for an energetic and lively evening.
Familia Camarena Tequila Reposado, $39.95
For a clean, delicate tequila that's ideal in a Margarita, the reposado from Familia Camarena is tough to beat. This bottle has just the right balance between agave and barrel character that makes it easy to mix into cocktails (though certainly versatile enough to serve neat as well).
If you're on a budget and hungry for tequila, you can't go wrong with reposado. That's right: the Familia Camarena Reposado is one of the best budget tequilas out there. Based on blue Weber agave, it's aged in oak casks for 60 days and has a smooth character to match its affordable price tag. And yes, it also makes a hell of a Margarita.
Lobos 1707 Tequila Joven, $43.95
Lobos 1707 Tequila Joven boasts a smooth, premium character with a more mature flavor profile than a Blanco tequila. It is mixed with a measure of Lobos 1707, Reposado tequila before being carbon-filtered and finished in the brand’s historic Pedro Ximénez (PX) wine barrels using the solera method. Finally, it is hand-crafted in small batches by Mexican craftsmen to ensure quality and consistency for which the brand is known worldwide.
The result is a smooth spirit that has a blend of chocolate and toffee notes with hints of dried fruit, alongside the typical agave flavor you’d expect from tequila. It’s truly a well-rounded, elegant drop.
The 80-proof spirit is made for sipping or mixing in cocktails.
It can be hard to know what’s worth spending your money on these days, but this list should serve as a useful resource in helping you find some of the many great tequilas on the market. There’s nothing like kicking back with a fine tequila after a hard day’s work — whether it’s sipping on it neat or mixing up one of its many cocktails. Cheers!
What Is Tequila?
Tequila is a spirit that is native to Mexico. It's made from the blue agave plant and has quickly become one of the most popular liquors in the world. The spirit is best served as a shot, but it can also be used as a mixer for cocktails, such as the Margarita or Paloma.
The name "tequila" comes from the location where this drink was first made: Tequila, Mexico. Only municipalities in four Mexican states are permitted to use this name for their products: Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán and Tamaulipas. In order for a product to be called tequila, it must be produced in one of these four states and follow strict guidelines set forth by law.
How is Tequila Made?
Tequilas are distilled mashes of blue agave plants which grow best in Mexico’s Jalisco state, but today their sweet-tangy taste can be found everywhere from Scotland to Long Island. The blue agave plants are heated, shredded, and fermented (originally with wild yeasts). Water is added to dilute the agave sap. The mixture ferments further. The flavor of the tequila is affected by the amount of time spent resting in oak barrels.
In Mexico, there are three main types of tequila; Blanco (unaged), Reposado (rested), and Anejo (aged). Each style is distinct with Blanco being super refreshing and Reposado being perfect for sipping on the rocks or in cocktails. Anejo tequilas are aged for longer and are recommended for those looking for a more intense flavor.
What is tequila made from?
This spirit is prepared by distilling the juices of agave plants. Agave juice is aged, distilled, and then diluted to make tequila that may be sold in liquor stores.
According to the law, Tequila must contain at least 51% Weber blue agave Older tequilas, such as reposado and anejo, are aged in oak barrels for various lengths of time. Blanco (or silver) tequila is not aged, however it can be rested in stainless steel for up to two months before being bottled again. Meanwhile, color and flavor can only be added to gold (or joven) tequila.
About Tequila Age
The maturation length and agave used to make tequila determines its type. Each type has a unique flavor, aroma, and value.
Blanco: These tequilas are often known as Plato (silver) tequilas. These tequilas are either bottled shortly after distillation or aged for up to 60 days in French or American oak barrels. Its flavors and aromas can be herbaceous, flowery, citrusy, and even a little fruity. Poblano and green pepper vegetal notes might be dominant.
Resposado: Reposado means "rested". These tequilas are aged in oak barrels for 2 months to a year. Their hue is generally amber-toned, while the flavors are bolder, less herbaceous, and with undertones of vanilla, butter, and brown sugar.
Anejos: Anejos, or “aged” tequila, is aged 1 to 3 years. This extensive aging in wood results in deeper and more golden hues. Expect a smoother tequila with spice, earth, smoke, vanilla, caramel, and peat flavors. In general, Anejos are more costly than reposados.
Extra Anejos: These are Anejos that are aged in wood for three years or longer. They are also the most expensive. Because of the long aging process, the taste is stronger, very woody with hints of burnt caramel. It's best to take your time and sip this variety of tequila to appreciate the artistry that's gone into it. This will also help you to really appreci,ate its flavors and aroma.