Tequila is synonymous with Mexico. The blue agave plant is the main ingredient in the tequila drink, and the name itself- tequila, comes from the name of the town where the blue agave grew. So, whenever you hear the word Mexico, you think of tequila and vice-versa.
Unlike the rest of the world, the tequila in Mexico is served either neat, on the rocks, or as a shot, while we have all grown accustomed to drinking it with salt before and a lemon slice after the shot.
Tequila is the national drink of Mexico, and the rest of them cannot even begin to compete with their experience and skills to appreciate tequila.
Some would argue that tequila has three, four, or five main varieties. There is tequila banco, tequila Joven (which is a sub-type of the Blanco), tequila reposado, tequila añejo, and tequila extra añejo (which is a sub-type of the añejo variety.
In essence, the three main tequila types are the Blanco, reposado, and añejo varieties, and, in Mexico, you can find the best of each variety.
Best Mexican Tequila Brands
There are many tequila brands in Mexico, varying in price and quality, but if there is a place in the world where you can find the best tequila, it is definitely there.
In the following paragraphs, I will discuss the best tequila brands you can get in Mexico, so you can enrich your experience the next time you are there.
1. Siete Leguas
Known for its long finish, this tequila is best described as rustic and folksy. It has been made as a tribute to the 70th birthday of the brand, and it comes in small batches, so if you see a bottle, grab it immediately.
The Siete Leguas tequila doesn’t use any artificial flavorings or colorings and is all a result of the premium blue agave fermented juice left to mature in American oak barrels to get its color and flavor.
If you like the natural tequila sharpness and enjoy the long-lasting burn afterward, this spirit is definitely for you. The intense agave and vanilla notes are pretty noticeable in each sip, so you will undoubtedly enjoy it as a shot or in a glass.
This tequila is also known as an excellent mixing drink, so even if it is too strong for you to have it plain, there’s always the possibility to turn it into an enjoyable cocktail.
2. Casa Dragones
Described in one word, this tequila is smooth and described in more than one word; it is oaky, smoky, aged, and exceptionally smooth.
The character of this tequila comes from the French and American oak barrels used to age this Añejo delicacy. It is also a mix between a silver tequila and a 5-year Añejo tequila.
This exceptionally exquisite spirit is not only for casual settings, sitting at the bar, having shots, but is suitable for a dinner party, as it pairs excellently with food, especially spicy and fiery Mexican delicacies.
3. Corralejo Añejo
This is a genuinely exquisite tequila, capturing you with its color and alluring you in with its abundance of flavors and aromas.
It has a copper-red color, which makes this drink a decoration in itself, not requiring any additional elements, but a glass and possibly some ice.
If you want to describe it in a single word, that word would be rich, but it doesn’t even begin to cover its essence.
This tequila is delightfully fruity with noticeable hints of cherry accompanied by smokiness and butterscotch notes. It continues with a spicy whiff, primarily black pepper, and finishes rather sharp.
4. Clase Azul Reposado
Starting from the way the bottle looks like, with the blue details on a white base, and finishing with the last drop of this tequila, everything about it says ultra-premium, and it has rightfully earned its place into that category and on this list.
It tastes rich and refined, and it is definitely intended for seasoned tequila drinkers who can fully appreciate its complexity. While a beginner would describe its aroma as alcoholic, a seasoned tequila enthusiast would say agave, vanilla, and hazelnut notes.
These aroma notes transpire into the drink, making each drop taste differently than the one before. With the rich, velvety sensation this tequila creates on the palate and in the throat, it allures you with the smoky, peppery, and spicy notes, continuing with the vanilla and hazelnut combination, finishing smoothly with a burn that is not to be underestimated.
If you are an experienced tequila drinker, you will certainly enjoy and appreciate this tequila, and if you are an inexperienced learner, this tequila should be a compulsory read for you.
5. Jose Ciervo Traditional Silver
This is a pure tequila, not a tequila mixto, which makes this spirit of very high quality. It is an ultra-premium tequila with the recognizable sharpness of the tequila Blanco burn, combined with the elegance and refinement of the Jose Ciervo tequila brand.
This tequila has a distinct agave flavor mixed with vanilla, and a sharp finish, leaving a long-lasting aftertaste you won’t forget easily.
The other flavors accompanying the main agave and vanilla sensations are black pepper, citrus, and cinnamon, which are noticeable but not overwhelming. Instead, they follow the already established agave and vanilla note working in the background as flavor carriers rather than main flavor points.
6. Gran Centenario Plata
Because it belongs to the tequila Blanco family, this tequila is clear, unaged, and noticeably fruity. The agave pinas are roasted in clay ovens, which is where this tequila gets its smokiness, even though it is unaged.
Because it is distilled twice, it is a very pure drink. This tequila has the typical sharpness of the Blanco type, mixed with the vanilla notes and the irresistible sweetness of the blue agave.
It starts you off gently, with the vanilla whiff, then it continues with the agave sweetness and smokiness it acquired from the clay ovens, only to finish sharply with an irresistibly warm burn.
This tequila also has oak and wood notes that increase the complexity of its flavor, making it a perfect choice for shots.
7. Don Julio 1942 Añejo Tequila
This tequila is definitely a must when you are in Mexico. It is one of the best tequilas in the Añejo category, with strong notes of agave and caramel. Its deep honey-brown color won’t leave you indifferent, and you will definitely want to try it.
The agave is more on the palate than on the nose, and the caramel is more on the throat than on the palate. Nevertheless, this tequila is overall sweet, resembling toffee, and is incredibly rich and smooth.
When it touches the throat, in addition to the caramel note, you will feel a spicy, peppery whiff and a smooth, smoky aroma that will stay with you for a while. This tequila is definitely one of Mexico’s finest spirits, and it will undoubtedly be worth your while.
Also check: 10 Best Don Julio Tequila Bottles
8. El Jimador
This tequila is the best-selling tequila in Mexico. It is an Añejo tequila. It has the recognizable agave flavor, despite of aging for two months in oak barrels.
El Jimador tequila has a caramel flavor, vanilla, spices, and the recognizable agave sweetness, combined with delicious and unique earthy flavors giving you a result you won’t be able to resist. There is also a citrus note to the whole story and a very expressive bell pepper whiff.
However, this is still a silver tequila, so it does have the recognizable sharpness typical for this tequila category. If you enjoy doing tequila shots, this tequila is for you.
9. Jimador Reposado
Jimador Reposado Aged for two months in oak barrels before bottling, with an amber color containing strings of golden honey shades, this tequila is the reposado version of the Jimador Blanco.
The vanilla notes and the spiciness of the spirit make this tequila perfect for mixing but not so much for sipping. The strong alcohol taste and aroma are very expressive and dominate the drink. Therefore, either mix this tequila or do shots of it.
10. Jimador Blanco
Harsh and flavorful, this tequila is one of the best-selling tequilas in Mexico. The flavor of this tequila is best described as earthy and spicy, so if you are a fan of milder or more elegant tastes, this tequila is not for you.
The Jimador Blanco is bottled right after distilling and doesn’t age, so it has the alcohol sharpness known for this tequila type, only a little stronger and more expressive.
Definitely not for slow sipping; this tequila is best to have as a shot or in a cocktail.
11. Herradura Ultra Añejo
The ultra Añejo part says it all. The tequila Añejo is considered the smoothest and most refined type of tequila; now imagine what ultra Añejo is all about.
This particular tequila is a mix of two aged tequilas. The first tequila is aged for 25 months before mixing it with the second tequila, which is aged for 49 months. After the two are mixed together, they continue to age for additional 45 days.
The aging and mixing of these tequilas result in a velvety smooth drink with dark honey brown color and irresistible oak and smoky notes. The agave sweetness, the vanilla notes, and the caramel hints make this tequila extra smooth and delicious.
Intended for slow sipping and maximum enjoyment, this spirit should undoubtedly be on your Mexico bucket list.
12. La Gritona
This tequila is known as the drink of the grandparents and is definitely a very natural-tasting spirit. The idea of the distiller was to create a natural-tasting reposado tequila that would be back to basics kind of thing, and she definitely succeeded in her intention.
La Gritona reposado tequila doesn’t contain any added flavors or colorings, and the resting process works with what is already there, which is the alluring flavor of the roasted agave, the naturally released vanilla notes, and the sugary alcohol whiff.
Therefore, this tequila is definitely how a reposado tequila is supposed to taste like in its purest form. If you like authenticity and have a knack for the natural tequila burn and sharpness, this tequila should undoubtedly be on your list for your next visit to Mexico.
On the other hand, if you like the flavorful tequila variants more and want to move a bit further from the natural fiery tequila flavor, this tequila is not for you. Those who don’t like this tequila type will describe it as flat and unnecessarily aggressive, which is unfair to the drink.
Granted, this tequila doesn’t have much complexity in its flavor, but it is a high-quality tribute to the Mexican tequila ancestry, and it deserves to be appreciated as a guardian of this glorious Mexican tradition.
13. Grand Mayan
Sold in beautiful, unique bottles with ethnic shapes and details, this tequila will seduce visually before it attracts you with its flavor.
This is an extra Añejo tequila with a honey brown, rich color velvety smoothness; you just have to try it to believe it. However, as smooth as it is, this tequila still has a certain bite in it, mainly due to the strong peppery notes it acquired during the aging process.
It also has a very noticeable oak note from the barrels, but you can feel a distinct vanilla whiff from the exquisitely roasted agave. The aroma is more to the neutral end, but it does have a whiff of agave and vanilla. The flavor, as a whole, is enveloped in a roasted almond sensation sharpening up the long finish.
14. 1800 Cristalino Añejo
Aged for 18 months, this is an Añejo tequila. It is crystal clear, which can make you easily mistake it for a tequila Blanco; however, the smoothness and viscosity of the beverage give out that it has aged and aged well.
The filtration process used for this tequila clears out the color making it translucent. It has the smoothness and smokiness typical for the Añejo tequilas, whereby it looks like a tequila Blanco. It is pretty intense but of impeccable quality.
15. Cazcanes no. 9 Blanco
Made in small batches, this tequila is best for you if you like high-proof spirits. It contains a higher percentage of agave, which gives it its sweet and intense agave-vanilla flavor.
In this tequila, you can also feel spicy, especially peppery notes. It has a natural freshness, as it doesn’t contain any added flavors and sugars, so everything you taste is all-natural.
For a tequila Blanco, this spirit is pretty complex, whereby it has retained the delicious and long-lasting burn typical for the Blanco tequila type.
16. Codigo 1530 Rosa Blanco
This is a very flavorful tequila without any added flavors. It gets its intensity and richness from the blue agave, the quantity of which is three times higher in this tequila compared to any other tequila brand.
The vanilla and agave sweetness in this tequila are so noticeable that it is hard to believe that it is all-natural. What makes this tequila Blanco different than the other Blancos is that the sharpness and aggressiveness that are typical for the tequilas Blanco are virtually non-existent here.
After being distilled, this tequila rests for a month in French white oak Napa Cabernet barrels. The flavors from the barrels mixed with the generous amount of the blue agave give this tequila the refinement and smoothness typical for the Añejo varieties while retaining the delightful kick of the Blanco varieties.
17. Maestro Dobel Diamante
Smooth and easy to drink neat or on the rocks, this tequila is a “cristalino” tequila. It is a mix between and añejo and reposado tequilas which have been filtered to remove the amber color of the spirit.
As a result of the charcoal filtration process, this tequila is crystal clear but unmistakably smooth and velvety. The aroma may make you think that this is strong tequila leaving a nasty burn, but it smells stronger than it actually is.
This is a sweet tequila that is best served as it is. Due to its delicious taste and the exquisite quality of the drink, it isn’t recommended that you mix this beverage in a cocktail.
18. Don Julio 70
Matured for 18 months in oak barrels, this is another cristalino category tequila. The charcoal filtration removes the color from the tequila leaving the drink translucent and clear. It is easy to drink as the filtration process removes the harshness of the alcohol.
The agave and vanilla notes are very noticeable in this tequila, making it smooth and very drinkable. As an Añejo variety, the Don Julio 70 is velvety smooth and slides softly and gently down your throat.
Ideal for slow and enjoyable sipping; if you ever have this tequila, don’t mix it, nor should you do shots.
19. Don Julio Blanco
With vanilla and agave notes, the flavor is dominated by the citrus freshness of the grapefruit and lemon used in the making of tequila. Even though it belongs to the notorious Blanco type, this spirit is extraordinarily smooth and easy to drink neat or on the rocks.
Its aroma is expressively citrusy, but you can also notice black pepper and smoke notes. The Don Julio Blanco tequila is a very versatile spirit, ideal to have neat, on the rocks, or mixed in a cocktail.
20. Herradura Silver
Even though this is a tequila Blanco, it isn’t bottled right after distilling, but instead, it ages in oak barrels for additional 45 days.
Due to this aging process, this tequila isn’t as clear and as translucent compared to the other tequilas Blancos, and it has a very attractive string of amber going through the drink.
It tastes expressively like roasted agave, though the flavor is an overall combination of citrus, vanilla, black pepper, and oak.
What Is Mexico’s # 1 Tequila?
The best-sold tequila in Mexico is Jimador Blanco. Named after the men who harvest the agave plant- jimadors, this tequila was first made to appeal to the lower class of people in Mexico. However, the flavor of this tequila turned out so delicious, that it became the #1 tequila in Mexico.
The beauty of this spirit consists in the agave content. With high agave quantities, this tequila Blanco doesn’t contain added flavors or sugars and is naturally sweet and delicious.
Where Is the Best Tequila in Mexico From?
The tequila state where tequila was born in Jalisco. For tequila to be called a tequila, it must come from one of these states: Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, or Tamaulipas, of which Jalisco is the most famous one and is considered to be the birthplace of the tequila spirit, which is where the town Tequila is.
Tequila is made of the blue agave plant, which you cannot get just anywhere, but it is a resident plant for in the aforementioned states, and it needs to be planted and harvested by the jimadors (agave harvesters and growers), and it needs eight to 12 years for it to mature.
Authentic Mexican Tequila Brands
Even though all tequilas must be produced at certain places for them to be considered as tequilas, still there are authentic and gringo tequilas. The authentic tequila brands are owned by native Mexicans, while the gringo tequila brands are owned mostly by American owners.
Some of the authentic Mexican tequila brands are Casa Dragones, Clase Azul, Fortaleza, Tequila Tromba, Casa Noble Tequila, Casa Mexico Tequila, Gamarena, and Tequila Espinoza.
The Patron and Casamigos brands are considered gringo tequila brands, as the owners are American natives.
Tequila Sold Only in Mexico
Although the tequilas sold in Mexico are also available worldwide, especially with online ordering and purchase, there are tequilas you can buy only in Mexico.
The Don Julio 1942 Añejo tequila, El Jimador, Grand Mayan, and Casa Dragones are some of the tequila brands sold exclusively in Mexico.
Is Tequila Cheaper in Mexico?
Since tequila is produced in Mexico, if you go and buy it directly from its birthplace, instead of buying imported tequila from the store near your house, you will be paying about 36% less compared to the price of the tequila sold in your neighborhood store.
This is logical because you don’t pay for the import and shipment of the spirit, so if you are ever in Mexico, treat yourself to a bottle of high-quality and lower-price tequila.