Insider's Guide to the Best Tequila for Margaritas
National Margarita Day is upon us, and you can't celebrate the holiday with subpar spirits. The only way to celebrate National Margarita Day -- or any day! -- is to know the best tequila for margaritas.
We're no strangers to a delicious margarita, so we thought we'd let you know what some of our favorite tequilas are. Whether you're a margarita connoisseur or just ready to try anything tasty, this guide can help you out.
Read on to find out the best tequila for margaritas.
Types of Tequila
Before we dive too deep into what tequilas we think you should use, let's review the many different tequilas. They all fall into five main types: blanco, joven, resposado, anejo, and extra anejo.
Since tequila is of course originally from Mexico, all of the names are Spanish. Don't worry -- we'll translate.
Each type of tequila has its own individual strengths. We love them all equally, but some are better than others if you're going to make the best margarita possible.
For a margarita, there are really only three out of the five that are best to use: reposado, anejo, and blanco. Let's take a look at each one.
Translated into English, reposado means rested. When you're talking about tequila, though, it means that it's been aged.
Tequila that's classified as reposado has been aged in oak barrels anywhere from two to twelve months. This aging process adds another dimension to the flavor of the tequila.
You're more likely to get a bit of caramel and spice in the flavor from the aging process, which makes it less harsh than other types of tequila. It's the best tequila for margaritas if you want to use those flavors to really create something interesting.
It's also a bit more subtle than other types, so it's also easier to drink on its own. We have two favorites when it comes to reposado tequilas.
True to the requirements for a reposado, Sauza Blue is aged for at least two months. If you like a hint of vanilla in your tequila (or your margaritas), this is the one for you. Add some simple syrup and enjoy a sweet drink.
The reposado from Patron has more hints of caramel and honey. If you like your margaritas with a little bit of spice, this is the one for you. It adds some pepper flavor before you even open your spice cabinet.
The next tequila that we really enjoy is anejo. This is aged in oak even longer than the reposado -- it spends one to three years chilling out before it's bottled for people to drink.
Since it's been aged for so long, it makes a tequila that's great to sip on -- unlike the tequilas you may have tried in college. It's great for people who want a tequila that's a step up from the norm, but aren't really interested in being tequila aficionados.
An easy way to spot an anejo tequila is the color. The oak aging process darkens it until it's almost amber.
If you have the time, experiment with different anejo tequilas to see what kinds of flavors each one brings to the table. This is the best tequila for margaritas for people who want quality, a smooth finish, and not too much of a bite at the end.
Not all anejo tequilas are created equally, though, so here's where you should start.
Have you ever heard of a tequila with a flavor profile that includes raisins?
Lots of people have heard of the famous Patron, but not everyone takes the time to really find out about the process that goes into creating their tequilas. It's aged in white oak barrels for twelve to fifteen months, so it's one of the lighter anejos.
This makes it good for sipping or creating a classy margarita to enjoy your day.
On the other end of the spectrum, Manana Anejo spends two years aging before it hits your glass.
Do you like fruity margaritas? This is the tequila to use in your recipe. Their process gives it hints of fruit and oak, making it great to sip on its own or as part of a killer margarita recipe.
Finally, the last type of tequila that we recommend -- and by far the best tequila for margaritas -- is blanco tequila.
Unlike reposado or anejo tequilas, blanco tequila is unaged. This is the purest form of tequila you can find. Since it's not aged, the flavor profile is way more focused on the taste of the agave. The tequila is also usually clear, which is where it gets its name.
This does give it a little more of a bite -- we don't recommend drinking this one straight -- but it makes sure that the flavor of the tequila really stands out in your margarita. Even though subtler tequilas are great, sometimes you just want a kick in your drink. These are our two favorite blanco tequilas.
This is the best tequila for margaritas. It's spicy, has a little bit of zest, and adds an interesting punch to a classic margarita. If you're a fan of the classic margarita, but want to spice it up a bit, this is perfect for you.
Butter and olive probably aren't the first words that come to mind when you think of tequila, let alone a blanco. This one is unique.
Not only can you find hints of butter and olive, but you can also catch the essence of basil and lime if you're really paying attention as you sip. We definitely recommend trying this one at least once.
Come Try The Best Tequila For Margaritas
Don't have any of these tequilas in your house already? Ready to give them a taste?
Come celebrate National Margarita Day -- or any day -- with us at Mesa Grapevine Station. Sip on one of our six margaritas, try a signature cocktail, and chat with friends over some of our delicious food.
Visit us for happy hour Monday through Thursday. Salud!