Updated: May 22
Not sure where to start when selecting a good tequila brand for your special occasion? Here are 5 tequila choices to point you in the right direction.
Milagro Tequila was started in 1998 by two college buddies named Danny Schneeweiss and Moy Guindi. Along with master distiller Pedro Juarez, they came up with a process for tequila-making that bears a fair amount of resemblance with tradition but incorporate a new step of distilling in two different kinds of stills.
The master distiller uses 100 percent blue agave harvested in the Jalisco Highlands to make Milagro, and then slow-roasts the agave plants (piñas) in brick ovens for 36 hours to extract flavor. Finally, after the piñas have been roasted, shredded, and pressed and the juice has been fermented, Juarez uses two stills, a pot still and a column still, to create the spirit.
Milagro has been a rising star in the world of tequila selling 295,000 cases in 2019 alone and received a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
With agave forward flavors Milagro also sports hints of fresh herbs and citrus with a smooth pepper close.
Starting at $23.99, you can purchase from Drizly.com and have it delivered right to your home!
4. Don Julio
Don Julio Tequila is named after its founder, Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada, who began distilling tequila in 1942 at age 17.
He revolutionized the world of tequila by choosing quality over quantity, painstakingly planting each agave further apart to allow proper room to grow and fully mature before harvesting. He would then select only the most succulent portions of the agave plant (piña), before steaming them for 72-hour cycles.
In 1985 Don Julio González-Frausto celebrated his 60th Birthday, his sons commemorated the date by creating a Tequila in his name, Don Julio. Following the sheer popularity of the tequila in Guadalajara and neighboring cities they decided to launch the tequila in 1987.
When it came time to bottle his creation, he broke with generations of traditionally tall Tequila bottles typically hidden under tables. He knew his new spirit had no business hiding on the floor, so he designed a shorter tequila bottle for his guests to pass around the table while still being able to see each other.
Don Julio sold 1.7 million cases of tequila in 2019 and sales are slated to rise by 15% for 2020.
Utilizing 100% blue Webber agave, you’ll taste hints of agave, some citrus notes with a slight peppery finish.
Starting at $47.99, you can purchase from Drizly.com and have it delivered right to your home!
3. Jose Cuervo
In 1758, Don José Antonio de Cuervo was issued a land grant by King Ferdinand VI of Spain in the town of Tequila, Jalisco to plant agave on his lands to produce tequila.
It is here where Don José would cultivate and harvest the flowering blue agave plant, a water-retaining plant found in central Mexico that is distilled to create tequila.
Jose Cuervo is produced at the La Rojeña distillery. The distillery was officially founded in 1812. It is the oldest active distillery in Latin America.
He was the first distiller to bottle tequila, at a time when other distillers were still using barrels and their first bottled tequila was sold in 1906.
Jose Cuervo is family-owned and is run today by the Beckmann family of Mexico, descendants of Don José Antonio de Cuervo. It is one of the best-selling tequilas in the world. As of 2019, Jose Cuervo sells 7.3 million cases of tequila annually.
As one of the more affordable tequilas in the group, you’ll taste Hints of roasted agave, caramel, spice, fresh herbs and Cracked black pepper. Perfect for a classic margarita or paloma without breaking the bank.
Starting at $19.99, you can purchase from Drizly.com and have it delivered right to your home!
George Clooney came up with the tequila idea with Rande Gerber — who also happens to be the husband of supermodel Cindy Crawford — while the two were spending time at their houses in Mexico.
They’d go out to bars and restaurants and bartenders would recommend some tequilas that were good, some not so good, and some expensive. There came a point where George said, “Why don't we create one that's perfect for us?” The duo wanted one that didn't burn going down, that was super smooth, and had the right flavor profile.
They did research, met with distillers, trialed samples, and did blind taste tests with their friends and family until they found a recipe with no burn at all. "It ended up being almost two years and 700 samples later — it was perfect," Gerber said.
The long production process includes blue Weber agave that’s grown for seven to nine years, which are then baked in old brick ovens. The ultra-premium small batch tequila is aged and barreled, while a master distiller chooses the right moment to take it from the barrel to the bottle.
Casamigos launched in 2013 and doubled its volume of sales from 38,000 cases in 2014 to 80,000 in 2015.
The brand has won gold medals at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, The New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, The Spirits of Mexico Tasting Competition, and from The Beverage Testing Institute.
The company sold in 2017 for $1 billion, making George Clooney the highest paid actor of 2018.
There are rich flavors of ripe agave, hints of herbs that lend an almost minty taste with hints of vanilla and citrus as well as a cracked black pepper finish.
Starting at $45.99, you can purchase from Drizly.com and have it delivered right to your home!
In 1989, John Paul DeJoria, the founder of hair care empire Paul Mitchell Systems, had his friend, Martin Crowley, bring him back tequila from an upcoming trip to Mexico. With his attractive hand-blown tequila bottle and recognizing the lack of decent tequila in the states, DeJoria had an idea to launch a brand.
The first 12,000 bottles of Patrón hit the market in 1989, but it was hardly an overnight success. Their $40 tequila got them laughed at in distributor meetings, and even their biggest cheerleaders had modest expectations.
By 2005 they were selling a half million cases of Silver alone, and in 2019 the company sold over two and a half million cases. That’s why they call it “the boss”.
Patrón’s entire tequila-making process takes place at Hacienda Patrón, where they only make Patrón in small batches. There’re only 60 hands involved in the production process from beginning to end. From the glass artisans measuring and molding the bottles to the harvesting of fine Portuguese cork, everything must be “simply perfect” as the company motto proclaims.
The smooth flavor profile includes hints of citrus, blue Weber agave and cracked black pepper.
Starting at $47.87, you can purchase from Drizly.com and have it delivered right to your home!
Browsing the local liquor store or website for the best tequila can get overwhelming, especially with the numerous amount of choices out there today. As an event bartender, I can assure you that these selections never disappoint. Leave a comment and let me know your go-to tequila, I'd love to hear from you!