The Best Tequilas for Cocktails and Sipping

Our top picks from such brands as Herradura, Cincoro, Tres Generaciones and more

a lineup of the best tequilas.
Whether enjoyed straight up or in a cocktail, here are our top picks for tequila time. Jon Whittle / Marlin

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This fiery spirit is ready for its turn in the sun. As a general rule, tequilas produced with agave from the lowlands and valleys of Mexico are big and bold, with herbal, floral, citrus, and earthy aromatics and flavors, while tequilas from the mountainous highlands tend to be a bit softer, more delicate, and a little sweeter. There are three categories: Tequila blanco—also called silver tequila—is unaged; reposados are aged from two months to one year in oak barrels; and añejos are aged from one to four years. All three styles are exceptionally sippable either straight up or in an elegant cocktail such as a paloma. Salud!

Tres Generaciones

Tres Generaciones tequila
Tres Generaciones Jon Whittle / Marlin

When Don Cenobilo Sauza founded La Perseverancia distillery in 1873, he became the first to export tequila from Mexico. Tres Generaciones carries on that legacy today with this beautifully crafted bright golden reposado. It’s made using 100 percent blue agave, then it’s triple-distilled in American oak barrels for at least four months for a superb balance of sweet and spicy notes.

Don Diego Santa

Don Diego Santa tequila
Don Diego Santa Jon Whittle / Marlin

Roger Santa, son of distillery founder Don Diego, decided to expand his family’s skills from European wines to Mexico in the latter part of the previous century, with a vision of developing a tequila that combined the production processes of the European world with the unique winemaking techniques that the family had been using for decades. This is tequila at its purest.

San Matias Tahona

San Matias Tahona tequila
San Matias Tahona Jon Whittle / Marlin

This is a completely handmade small-batch tequila. According to traditional methods, blue agave is first steamed in masonry ovens and crushed with the distillery’s original tahona stone from 1886, then it’s fermented in wooden vats and distilled in copper stills. The result is one of the world’s tastiest reposados.


Cincoro tequila
Cincoro Jon Whittle / Marlin

This añejo is barrel-aged for more than two years, taking it beyond the fresh agave flavors through toasted oak to a deeper level of woody richness. This copper-colored spirit invokes aromas and flavors of fresh-cut wood, maple, dark chocolate and black pepper. It was a Tequila of the Year winner at the 2019 New York International Spirits Competition as well.

More: Check out our guide to ultimate high-end spirits here.


Hervas tequila
Hervas Jon Whittle / Marlin

This silver tequila—perfect for your next margarita—is produced in Jalisco, Mexico, using 100 percent blue agave, which produces tasting notes of light floral and citrus as well as a sweet, satisfying flavor. A hint of spicy heat in the finish denotes a well-rounded tequila.


Herradura tequila
Herradura Jon Whittle / Marlin

Blending modern and traditional distilling techniques, Casa Herradura first introduced this añejo to the world in 1962. Since then, it’s always aged in American white oak barrels for 25 months, which is 13 months beyond industry standards for an aged tequila. The result is a remarkably smooth, amber-colored spirit with notes of cooked agave, toasted oak and dried fruit.

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