You know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why. Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality; it’s a list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary state to state.
“You get some value by choosing a mezcal from Guerrero instead of Oaxaca. This wild cupreata agave is Guerrero’s answer to pechuga with leg of lamb instead of turkey or chicken.”—Neal Bodenheimer, mixologist at and co-owner of Cureand owner of Cane & Table and Café Henri
“This is the real thing—not watered down, 40 percent ABV. They release expressions from different villages, all being 100 percent cultivated espadin. Their flavor profile ranges from citrusy, earthy, tropical fruits to floral. Grab one and you’ll be happy.”—Ramon Garcia, lead bartender at Alchemist Bar & Lounge
“Mezcal is a tough category, because new ones are discovered every year, making it difficult to keep up, but you cannot go wrong with Del Maguey. Ron Cooper has been bringing in wonderful mezcal for years.”—Gary Patrick Crunkleton, bartender at and owner of The Crunkleton