6 Best Tequilas Under $40

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.

1. Chinaco Blanco ($38)

It tastes so specifically of itself; there’s no other tequila like it. It’s creamy, briny and full of seashells. A great sipping blanco but also great in cocktails with grapefruit.”—Zac Overman, mixologist at Rob Roy and head bartender at Sitka & Spruce Bar

2. Pueblo Viejo Blanco ($25)

“One of the better budget tequilas. Great on its own and stands up well in cocktails.”—Michael J. Neff, bar director at Holiday Cocktail Lounge

3. Milagro Reposado ($30)

“This is my favorite daily tequila sipper of all time. This reposado has a velvety mouthfeel with beautiful notes of vanilla, caramel and a whisper of tobacco at the finish. Stunning and way underpriced, but don’t tell anyone.”—Bob Peters, head mixologist at The Punch Room in The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

4. Cabeza ($40)

“Slightly higher proof than most tequilas to stand out in cocktails. Nice minerality with vanilla, cherry and paper notes. Shoot it or mix it—you won’t regret it.”—Ramon Garcia, lead bartender at Alchemist Bar & Lounge

5. Siembra Azul Blanco ($39)

“Hard to find a better-made highland tequila for the price.”—Neal Bodenheimer, mixologist at and co-owner of Cure and owner of Cane & Table and Café Henri

6. Cimarrón Blanco ($23)

“By a long shot, the best value in the tequila market—at a price that may disqualify it as a gift for some people.”—David Moo, owner of Quarter Bar

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From our Friends



  • Karmaray posted 10 months ago

    While I do agree with several of the choices here what I don't understand is that we have blind tasted against 5 of these and Karma Tequila silver and reposado were the winners. Maybe if you tried them for yourselves, there would be a new ranking.

  • jon.1563 posted 10 months ago

    Espolon Reposado is FAR superior to any of those listed and only costs about $20!

  • pouringpro posted 10 months ago

    A relatively unknown Plata tequila distilled in Jalisco by the American Company McCormick retails for $16-18.00 As a lifelong tequila drinker, enjoying Sauza in the 60's and all the rest during the Tequila blitz of the 80's, I find this Tequila great on the rocks or as the backbone of the many tequila concoctions I have made over 40 years of bartending. The McCormick family distillery in Missouri is historic. Their craft tradition goes back to 1856. All my tequila loving graduates of #ConnecticutSchoolofBartending.com are taught to use this fine product. My favorite is a drink I called "Cape Fear", after a night of drinking with Nick Nolte. 2 oz. of McCormick Plata and 4 oz. give or take of Ocean Spray Cranberry (original) on ice with a squeeze of fresh lime.
    Here is a great on e for Ski Season!!
    The Downhill Takedown: Muddle dash of bitters, 1/2 teaspoon oganic sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon
    of agave syrup with a slice of lime and a green maraschino cherry in rocks glass. Next: Ice rocks glass, add 1 1/2 oz. of McCormick Silver and a splash of club soda. The drink is consumed through a short straw.
    So we have a Tequila Old Fashioned consumed Mind Eraser style. Straight Down Hill!!!

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