Whether shaken, stirred, or simply sipped on its own, blanco tequila consistently brings happy hours to the next level. However, knowing which tequila to drink is key. In a sea of options, we found the best blanco tequilas for mixing into cocktails, sipping neat, or gifting to the tequila aficionado in your life.
"There are many factors that create a great blanco tequila," explains Jay Turner, senior marketing director of Trinchero Family Estates. "The agave source, the agave crushing method, the agave cooking method, the yeast strain used in fermentation, the fermentation tank, the type of still, the number of times distilled, the water source, and, of course, the master distiller, who utilizes an 'art and science' approach to making a distinctive blanco tequila."
Taking all of this into consideration, our top pick is the 123 Organic Blanco Tequila (Uno) because it has a precise and clean palate that sips and mixes well.
We've researched the best blanco tequilas on the market you can get right now. Read on to find inspiration for your next Margarita night!
Best Overall: 123 Organic Blanco Tequila (Uno)
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Lemon zest, Agave, Pepper
Organic, delicious and environmentally friendly (the company bottles its spirits in hand-blown recycled glass and labels them with soy ink-printed, recycled paper labels)—what more could you want? 123 Organic Tequila is the brainchild of David Ravandi, a long-time agave grower and artisanal tequila producer.
This easy-drinking 'Uno' blanco is produced from 10-year-old agave plants that cook for two days in traditional stone ovens. The juice is then double-distilled for purity and bottled shortly after. Notes of lemon zest, fresh agave, pepper and crushed rocks burst from the spirit’s clean and precise palate. Sip neat, stir into cocktails or do both.
Related: The Best Tequilas
Best for Sipping: Tequila Ocho Plata
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Candied lime, Starfruit, Citrus rind
This sipping tequila is crafted by Carlos Camarena, a third-generation tequilero, and Tomas Estes, who was an official ambassador of tequila to the EU. Agave for Tequila Ocho Plata is harvested from high-altitude growing sites and is distilled with close attention to detail. Flavors of candied limes, citrus rind, almond, starfruit and briny pineapple lead to a soft and lingering finish. No need for mixers here—this spirit is the star of the show.
Related: The Best Sipping Tequilas
Best for Margaritas: Herradura Silver Tequila
Region: Jalisco Valley, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Citrus, herbs, wood
If you're looking to make cocktails on a budget, Herradura Silver blanco is a great pick. This medium-bodied tequila is aged for 45 days, which adds an extra layer of texture to its smooth palate. Pleasant notes of citrus, herbs and wood beautifully complement the simple ingredients used in a Margarita.
Related: The Best Tequilas for Margaritas
Best for Cocktails: Don Abraham Organic Blanco Tequila
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, crushed rocks, sweet spice
“Blanco tequilas are much more versatile than people give them credit for when it comes to making cocktails,” says master mixologist Deke Dunne of Allegory at the Eaton DC, noting that blanco tequila can go with almost any other spirit if one gets creative enough. Dunne reveals that the Eaton has showcased tequila-based cocktails mixed with apple spirits, blanc vermouths, and more. “It's boozy and vegetal, but it's also fruity and savory. The blanco tequila works super well with all of those oddball flavors to create something really cool.”
When making cocktails, using a high-quality, yet affordable bottle is key to allowing your drink to shine. Don Abraham Organic Blanco offers a happy medium. Flavor-packed, certified organic , and estate-grown, this floral-driven tequila is loaded with flavors of peppery fruit, crushed rocks and sweet spice. Pro tip: pour a little on the side and enjoy solo to really experience the tequila’s flavor—then dump a hearty pour into your next cocktail creation.
Best Under $30: Espolòn Blanco
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Tropical fruit, Ginger, Grilled pineapple
Who says that great tequila needs to cost a fortune? Espolòn's 100% blue agave blanco is an excellent value. Notes of tropical fruit, citrus zest, ginger and grilled pineapples lead to an elegant, spice-laden finish. At less than $30 a pop, you won’t feel bad mixing this into a cocktail, though the quality is good enough to sip on its own.
“On the palate, I like a blanco tequila that rides low, spreading across the mouth, as this helps form a solid foundation for the interplay of the acidity,” noting that grapefruit juice, in particular, can become wonderfully complex when mixed with the right blanco tequila. – master mixologist Gates Outsuji
Best Organic: Tres Agaves Blanco
Region: Tequila Valley, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Sweet agave, orange rind, mint leaf
This award-winning tequila is ideal for those looking to sip responsibly without sacrificing quality. Tres Agaves farms its agave organically, as the brand believes that this allows the soil-driven notes of the Tequila Valley to shine through. Additionally, Tres Agaves bottles its tequila as soon as it’s finished distillation to capture its clean and pure flavors. Energetic notes of sweet agave, orange rind and mint leaf harmoniously collide on the palate and lead to an herbaceous, silky finish.
“Tres Agaves chose organic for sustainability and superior taste reasons,” noting that the agave is not genetically engineered or irradiated. “Tres Agaves uses renewable resources and conservation of soil and water, and [the estate] goes through rigorous inspections of its agave fields, tequila, and distillery, to meet organic standards. As a result, Tres Agaves enhances the quality of agave for future generations.” — Jay Turner, senior marketing director of Trinchero Family Estates
Best Under $50: Don Julio Blanco
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Citrus zest, Vanilla, Pepper
Most great tequilas clock in around $40 to $50, so choosing just one can be challenging. However, in terms of availability and quality, Don Julio always overperforms. This blanco tequila is made from hand-picked blue agave and is double-distilled (only the middle cut is used). Notes of citrus zest, vanilla and pepper dominate the spirit’s flavor-packed palate. Sip over ice with a squeeze of lime or mix into your next cocktail for an elevated drinking experience.
Related: The Best Tequila Under $50
Best Under $75: Casa Dragones Blanco
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Tropical fruit, Green apple skin, Grapefruit
This ultra-satisfying tequila from Casa Dragones is fresh, fruit-driven, and layered with flavor. Notes of juicy tropical fruits, green apple skin, grapefruit, black pepper and a touch of minty freshness dominate the spirit’s smooth and full-bodied palate. For those looking to step up their tequila game without breaking the bank, this simple upgrade is a no-brainer.
Best Value: Patrón Silver
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pineapple, Yellow stone fruit, Vanilla
Smooth and clean, Patrón's tequilas are some of the best quality-to-price spirits in this category. Patrón Silver is produced from hand-picked blue agave and is distilled in copper-lined stills. The resulting tequila is nuanced, aromatic, and loaded with flavors of pineapple, yellow stone fruit and vanilla. Sip neat, add some rocks or use as a premium base for making cocktails at home.
Related: The Best Añejo Tequilas
Best for Gifting: Clase Azul Plata
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Citrus, Fresh herbs, Sweet agave
Clase Azul Plata Tequila is produced from 100% organic Weber blue agave, pot-distilled and stored in a unique decanter bottle—making it the perfect gift for tequila lovers. Smooth flavors of citrus, fresh-cut herbs and sweet agave ooze from the premium spirit’s balanced, harmonious and pleasantly sweet palate.
Related: The Best Gifts for Tequila Lovers
Best Sustainable: Mijenta Tequila Blanco
Region: Jalisco Highlands, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Fresh melon, Cooked agave, Sweet spice
Produced in the highlands of Jalisco, this small-batch, award-winning blanco tequila is one of the best in the game. Spearheaded by Mexico-based Maestra Tequilera Ana Maria Romero, this complex, satiny tequila promises to satisfy an array of palate preferences. Expect flavors of cooked agave, fresh melon, tropical fruit, and sweet spice to lead to a powerful, floral-tinged finish.
Best Bartender’s Choice: Fortaleza Blanco Tequila
Region: Jalisco Valley, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Earth, Smoke
There’s a reason why bartenders across the country can’t get enough of Fortaleza Blanco Tequila—it’s got history, it’s got taste, and it’s produced as traditionally as possible. Fortaleza was first brought to the United States over 150 years ago, and in terms of production, not much has changed since then. The family uses only estate-grown agave and traditional tahonas to create this high-quality product, with additives never used. Expect flavors of pepper, smoke, and a hint of sweetness to lead to a savory, lingering finish.
“Fortaleza Tequila is one of my favorites,” says Tanner Johnson, Director of Bars & Beverage at the new Thompson San Antonio Riverwalk. “Their blanco is a pure expression of an agave spirit. It is spicy, earthy, slightly vegetal with a touch of sweetness.” Dunne agrees. “For sipping, I suggest Fortaleza Blanco,” he says, describing the bottle as “definitely one of [his] favorite tequilas.”
Best for Mixing: El Jimador Silver Tequila
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Citrus, herbal tea, cooked agave
Some tequilas come to life when mixed with other spirits/juices, and such is the case for this affordable, easy-to-find blanco from El Jimador. The tequila’s light body and powerful, herbal-influenced flavors make it extremely versatile in at-home cocktail creations. “In Allegory, we use El Jimador as our rail, workhorse blanco,” reveals Dunne. “It has very pronounced vegetal and peppery notes that stand up wonderfully in a cocktail." You heard it here first.
Best Standout: DE-NADA Tequila Blanco
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pineapple, grapefruit rind, vanilla
Outsuji recommends DE-NADA Blanco as a particular standout. “This tequila shows a burst of flavor on the front end, and its sweetness dips low in the middle, before a clean, high finish,” he explains, stating that the tequila’s distinctive pattern allows for a different type of agility when it comes to placing modifiers (spices, herbs, etc.) into a cocktail recipe. DE-NADA Tequila is the brainchild of long-time friends Danny Neeson and Adam Millman, who spent three years touring distilleries in search of the perfect place to live out their agave-based tequila dreams.
Today, DE-NADA is produced in collaboration with fifth-generation distiller Feliciano Vivanco. Only estate-grown blue Weber agave and natural yeasts are used to create this deliciously smooth and easy-drinking tequila. Expect flavors of pineapple, grapefruit rind, and a hint of vanilla to lead to a pure and palate-coating finish.
In the realm of great blanco tequila, we recommend looking for something high in flavor and quality, as well as transparency—in terms of production, that is. "I believe a good blanco tequila is one that has bold, vegetal flavors, a strong aroma, and good clarity,” says Dunne. He also emphasizes seeking out smaller producers that focus on tradition and quality. “I tend to veer away from the massive producers and celebrity tequilas because a) they usually lack the quality of smaller distillers, and b) they are so vague and cloudy about their production process, that it is almost impossible to determine if they are producing tequila ethically,” he explains.
Morgan Weber, beverage director and co-owner of Eight Row Flint, shares a similar sentiment. “I lean towards more traditionally made tequila from smaller producers,” she says, noting that over the last half-century, tequila production has become very industrialized. “The upside is better yield from the plants, but that doesn’t happen without sacrificing flavor. Small producers obsess over maintaining as much of the plant’s flavor as possible. For this reason, I also share most of the traditional producers’ preference to not age tequila in wood, because that wood can overpower the plant extraordinarily quickly.”
What to Look For
“When it comes to blanco tequilas, I like those that are flexible in function,” says Outsuji. He feels that great blanco tequila should be “as marvelous in a cocktail as it is on its own,” right out of the bottle. "I favor those that honor the flavor of the source material—I look for warm notes of steamed agave, hints of vanilla and citrus, but not too much spice,” he says. Additionally, master mixologist Anthony Baker considers paying attention to weight. “Good blanco tequilas are determined by how rich they are,” says Baker, noting that reposados and añejos are inherently rich because of the barrel-aging process, but blancos don’t have that luxury. “So their [blanco tequilas’] richness mainly hinges upon their distillation process, whereby richness can be achieved through pot-distillation,” he explains.
How is tequila made?
No matter the style, tequila is always made from the blue Weber agave plant, otherwise known as agave tequilana. The cores of these plants, called the piñas, are harvested, baked, juiced, and then fermented to make tequila. To harvest the plant, jimadors remove the leaves of the plants with a coa. The hearts of the plants are then baked in brick ovens (called hornos), which allow for the extraction of sugars. Once baked, the piñas are shredded and the juice (called mosto) is released. The mosto is then fermented with yeasts, distilled (generally twice), and in the case of blanco tequila, minimally aged (minimum 2-3 weeks, up to two months) prior to being bottled and released.
How is blanco tequila different from other expressions?
Blanco tequila is different from other expressions of tequila in that it is clear in color and only sees 0-2 months of aging, if any at all. Some professionals say that blanco tequilas are the purest expressions on the market, as they do not see any oak aging.
What is the best way to drink blanco tequila?
Simply put, the best way to enjoy blanco tequila is based on the quality of the product, as well as the preference of the consumer. “If it's a tequila like Fortaleza Blanco, then I am sipping it; if it is a rail blanco, then I am either taking it as a shot or mixing it in a cocktail,” explains Dunne. “I usually don't use nice, high-end blancos in cocktails, as the nuances that make them so beautiful usually get lost in the medley flavors.” Weber, who admittedly loves tequila in cocktails (specifically Margaritas), agrees that great tequila can be enjoyed neat, though that it’s ultimately at the discretion of the consumer. For Johnny Swet, cocktail consultant at JIMMY, the answer is in the chill. “I usually enjoy it on the rocks with a nice cold Mexican beer like Victoria,” he says.
Why Trust Liquor.com?
Vicki Denig is a wine and travel journalist based between New York and Paris. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. Her work regularly appears on Liquor.com, Wine-Searcher, VinePair and more. Denig is also the Content Manager at Volcanic Selections, Paris Wine Company, Vin Fraîche, and more.
United States Department of Agriculture. Guidelines for labeling distilled spirits with organic references. 2009.
Simpson B, Tazik P, Miller GD. Waste Reduction Evaluation of Soy-Based Ink at a Sheet-Fed Offset Printer. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 1994.