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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."
Best Overall: 123 Certified Organic Blanco
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 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
This sipping tequila is crafted by Carlos Camarena, a third-generation tequilero, and Tomas Estes, the 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.
"Many people don’t think of blanco as a sipping tequila, but I love the taste of organic agave that’s slowly roasted to perfection," says Turner. "When something is good, there’s nothing to hide and it should be sipped neat."
Related: The Best Sipping Tequilas
Best for Margaritas: Herradura Blanco
If you're looking to make cocktails on a budget, Herradura 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
When making cocktails, using a high-quality, yet affordable bottle is key to allow 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
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.
Best Organic: Tres Agaves Blanco
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,” says Turner, explaining 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.”
Best Under $50: Don Julio Blanco
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
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
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. Post-filtering, the spirit ages for two months in stainless steel. 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
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
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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.