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 an alphabetical list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary from state to state. And we have included a sotol.
“It has quality in the balance of minerality, smokiness and velvety texture: macadamia, lilac, grilled pineapple, tart lime, slate and black peppercorn. Not to mention Alipus participates in social activism, empowering the rural economy.”—Karen Fu, bar manager at New York City's Studio at Freehand hotel and Happy Cooking Hospitality
“I’ve loved this one for quite a while. There are some deep agave aromas—very earthy and green with delicious white peppercorn notes. This mezcal works amazingly in cocktails, and it’s also amazing to be sipped on its own. Salud!”—Mcson Salicetti, CEO and co-founder of New York City's Salicetti Cubed Consulting
“There’s too much to say about this one and its producer. It just doesn't get any better than what these guys are doing. Supporting sustainability of agave, traditional methods, family-owned—the Sanchez family does it all! This mezcal is no exception, one of the best values out there, period. Sure to please the seasoned mezcal or nerd or newcomer to this amazing spirit.”—Jordan Joseph, bar manager at Raleigh, N.C.'s Centro and Gallo Pelón
“Roasted sweet corn imbues this unique espadín throughout, uncovering softer, pleasant notes of papaya, mint, honey and cinnamon—simply sublime!”—Fu