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.
“This is a great gift for mezcal lovers, as well as entry-level mezcal drinkers or “mez-curious” folks. This ensemble is a post-distillate blend of espadín and barril agave varietals, and the secret here is producer Pablo Vasquez adds a roasted agave piña back into the liquid and allows it to macerate for roughly eight to 12 days. The result is a beautiful blend of mezcal—slightly "softer" but still complex with some residual sugars from the cooked agave.”—David Roark Ruiz, cocktail consultant and bartender at San Francisco's Anina
“I love this one. It’s fresh acidity, round fruitiness and nice balance of roasted agave and smokiness makes it very yummy. The finish is clean and light with hints of jalapeño spice. Enjoy neat or with some freshly squeezed juice, like grapefruit.”—Mcson Salicetti, head bartender at New York City's Crimson & Rye
“It’s one of the best single-village mezcals. With notes of floral, vanilla, fig and burnt honey, it’s complex yet smooth—a must-try.”—Kang
“There are a lot of mediocre or shady mezcals floating around for under $60. From El Silencio, you're getting a quality product from a ninth-generation mezcalero that comes in a sharp-looking bottle as well. Share it with your black-hearted friends.”—Jonathan Shock, head bartender at Detroit’s Prime + Proper
“Easily one of my favorite espadíns, this mezcal has a fruit-forward nose of banana, dried apricot and pear. The initial taste showcases a light minerality and vegetal note. It finishes with a combination of earthiness and fruit. Truly delicious!.”—Alicia Walton, owner and bartender at San Francisco's Sea Star
“It’s a wonderfully complex distillate with notes of herbs, spices and flowers.”—Bodenheimer