Spirits & Liqueurs Tequila & Mezcal

The Best Mezcal at Any Price

Image: Elizabeth Reyes

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.

  • Alipús San Andrés ($46)

    “At this price, nothing else can touch this mezcal—well-rounded and slightly smoky with a touch of iodine. It’s a great mezcal for a seasoned vet or someone just venturing into the segment.”—Chad Michael George, co-owner of Denver's Way Back

  • Alipús San Luis ($46)

    “Made in the traditional manner, this mezcal is mild, sweet, smoky and spicy. It’s a ton of mezcal for the money.”—Neal Bodenheimer, owner and bartender at New Orleans' Cane & Table and Cure

  • Alipús Santa Ana del Rio ($46)

    “Blueberries, butterscotch and so much savory fruit to compliment the earthy undertones.”—Jamie Jennings, general manager and sommelier at Tulsa's Hodges Bend

  • Amarás Cupreata Joven ($55)

    “It's like a barbecue—smoky, mesquite, bonfire—but baked fruit as well. It reminds me of when I was little and we'd roast bananas in their skins in the campfire.”—Brian Means, bartender at San Francisco's Mina Group

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  • Bozal Mezcal Tobasiche ($70)

    “A wild agave that needs 12 to 13 years to mature, this mezcal is herbaceous, earthy and vegetal.”—Juyoung Kang, lead bartender at Las Vegas' Dorsey

  • Bruxo No.2 Pechuga de Maguey ($49)

    “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

  • Buen Bicho ($34)

    “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

  • Del Maguey Single Village Chichicapa ($75)

    “By expert palenques, it’s savory with grilled pineapple, tamarind, a hint of chocolate and mint in the end—a wonderful introduction to sipping mezcal.”—Karen Fu, former bar director at New York City's Donna

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  • Del Maguey Single Village Minero Santa Catarina Minas ($73)

    “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

  • Del Maguey Single Village Vida ($37)

    “It’s smoky and vegetal with a subtle sweetness.”—Max Green, senior bartender at New York City's Amor y Amargo

  • El Silencio Espadín ($39)

    “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

  • Fidencio Clásico ($38)

    “I love the balance of petrol, chalky soil and freshly cut grass in this bottle. It’s a fun conversation starter for the home bar.”—Matthew Voss, head bartender at Minneapolis' Marvel Bar

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  • Los Siete Misterios Doba-Yej ($39)

    “Floral, maraschino and with a small hint of smoke, it’s a great introductory mezcal for beginners yet complex enough for the seasoned palate.”—Sabrine Dhaliwal, bar manager at Vancouver's UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar

  • Nuestra Soledad Lachiguí Miahuatlán ($50)

    “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

  • Nuestra Soledad San Baltazar ($50)

    “The smoke, while noticeable, is well-integrated into the spirit, so there’s also well-developed fruit and minerality present.”—Kellie Thorn, bar manager at Atlanta's Empire State South

  • Nuestra Soledad San Luis Del Río ($43)

    “It’s incredibly smooth. The medium smokiness makes this mezcal great for mezcal starters.”—Mario Flores, bartender at Chicago's Maple & Ash

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  • Pierde Almas Dobadaan ($79)

    “It's full, rich and complex with a long finish—a very good food accompaniment.”—Franky Marshall, beverage director at New York City's Le Boudoir

  • Rey Campero Espadín ($55)

    “It’s a nicely delicate mezcal with notes of citrus and pineapple and just a whisper of smoke.”—Paul McGee, owner and bartender at Chicago's Lost Lake

  • Siembra Metl Cenizo ($73)

    “It’s a wonderfully complex distillate with notes of herbs, spices and flowers.”—Bodenheimer

  • Sombra ($36)

    “It’s incredibly versatile in that it works very well both in cocktails and sipping neat. It has great balance, making it suitable for first timers that have never had the smoky spirit before.”—Brett Esler, bartender at Austin's Whisler's