Like many cocktail origin stories, the history of the margarita is understandably hazy. But whatever you believe about the margarita’s past, this beloved Mexican cocktail is all about living in the present. From the best backyard dinner parties to the most unforgettable happy hours, there’s no wrong occasion to enjoy a well-made margarita. With the rise of expertly crafted tequilas, now is one of the best times to indulge. Whether you’re mixing at home or drinking out, here’s how to make the most of this classic cocktail.
Read on to discover five of the best tequilas for margaritas.
Much like champagne, true tequila is defined by an appellation of origin, meaning that it can only be grown in a particular region. The components of its terroir gives Fortaleza a major edge when it comes to delicious margaritas. Kiowa Bryan of the Eveleigh in Los Angeles describes it as “a creamy, vegetal, bright spirit that showcases the taste of agave and the area in which it was grown.”
Don Julio is like the universal donor of tequilas: It’s smooth enough to appeal to casual tequila drinkers, and yet it’s sophisticated enough to earn approval from more serious connoisseurs. Hints of citrus play well with Cointreau and make this one of the best tequilas for margaritas, including sweet and spicy variations.
When he’s not busy winning Oscars, George Clooney is busy winning international spirits awards with Casamigos, his ultra-drinkable tequila brand. With notes of fresh cinnamon and mint on top of the agave, this tequila is an excellent choice for both classic recipes and warmer winter variations on the margarita.
Citrusy and herbal, Siembra Azul means “blue harvest” in Spanish and carries the fresh, peppery, and floral characteristics of a true Jalisco highland tequila. One of the best tequilas for margaritas, it’s also a favorite among legendary craft cocktail programs like Death & Co.
Smooth and delicate with a touch of sweetness, Lunazul is the perfect choice for tropically inspired margaritas and is both presentable and inexpensive enough to serve at your next cocktail party. As bartender John Henderson of Scholars in Boston points out, Lunazul is “very reasonably priced and stands up well to citrus and other modifiers.”
The Perfect Margarita
Now that you know the best tequila for margaritas, here’s one of our favorite recipes:
2 oz. tequila
3/4 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. lime juice
A splash of agave nectar
Shake all ingredients with ice, and then strain into a salt-rimmed glass and garnish with lime.
Up next, continue your margarita education with an intro to Cointreau, the versatile liquor that fancies up (almost) any cocktail.