three tequila shots, one splashing, with lime and salt

Best Tequila for Shots

Tequila — Mexico’s fiery gift to the world — has a storied history of revelry and rebellion. From ancient Aztec fermentations to Prohibition-era speakeasies, it’s been the life of the fiesta for centuries.

Today, tequila is one of the world’s most popular and diverse spirits, with different types, flavors, and styles. Whether you prefer blanco, reposado, or añejo, there’s a tequila bottle for every occasion.

However, not all tequilas are created equal, especially when it comes to shots. Some are smooth and subtle; others are bold and complex. Some are aged and refined; others are fresh and raw.

How do you decide which one to choose and which one to avoid?

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. In this spirited guide, we’re diving headfirst into the world of tequila shots — an art form that’s equal parts tradition and temptation. We’ll help you find the best tequila for shots, depending on your taste, budget, and mood. Grab your salt, lime, and shot glasses, and let’s start!

What You Need to Know About Tequila

Before you embark on your tequila-tasting journey, it’s essential to have a solid grasp of what sets this spirited libation apart. In this section, we’re breaking down the essentials you need to know about tequila.

From the different types and aging processes to the significance of agave regions, consider this your crash course in Tequila 101. With this knowledge, you’ll confidently navigate the shelves and make informed choices for your next tequila-centric gathering. So, let’s unravel the secrets that turn a casual sipper into a tequila connoisseur.

Tequila: An Overview

First things first, tequila isn’t just a drink; it’s a cultural icon. It’s a spirit that evokes images of vibrant fiestas and an undying passion for life. It’s like the dance floor of the liquor world — where the agave plants do the salsa, and we get the party in a bottle!

So, what’s it made of?

Tequila is a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, precisely the Weber tequilana variety, native to Mexico. Its rich history dates back to the ancient Aztecs, who fermented agave juice into a drink called “pulque.” This spirited elixir results from generations of know-how and artistry, distilled into a bottle that embodies heritage and tradition.

Taste-wise, tequila is a flavor-packed powerhouse. Its earthy, herbal notes blended with caramel undertones and peppery spice keep things exciting. In all honesty, tequila is like a mariachi band for your taste buds, with each note hitting just the right spot.

In terms of appearance, tequila can range from crystal clear to rich amber or golden hues. Above all, tequila holds a special place in the classic drinks hall of fame. Think margaritas, palomas, and tequila sunrises — they’re like the timeless flapper dresses of the cocktail world, always in style.

The best part: Tequila is as diverse as the jazz tunes that echoed through speakeasies during the Prohibition era. From lively silver varieties to sultry, aged expressions, there’s a tequila for every palate. Whether you intend to sip it neat or craft intricate cocktails, tequila can easily light up any gathering.

How to Choose the Best Tequila?

With a multitude of tequila options available, finding the perfect bottle may seem like a daunting task. Fear not, for we’ve distilled the process into a few key considerations:

First, ensure your tequila is made from 100% pure blue Weber agave. Look for the NOM (Norma Oficial Mexicana) number to trace its origin and distillery.

Next, understand the tequila categories. Blanco offers a crisp, unaged profile, while reposado gains complexity with a brief oak rest. Añejo, aged for at least a year, boasts deeper, nuanced flavors.

Think about the occasion and how you’ll enjoy your tequila — neat or in cocktails. This ensures a perfect match for the moment.

Consider your budget, as quality tequilas span a range of prices. While high cost doesn’t always equate to superior quality, steer clear of overly cheap options. You can also explore distillery reputations and seek recommendations from trusted sources for valuable insights.

Remember that the tag “best” is subjective, especially regarding liquor. The best tequila is the one that best suits your personal taste. Experiment with different types and brands, paying attention to the flavor nuances and complexities that appeal to you.

What Does Tequila Cost?

Tequila prices vary widely depending on the brand, type, and aging process. However, you can generally expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $350 for a 750ml bottle of tequila.

Blanco tequilas are typically the least expensive, with prices ranging from $20 to $40 per bottle. These tequilas provide a clean, unaged flavor perfect for cocktails.

Stepping up the ladder, reposado tequilas, with their subtle aging process, can range from $40 to $70. This category offers a bit more complexity, making it an excellent choice for sipping or crafting elevated cocktails.

For the enthusiasts seeking the pinnacle of tequila experience, añejo tequilas come at a premium. Aged for a minimum of one year, these bottles can range from $50 to well over $300. The extended aging imparts a richness and depth of flavor that’s truly exceptional.

Where Can You Buy Tequila?

Tequila enthusiasts have a plethora of options when it comes to purchasing this iconic spirit. For a convenient and extensive selection, liquor stores are your go-to destination. These specialized retailers offer a wide array of tequila brands, from budget-friendly options to premium, aged expressions.

If you prefer a more curated and atmospheric experience, head to your favorite Mexican restaurant or bar. These establishments often boast an impressive tequila collection, showcasing various styles and regions of origin. Engage with the bartenders, seek their recommendations, and savor a perfectly crafted tequila cocktail or a neat shot.

Finally, don’t overlook the convenience of online retailers. Reputable online stores like us at Speakeasy offer a vast selection of tequilas, often at competitive prices. Browse our virtual shelves, read reviews from fellow tequila enthusiasts, and have your chosen spirit delivered directly to your doorstep.
bartender pouring tequila into glasses

The Best Tequilas for Shots

From vibrant blancos to smooth reposados and rich añejos, tequila offers a wide array of options to suit every preference. However, añejo is best enjoyed as a sipping tequila — either neat or on the rocks — as it has a rich, complex, and smooth flavor profile. If you want tequilas for shots, blanco is the way to go.

In this curated list, we’ve handpicked some of the finest blanco tequilas, each offering a distinct and exceptional drinking experience.

Nosotros Tequila Blanco

  • MSRP: $47.99
  • Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
  • Tasting Notes: Agave, pepper, citrus
  • Our Rating: 5/5 stars

Nosotros Tequila Blanco is a highly balanced blend of highland and lowland agaves, resulting in a unique and complex flavor profile. The sweet and citrusy introduction from highland agaves harmonizes with the herbal finish of lowland agaves, creating a truly one-of-a-kind tequila experience.

Perfect for sipping or crafting premium craft cocktails, this blanco tequila has been recognized with prestigious awards. These awards include the World’s Best Tasting Tequila and multiple gold medals at the San Francisco International Wine and Spirits Competition.

Pros:

  • Unique blend of highland and lowland agaves
  • Perfect for sipping neat or enjoying cocktails
  • Smooth and complex taste
  • High-quality and affordable
  • Has won several awards and accolades

Cons:

  • It may not appeal to those who prefer aged tequilas
  • The herbal finish may not be appealing to all

Tapatio Blanco

  • MSRP: $63.00
  • Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
  • Tasting Notes: Agave, citrus, pepper, earthy and herbal tones
  • Our Rating: 5/5 stars

Tapatio Blanco is a testament to the Camarena family’s 78-year legacy of crafting exceptional tequila. Its crystal-clear appearance with silver tones hints at the bright, lively character within. It has a spicy and sweet taste, with hints of mint and anise.

Its smooth yet complex and robust flavor makes it an excellent choice for beginners and experienced tequila drinkers. The Tapatio Blanco, thanks to its earthy and herbal undertone, leaves a distinct impression that can impress most people.

Pros:

  • Complex harmony of flavors
  • Distinctive taste
  • Smooth on the throat
  • Made by a reputable distillery with more than 75 years of experience
  • Uses original blue Weber agave

Cons:

  • Some may find the flavor to be too strong
  • Limited availability in certain regions

Tequila Plata

  • MSRP: $89.99
  • Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
  • Tasting Notes: Agave, fruits, mint, citrus, white pepper
  • Our Rating: 4.5/5 stars

An award-winning blanco tequila from Kokoro Spirits, Tequila Plata offers a pure and authentic expression of the blue Weber agave. It uses ancient techniques that have stood the test of time, from horno-cooked agave to natural fermentation.

The tequila greets you with an inviting aroma of cooked agave, complemented by notes of green apple and dusted pineapple. A delicate balance of citrus, anise, mint, and white pepper flavors unfold on the palate, creating a genuinely harmonious taste experience.

Pros:

  • Uses horno-cooked blue Weber agave
  • Fermented in the open air and natural water
  • Distilled in copper stills for exceptional smoothness and complexity
  • 100% Tahona crushed for a unique and authentic experience
  • Multiple gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Cons:

  • Premium price point may not be suitable for budget-conscious consumers
  • Availability may vary depending on location and limited production

Goza Tequila Blanco

  • MSRP: $31.99
  • Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
  • Tasting Notes: Vanilla, tropical fruit, clean
  • Our Rating: 4/5 stars

Goza Tequila Blanco is a handcrafted, 100% blue Weber agave tequila distilled in small batches at Goza’s distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. It is a blanco tequila, which means it is unaged, giving it a clean, crisp flavor with hints of citrus and pepper.

Its versatile mixing capabilities and accessible price point make it a compelling choice for beginners and seasoned tequila enthusiasts. While its unaged nature may limit its complexity compared to aged counterparts, it remains a stellar option for those seeking a crisp and refreshing tequila experience.

Pros:

  • Made from 100% blue Weber agave
  • Distilled in small batches
  • Clean, crisp flavor
  • Smooth finish
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Some may find the flavor to be too light
  • Availability may vary depending on location

Espolòn Blanco

  • MSRP: $20.00
  • Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
  • Tasting Notes: Sweet agave, lemon zest, tropical fruit
  • Our Rating: 4/5 stars

Espolòn Blanco is a clear and crisp tequila priced at the lower end. It is unaged and bottled immediately after distillation, which gives it a clean, fresh flavor with notes of agave, pepper, lemon, and a fruity punch.

This tequila is a good choice for anyone who wants a versatile and easy-to-drink spirit. It can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails. It even goes well with fresh seafood garnished with hints of citrus.

Pros:

  • Smooth and distinctive taste
  • Pure, authentic agave flavor
  • A popular choice for making margaritas and palomas
  • It can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • It isn’t as complex as some other blanco tequilas
  • Some may find the flavor to be a bit light

Parting Shot: Embrace the Essence of Tequila

There’s an abundance of options to choose from regarding tequila. While blanco tequila undoubtedly steals the spotlight for shots, don’t underestimate the charm of a well-aged reposado or añejo when you’re in the mood for sipping sophistication.

Remember, the true magic lies not just in the label but in the journey each tequila takes from the agave fields to your glass. So, whether you’re shaking up a margarita worthy of a Great Gatsby soirée or savoring a shot that would make even the most notorious gangster tip their hat, embrace the essence of the elixir.

So go ahead, raise your glass, and celebrate the liquid legacy that flows through every bottle. The world of tequila is waiting, and it’s ready to whisk you away on a vibrant, flavorful adventure. Because when it comes to tequila, every sip tells a story, and we’re just lucky enough to be along for the ride.

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