Premium tequila advice?
December 9, 2008 8:57 PM   Subscribe

Recommend a premium tequila for margarita lover?

I am buying a friend a bottle of tequila for Christmas- he loves margaritas. I know that a lot of the time you would only buy a very expensive bottle of liquor if you were planning on sipping it, not mixing it, but does this hold true for tequila/margaritas? Can you recommend a nice bottle? Price is not important, don't really have a budget. Thanks!
posted by muxnaw to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
So it really depends, a more traditional margarita can be very tequila heavy with just some lime juice and triple sec (or gran marnier/cointreau). In this case you want a decent tequila, maybe not a don julio though.

I'd do something like herradura silver (personal fav), if you need more value the two aforementioned mixers (Cointreau and Gran Marnier) can be tossed in to round out the value, they're expensive liquors. This makes a great marg with even a less traditional marg, (tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and a chunk of sweet and sour).

Its a more "corporate" brand but I'm also a huge fan of the Sauza Commerativo tequila, extremely smooth and goes great in marg.

If he's a rocker you could also go with Cabo Wabo (Sammy Hagar's tequila - or used to be).
posted by bitdamaged at 9:09 PM on December 9, 2008

I keep saying "value" when I mean "want to spend more" - too much time on business docs I guess.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:09 PM on December 9, 2008

Try this.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:19 PM on December 9, 2008

High end tequila is definitely for sipping. A great tequila can definitely be compared with a fine single-malt Scotch.

This. It's a waste to use an expensive tequila in a Margarita.
posted by clearlydemon at 9:22 PM on December 9, 2008

Bill Bumgardner's "What is Good Tequila?" has some pertinent advice.
posted by zamboni at 9:28 PM on December 9, 2008

Get them a bottle of 1800 Reposado and a bottle of Cointreau.

I mix 2 parts Tequila, 2 parts Sour mix, 1 part Cointreau and 1 part Rose's lime juice. Pour over ice in a glass with salted rim. Anyone can afford the lime juice and sour mix, but 1800 and Cointreau are currently priced out of my budget at the moment, and boy, do I miss them both.
posted by marsha56 at 9:30 PM on December 9, 2008

Oh and also to be clear you wouldn't buy Cointreau AND Gran Marnier, one or the other.
The other liquor in a margarita is an orange liquor, triple sec, GM and cointreau are all variations of this.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:34 PM on December 9, 2008

sorry, ex-bartender with an affinity for good tequila and margs in particular so I'm spewing a bit

Anyway went to bevmo, searched for tequilas, $20-$30 and scores of 90+ and got this selection its actually a pretty good list for your purposes.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:40 PM on December 9, 2008

If your friend really loves Margaritas he'd appreciate a big bottle of Cointreau more than a bottle of tequila, I know I would. Tequila is cheap compared to Cointreau. There are two kinds of Tequila: Good and horrendous. Don't buy into the hype that Tequila is the new scotch. That's just some marketing angle created by a snake oil salesman who's famous for making expensive shampoo.
posted by any major dude at 10:09 PM on December 9, 2008

Corralejos. No question about it. It's expensive, but it's terrific - I wouldn't waste it on margaritas; it's terrific just to sip straight-up or with an ice cube or two.
posted by AngerBoy at 10:42 PM on December 9, 2008

You could also get your friend a bottle of damiana liqueur. It's said that the first margarita was made with this instead.
posted by idiotfactory at 11:43 PM on December 9, 2008

The mention of damiana reminded me of Agavero, a liqueur that I find absolutely delicious. I first had it at a tiny restaurant in Pasadena, drizzled over a mushroom soup. Drool....

It's pretty difficult to find, though.
posted by pmbuko at 5:32 AM on December 10, 2008

FWIW, among the tequila "aficionados" I knew from bartending in a Mexican restaurant back in the day, anything Jose Cuervo- 1800 included- was greeted with a, "meh," and a silent, "get me some Patron/Chinaco/Tres Generations." From bitdamaged's link, Herradura is some quality stuff. Perhaps some Herradura and Cointreau would do the trick? Just don't get a generic bottle of triple sec...

I disagree that good tequila is wasted on a margarita. A margarita lover can definitely tell the difference. Our fave was Patron & Gran Marnier with freshly cut and squeezed limes. Delicious.
posted by jmd82 at 7:02 AM on December 10, 2008

I'll second Herradura Blanco as a very nice addition to a margarita. Rick Bayless who is an authority on Mexican food, drink and culture agrees.
posted by mmascolino at 9:38 AM on December 10, 2008

I like both Herradura and Patron.
posted by pombe at 10:24 AM on December 10, 2008

My previous AskMe about tequila got some really great answers. You may wish to check it out.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:10 AM on December 10, 2008

Sauza Hornitos - it's delicious and not expensive enough to be a waste in a mixed drink.
posted by crabintheocean at 12:15 PM on December 10, 2008

2nd the Hornitos as well...that's what I buy if I am not feeling fancy for the Herradura.
posted by mmascolino at 3:06 PM on December 10, 2008

For what it's worth, I'm a mexican, living in Mexico, and I've never seen anyone drink "tequila blanco" (white). My husband and I love to drink margaritas, either at restaurants or at home. My prefered brand is Don Julio because it has a strong tequila taste but it's also pretty smooth, if that makes sense. You could also give your friend a bottle of Grand Marnier (I prefer it over Cointreau).
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:01 PM on December 10, 2008

I'm not Mexican, and not in Mexico, but I am all kinds of tickled to see that CrazyLemonade just gave me all the validation I need. ;-)

I DO consider myself somewhat of a budding tequila scholar. My personal opinion (for what it's worth) is that blanco is kind of pointless; reposado is good for a high-quality margarita (assuming you use only fresh-squeezed lemon and/or lime juice and Grand Marnier, and maybe a dash of agave nectar if you want to smooth it just a bit); añejo is a lovely sipping drink; and the occasional extra-añejo (e.g., Don Julio 1942) is sensational for special occasions.

I was turned on to 1942 by a bartender at the legendary Maria's in Santa Fé, who decided that, after my then-fiancée and I had put down a fair bit of money sampling several sipping tequilas, would hip us to her personal favorite, for free. We have been sold ever since.

I've since tried the even MORE expensive Don Julío Real a couple of times. Nice, but to be honest, I think 1942 still has the edge. If your gift recipient ever enjoys a sipping tequila, 1942 is a sensational gift. I will even go so far as to say that if he enjoys a good tequila-heavy margarita, you can probably get by with using 1942 in it. It's kind of a wasteful indulgence, but again, if he makes it strong enough and ONLY uses premium ingredients, I'm willing to forgive.

I will add this: My fiancée hated, hated, HATED tequila before. She had a couple of sips of 1942, and now she is completely sold.
posted by CommonSense at 9:32 PM on December 10, 2008

My very favorite tequila is Hussong's Reposado. It's 2/3 of the price of anything that's even close to being as good as it is. If I want to spend a little more the Don Julio Blanco is probably the best stuff I'd actually pay for. Anything more is overpriced. And Patron is crap. Really, really shitty tequila, it's only popular due to marketing. I also think that Cointreau is superior to Grand Marnier for margarita purposes. And if you're using any sort of good tequila you definately want to use fresh lime and an orange liqueur that's not triple sec.

And seconding the Don Julio 1942 recommendation above. It's outstanding stuff, but I wouldn't waste it in a mixed drink, it should be appreciated on it's own.

And for a truly outstanding margarita add some muddled cucumber and chile pepper, and serve it neat and without salt.
posted by Jawn at 5:51 AM on December 11, 2008

Dittoing Jawn's margarita "tweaking" suggestion. And THANK YOU for saying what I've felt about Patron, especially re the marketing!
posted by CommonSense at 7:02 AM on December 11, 2008

Speaking of Don Julio 1942, last night I was bartending and witnessed the most expensive tray of drinks I've ever encountered. A bunch of liquor reps were having a holiday party, drinking quite a bit, and at one point decided to do a round of the 1942. For fourteen of them! At $24 a pop that's 336 dollars worth of tequila. I was glad we had a spare bottle around, that's more of the 1942 than we've sold in the entire past year. I asked the server afterwards if she was nervous carrying the tray out. Her response: "Hell yes!"
posted by Jawn at 10:24 AM on December 12, 2008

« Older Crit groups in chicago?   |   Can I make an effective dispute of my credit... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.