Let’s face it, Cinco de Mayo has basically become an American holiday. But that doesn’t mean you have to celebrate with cheap, Americanized tequila. While you don’t have to break the bank buying bottle after bottle of Patron, you can still get a good bottle of tequila for around $20.
The first thing to remember is stay away from any of the “gold” tequilas. These are always what are referred to as “mixto,” or tequila that is not 100% agave. Usually, sugar is mixed in with the agave, which is what gives you that nasty hangover in the morning. So it is always a good idea to look for a bottle that is 100% agave. While it won’t completely ward off a hangover, it’ll lessen the hurt the next morning. Keep in mind, not all “silver” or “blanco” tequilas are 100% agave, so make sure to check the label before buying.
The second thing to remember is that not all tequilas taste the same. Some are more smooth. Some have a milder flavor. That is why it is important to pick the right tequila for however you are drinking it, whether it be mixed in a margarita or sipped from a shot glass. We’ve put together a list of some great tequilas around $20 for the different situations you might find yourself in this Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy!
Best for margaritas: Cruz Del Sol Silver Tequila
This tequila was the 2010 bronze medalist at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and 2011 silver medalist at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, so you know it’s good. It’s made of 100% agave and has a smooth taste that mixes well with the sweet and sour of the margarita mix.
Best for tequila sunrise: El Jimador Blanco
This is actually one of the best-selling tequilas in Mexico. It is 100% Weber Blue Agave and has a smooth, medium bodied taste that mixes well with the flavors of the Tequila Sunrise. This is actually a good tequila to use for any mixed drinks you are concocting on Cinco de Mayo.
Best for shots: Olmeca Tequila Blanco
Again, this is made with 100% agave, which will help make your hangover less brutal the following morning. The reason this is such a good tequila for shooting is because it has a great flavor palate, which includes peppers, fruits and spices, with a finish of sweet agave.
Best for sipping: Sauza Blue Tequila Silver
While you might want to spend a little more than $20 for a tequila you will be sipping (and if you do, we suggest Hornitos Tequila), if you want a sipping tequila that isn’t going to cost a fortune, try Sauza Blue Tequila Silver. It is, again, 100% blue agave, and is made in Jalisco, Mexico. It has a great, smooth sipping flavor with roasted pepper, black pepper, lime zest and honeysuckle tones, which make for a great sipping tequila.
Don’t agree with our suggestions or have some of your own? Let us know in the comments!