Tequila’s Moment as America’s “it” Spirit is not over yet. It Some categories may be gaining strength as others struggle. Recent report by beverage data analytics company ISWR indicated that agave spirits — a space primarily driven by tequila — was the only alcohol category to experience growth in the U.S. in 2023.

This A market that is increasingly saturated with new tequilas coincides with the sustained popularity of tequila. These Labels can spark interest and even lead to new favorites. They also make categories fun to explore. But There’s nothing more reliable than the old standby. It’s a bottle that unfailingly delivers comfort and happiness with every pour, which is what a good tequila should do — and no one knows good tequila better than the people who use it every day.

That’s Why we asked 14 bartenders for their favourite tequilas behind the stick as well as on their bar carts at home. Here’s What they said

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The Bartenders’ picks for the best tequila:

  • Siete Leguas Reposado
  • Tequila Ocho Plata
  • Fuentesca Huertas Las Antenas Blanco 2018
  • Dobel Diamante Cristillino
  • Siete Leguas Blanco
  • Don Fulano Blanco
  • Pueblo Viejo Blanco
  • Cascahuin Plata 48
  • Don Abraham Blanco
  • Tequila Arette Fuerte 101
  • El Tesoro Extra Añejo
  • Lalo Tequila Blanco

“My go-to tequila is Siete Leguas Reposado. This tequila is made in the highlands of Jalisco and the roasted agave piñas are crushed using a tahona, a large stone wheel that rotates slowly to pulverize the plants. This technique and all the craftsmanship it entails leads to an earthy, citrusy, and balanced reposado tequila. The spirit is aged for eight months in bourbon barrels, which imparts subtle flavors of vanilla on the palate. When I tend bar, I gravitate toward this tequila for many reasons. It is affordably priced, bold enough to stand up to powerful flavors when crafting cocktails, and nuanced enough that it can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.” —Sarah Kornegay, bar supervisor, The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, Winston-Salem, NC.

Tequila Ocho Plata is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

Tequila Ocho Plata. It’s not your well; it’s not your top-shelf. It is a smooth but robust experience from start to finish. Most straight-up tequila shots will make you make ‘the face’ — you know what I’m talking about. This was the first tequila shot I’ve ever stopped [shooting] and started sipping it, and I enjoyed every second. It allowed me to celebrate tequila on a higher level than before.” —Shane Mstroine, bartender/bar manager, Table 45, Cleveland

Fuentesca Huertas Las Antenas Blanco 2018 is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

“I’m gonna go a little more niche with Fuentesca’s 2018 Huertas Las Antenas Blanco. This phenomenal blanco is from [the brand’s] master distiller Enrique Fonseca, the genius behind other staples like Don Fulano and Cimarron. This is the best sipping blanco I’ve ever had. I’m not gonna give a tasting note so you can enjoy going in blind, but do yourself a favor and find a bottle. And don’t let the price tag dissuade you. It’s worth every penny.” —Kevin Diebold, head bartender, Predalina, Tampa

Maestro Dobel Diamente Cristallino is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

“Our go-to tequila is Dobel Diamante Cristalino. It’s the first tequila brand to start making cristalino, and has always provided an authentic approach. Their quality and 11 generations of ancestral tequila-making shine through in the many expressions they produce. Whether sipped or in a cocktail, this expression has a truly versatile flavor dynamic, which is why [our restaurant] has gone through five hand-picked barrels in our first year!” —Henry Ottrix, beverage director, Lucina Eatery & Bar, Denver

Siete Leguas Blanco is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

Siete Leguas Blanco. I appreciate it because you can actually taste where it comes from. It has identity and terroir, and you can almost detect subtropical green notes on the nose and palate. It’s gotten a bit more expensive over the years, but it’s still below $50 for a bottle. It’s also incredible in cocktails. Try using it in a Paloma or Tequila Negroni.” —Jordan Joseph, bar director, Sous Terre/Brodetto/Crawford and Son/Jolie, Raleigh, N.C.

Don Fulano Blanco is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

“The Don Fulano Blanco is a fantastic highland tequila produced by the Fonseca family from Atotonilco. It [has a] wet-soil and mineral-focused nose that turns into tropical fruit, pepper, and baked agave notes on the palate. The finish is long and rich, almost with a touch of butterscotch. The price point is excellent, especially compared to other less desirable tequilas that cost even more.” —Jonathan Stanyard. Bartender and consultant The Bitter Gringo Co., Seattle

“I always like to remind myself what great, simply-treated agave tastes like, but I also love seeing what distillers can do with it. That is why my go-to is Tequila Ocho Plata. The tequilas of Carlos Camarena of the La Alteña distillery are classic, terroir-driven tequilas that feel modern. There are no bells and whistles, just a masterful hand making really mindful spirits. For cocktails and sipping, it doesn’t get much better.” —Christian FavierBeverage Manager The Ordinary, Charleston, S.C.

Pueblo Viejo Blanco is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

Pueblo Viejo Blanco is a straightforward, delicious, affordable tequila from Casa San Matias. It’s great quality at a pretty unbeatable price, both for bars and home bartenders. Casa San Matias is a wonderful tequila producer with women at the helm, [and] they provide excellent employment opportunities for women and have worked to reduce their environmental footprint. Truly a win-win for everyone!” —Sammi Katz, bartender, The Rockwell Place, Brooklyn

Cascahuin Plata 48 is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

“My go-to-tequila has to be Casacahuin Plata 48. It’s peppery with notes of banana peel and a long finish. It always has a deserving place on my bar cart at home.” —Engracio Clemena. Beverage Manager La Societe, San Francisco

Don Abraham Blanco is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

“I’m a huge fan of Don Abraham Blanco. It’s 100 percent organic [and] it follows traditional farming methods in a time when so much agave farming is destructive to the land and to the crop. The reposado is equally lovely, but I personally enjoy the light, slightly fruity crispness of the blanco.” —Nate Hayden, beverage director, Giusto/Mother Pizzeria, Newport, R.I.

Tequila Arette Fuerte 101 is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

“The tequila that has had my heart since I discovered it is Tequila Arette Fuerte 101. It is the purest form of tequila expression, as the product comes straight from the still before they cut it to lower the alcohol percentage. Bold, robust, and beautifully crafted using the volcanic-rich water from the wells found in the town of Tequila. This tequila will have drinkers falling in love with the spirit all over again with every sip!” —Bruce Polack, beverage director, The Regular, Denver

“Tequila Ocho Plata is one of my favorite tequilas. It’s a fantastic sipper and a great mixer as well. The nose is very agave-forward, with some hints of citrus and pepper. It also contains heavy cooked agave notes on the palate. While it does have a little bitterness and some bite, it has a sweet finish rounded out by the citrus and cooked agave coming through. I love how it has complexity to it while still being very accessible for people new to tequila. Does wonderfully in cocktails as well, like my go-to Spicy Margarita.” —Rollin Colmenares, head bartender, RT60 Rooftop Bar and LoungeNYC

El Tesoro Extra Añejo is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

“I love when our whiskey-focused guests ask: ‘What can I try that will drink like a whiskey, but is definitely not a whiskey?’ Without hesitation, I always ask if they’ve tried El Tesoro Extra Añejo Tequila. El Tesoro takes pride in creating traditional tequilas that honor the unique terroir in Arandas, Jalisco. What I love most about El Tesoro tequilas is that their liquid transports you straight to La Altena the moment your first sip touches your lips. This extra añejo is aged in ex-bourbon barrels for four-plus years, resulting in not only the beautiful taste of sweet, roasted agave but also rich notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and toasted coconut. There’s a gentle touch of oak and an element of peppercorn and baking spice that keeps our whiskey drinkers going back for more.” —Jacki Schromm, general manager, Reserve 101, Houston

LALO Tequila Blanco is a go-to-tequila, according to bartenders.

LALO Tequila Blanco is one of my current favorites to pour guests from our back bar when someone is looking for something a little more common that we do not carry. A highland tequila with fresh citrus and cooked agave top notes and underlying grassy undertones on the nose, it has a palate that is slightly cheesy in the best possible way. I always like to guide guests towards enjoying something additive-free and authentic and genuine. This also plays well in cocktails.” —Michael Aredes, bartender, SuperbuenoNYC

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