The best affordable tequila is hard to pin down. It isn’t a single product like vodka or even bourbon. Instead, it comes in three main varieties: White (or Silver or Blanco or Plata), Reposado (rested), and Anejo (aged). There’s also “extra Anejo” — but this piece is about cheap tequila and longer aging means longer storage, which equals high prices for you. Aging aside, the juice of the agave piñas (their root bulbs) is often twice distilled to help take the alcohol edge off. Aging also helps to mellow the spirit, while adding the flavors we recognize from other barrel-aged products (oak, smoke, and vanilla).
All this to say: Tequila isn’t quite as simple as other beloved drinks. Even tequila’s sister spirit, mezcal, can be made with a vast array of agave plants across Mexico, but to be called “tequila” a bottle has to come from blue agave in Jalisco.
With its many permutations and styles, tequila is endlessly fascinating. So, let’s dive into some of the best cheap tequila bottles you can buy right now across America. We’ve focused in on tequila here, so no mezcal. We’ve also focused almost entirely on silver and reposados as those are the bottles that fall into the $10 to $30 price range.
Jose Cuervo Tequila Gold
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Jose Cuervo is one of the most popular tequila brands on the market. Generally speaking, this one is best used for mixing drinks. Make yourself a tequila and soda with some Topo Chico and lime or mix up a tasty margarita.
If you’re taking shots, this one will burn a little. You’ve been warned.
Sauza Gold Tequila
Sauza is another perfect tequila for mixing drinks. There’s a lightly roasted agave edge and it’s slightly sweeter than Cuervo, making it the perfect margarita base. Sauza is also almost always cheaper than Cuervo, which is a solid bonus.