Bartenders Name The Tequilas They Wish More People Knew About For Cinco De Mayo

Regardless of what else is going on in the world, nobody can take holidays away from us. Sure, many of us are working from home, socially distancing from friends and family, and generally feeling weird about day-to-day life. But we can still enjoy the upcoming spring and summer holidays. In fact, it feels sort of essential for maintaining even a vague sense of normalcy.

The first on the docket is Cinco de Mayo and you bet we’re going to make an all-you-can-eat home taco buffet and drink more tequila than we probably should. But we’re not interested in beginning Seis de Mayo with a killer hangover, so we’re not ordering a plastic handle of bottom shelf swill. Instead, we’re asking some of our favorite bartenders to tell us the tequilas they wish more people knew about and letting them guide the way.

Santera Anejo

Nate Fishman, bartender at Liquor Lab in New York City

Santera Tequila is made in the traditional brick oven method, which results in a smooth and enjoyable finish. Santera also has a bunch of great recipes on Instagram for the at home bartender to get crafty with on Cinco de Mayo. It is a collector’s tequila at an everyday tequila price.

Forteleza Reposado

Ellen Talbot, lead bartender at Fable Lounge in Nashville

Espolon Blanco in a margarita. It’s affordable and made with 100% Blue Weber Agave. For shots, try Forteleza Reposado. Forteleza is made using a 100% tahona mill process, providing smooth, silky vanilla notes.

Clase Azul Reposado

Matt Shields, bartender at The Bay Restaurant in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

If you’re balling in a budget for Cinco or looking for happy hour specials, this tequila won’t be on there — but Clase Azul Reposado is one of the best tequilas in the marketplace. No mix, no lime, no chill, just neat.

Código Blanco

Saeed “Hawk” House, bartender at Ever Bar in Los Angeles

The best tequila to drink on Cinco de Mayo is Código Blanco. I like their blanco a lot because not only is it great in a margarita, Paloma, etc., it is also great in a tequila tonic. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of shaking up multiple cocktails for you and your friends, consider grabbing Código Blanco and Fever-Tree Citrus Tonic, and pouring up some two-ingredient highballs. Garnish it with a lime wedge, and you’re good to go.

Coralejo Reposado

Blake Jones, bartender and director of beverage at The Kennedy in Pensacola, Florida

I’m a huge fanboy of Coralejo and Fortaleza. Both put out great products and have such a good clean finish. Great neat, on the rocks, chilled or in a cocktail. It doesn’t matter the application.

Clase Azul Anejo

Gabriela Dimovska, general manager at V DTLA in Los Angeles

I would choose Clase Azul Anejo for my Cinco de Mayo celebrations. I think it’s a delicious tequila to both drink on its own or in a cocktail (best served on ice, in my opinion). Also, the bottle is a blue & white hand crafted and painted ceramic majestic bottle that would spice up any liquor shelf or cabinet, both at home and in a bar.

Olmeca Altos Reposado

Danielle Becker, bartender at the Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen, Colorado

Hands down my favorite tequila for cocktail mixing is Olmeca Altos. It’s so smooth, so clean and the price is spectacular for a 100% agave, hand cut and tahona ground traditionally-made tequila. Honestly, it should be in every bar that wants to create great tequila drinks.

Hornitos Black Barrel

Freddy Concepcion Ucan Tuz, bartender at JW Marriott in Cancun, Mexico

Hornitos Black Barrel: A tequila which is aged in used American barrels in the Scottish way. Toasted with vanilla notes it is both balanced and very smooth in the palate. A perfect combination with dessert, too — as it can combine very well with chocolate. Overall, a great tequila for drinking on the Cinco de Mayo with friends and family.

Don Julio Blanco

Wesley MacDonald, owner of Caña Bar and Kitchen in Curaçao

Most people know this one, but Don Julio Blanco will always have a special place for me as is it a consistently delicious tequila. Smooth, crisp and versatile in any cocktail and the great heritage of Don Julio lives throughout the spirit. Added bonus its affordability and availability.

Milagro Anejo

Jaime Salas, Milagro Tequila brand ambassador

Milagro Tequila makes for a great go-to for Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Its versatility in drinks makes it an exceptional choice, not to mention its friendly price point for a finely crafted 100% agave tequila.