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Tequila for Margaritas

Hey everyone, I'm new to the whole tequila thing, but I had some jose cuervo with their margarita mix and I loved it,so I want to try some different margaritas. So, I'm curious what are everyone's favorite tequila to be made with margaritas. Thanks for all your help, have a good day everyone.

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  1. if you search you'll find a couple of threads on this - I would recommend a decent, silver 100% agave, from which there are many to try - I'd start with Don Julio or Centenario - and, more importantly, avoid margarita mix and go fresh

    1. A really good margarita takes a really good tequila, in my opinion. El Tesoro is a good one. Here's my favorite margarita recipe

      1 shot El Tesoro
      1 shot fresh squeezed Lime Juice
      1/2 shot Cointreau

      Shake with ice and pour into salt-rimmed glass.

      1. I may have to swim upstream a bit here.

        I'm all for fresh mixers, Grand Marnier, and Cointreau in my margaritas. If you're just going to get started for the first time, though, I think you'd be just fine with a $20 bottle of Cuervo Tradicional as a $40-50 bottle of El Tesoro, Don Julio, Casa Noble, etc. Granted, the orange liquers will set you back quite a bit, but there are plenty of other drinks those can be used in.

        1. I use Hornitos Reposado. When you are choosing spirits for cocktails, the only requirement is that it's as cheap as possible and not spirity (that sickening rubbing alcohol taste that Cuervo has).

          My parents always taught me to use lemon for margaritas and lime for daquiris. Surely enough, that's the way it was intended. Americans have a weird anti-lemon prejudice that I have a hard time understanding.

          8 Replies
          1. re: mjmmm

            We also use Hornitos Reposado though we've also made margaritas with 1800 Reposado or Sauza Gold.

            1. re: tlegray

              Sauza Gold is a Mixto, which means that it contains less than 100% Blue Agave (and pump in sugars to make up the difference) ... Although Sauza Gold is one of the better mixtos on the market, I tend to avoid them (as I do not enjoy the headache after a drinking session). Spend an extra $5 and go with Sauza Hornitos.

              1. re: hawkeyeui93

                Did not know that about Sauza Gold. Maybe that is why I get headaches with some tequilas and not others. Our house tequila (for margaritas) is Hornitos Reposado but some friends prefer 1800 or the Gold which is why we may use them.

                1. re: tlegray

                  Or just get el jimador (or any number of other decent tequilas) for about the same money (less here in NC) and avoid anything from Sauza. I have a bottle of Hornitos Plata I am having trouble finishing, it's so bad. And it was not cheap, on sale for $22 (reg $25).

                  1. re: ncyankee101

                    That's interesting Yankee, because I don't think much of El Jimador ...

                    1. re: hawkeyeui93

                      I hadn't actually had el jimador til tonight, I had just been going on hearsay and ratings at tequila.net, and assuming it had to be better than Hornitos. I can't actually do a direct comparison because only the Jimador repo is available here and I have Hornitos Plata.

                      I haven't had the chance to taste the El Jimador on a clean palate yet so can't form an opinion, but I was not blown away by it's big brother Herradura silver (at its price point) so we will see.

                      In any event I have had many tequilas at lower price points than Hornitos which are miles better - Camarena, El Ultimo, 30-30, Espolon, even El Charro at $15 is at least as good.

                      Note that i am basing my opinion on how it tastes neat, I just get a weird cheap aftertaste, it's not bad in drinks because it does have some upfront flavor and the finish is less noticeable - but I will not be buying another bottle because I would rather use brands as mixers that I also like to drink neat

                      1. re: ncyankee101

                        NCYank: I drink the Hornitos Reposado and not the Hornitos Plata, which I have yet to try. I wanted to like the El Jimador Repo due to it being under $20, but found it to have a strange aftertaste [even in margs]. For the $15 range in my rural state, the best buy is Sam's Club Private Label Calle Azul ... BTW, my sister-in-law got me a bottle of Herradura Double Barrel Reposado. Have you tried it yet? This is a mighty fine sipper!

                        1. re: hawkeyeui93

                          The only Herradura I have had is the silver, I didn't like it when I first opened but apparently it is another one that improves with a couple days of air. It has an unusual flavor which took a little getting used to, and I don't think it is in nearly the same class as Casa noble, but at the moment my opinion is that it is interesting enough to not start mixing it.

                          I am finally tasting the El Jimador repo, I do notice an aftertaste but I don't find it all that obtrusive, maybe I am not as sensitive to whatever it is as you are. I do think it has a fair amount of agave flavor but maybe is not an outstanding sipper, but not bad for the price. Going to try it in a marg next.

                          Not bad in a margarita either, all in all I would say a decent tequila for under $20, though not on par with my other faves in that category, 30-30 Espolon and Camarena.

          2. Well..... Here is what I have been using. I like to go with brands that are very commonly available. The liquor stores in my area don't carry a lot of brands, so I have to settle with mass marketed brands.

            First, I grew up in South Texas and I thought Jose Cuervo Gold "WAS" tequila. Now, I wouldn't give it to my worst enemy. So I ran away from anything Cuervo for a long time. I ended up preferring Sauza. But then one of my friends made me try the 1800 Reposado and I had to admit it was pretty good.

            I prefer Blanco over Reposado for my Tequila cocktails. I also like Lemon over Lime in my Margaritas. I use Triple Sec because I can't afford Cointreau on a regular bases and I make Margaritas a lot. It doesn't really matter what brand of Triple Sec, but I've kind of stuck with Dekuyper's.

            I used to use Sauza's Blanco and it is fine and under $20.00. If I'm making a lot of Margarita's for a big party, I'll still use it. But I have switched over to the 1800 Select Silver (100 proof). I like the 1800 better because it has a cleaner and stronger agave taste to me.

            I also need to add that I don't do frozen Margarita's unless a guest asks me too. Because I like to taste the tequila. So my ratio of Triple Sec and lemon juice is smaller then usual as I add a lot more tequila, making it a lot more pronounced rather then hiding it. I'm in the camp that believes a "cocktail" should compliment a good spirit rather then hide it completely.

            So anyway, as far as Tequila goes, I've been pretty much exclusively buying and drinking Cuervo's 1800 series. Which is a real surprise to me because of how much I dislike Cuervo Gold. But I have to admit, the 1800 tequila's are pretty darn good for their price point.

            1. I've got to agree with ginguy. Big fan of the 1800's, and they make a great margarita, at a reasonable price. If $ were no object then heck yes, the Tesoro. I hate the mix too!

              1. Just to add another .02 to this discussion, as others have pointed out, you will taste the difference if you use a 100% agave tequila, preferably a blanco or silver (this last point is debatable, of course, some people prefer a reposado in their rita). I just brought back from Mexico a bottle of Cazadores Blanco, which I had not found previously in the US. It makes a wicked margarita. Here's the recipe I use:

                2 parts Cazadores Blanco
                1 part Triple Sec
                1 part fresh lime juice
                stir over ice and garnish with a lime wedge

                Works for me!

                2 Replies
                1. re: ed1066

                  Ed is right that Cazadores makes a fabulous margarita. I only drink 100% agave tequila and recently tried the cheapest I could find - Puerto Vallarta at around $20 a bottle. It was OK, but then made the same margarita with Cazadores blanco, and it was a zinger! The Cazadores made all the difference. I don't know where you live, Ed, but it's readily available everywhere I've been in the US, which is both coasts, but not a lot in between.

                  As far as Ed's recipe, I'll sometimes switch the triple sec with OJ, so I can stick with only one alcohol, which makes me feel better the next day. Also, a little bit of good limeade will help those of you who need it just a little sweeter.

                  1. re: AlbertaHound

                    It's weird, I live in California, but for some reason I have never seen the Caz Blanco here. There's plenty of Reposado and Anejo, but I only saw the silver in Mexico. If I can get it in CA, I won't be so stingy with it now!

                2. What a nice, friendly post this is,,,,no name calling,,,,,no "kill the guy for using a mix",,,,I would go along with the 1800 choices, do not overspend on it as you start but buy a smaller bottle of the more expensive and see if it makes a difference to you. My bud, the rita drinker will not do fresh but has come around to the lemon side because ritas are lemon, dacs are lime. I would also invest in cointreau as it does make a difference, especially if you make it strong enough and take to heart the advise that you should taste the spirit in a drink.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jspear

                    Shockingly, we agree. Why waste the good stuff when you're just killing the flavor with lime and orange? Save the yum for sipping!

                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                      OMG, just had to be picked up off the floor ;)

                  2. Definitely stick to low end blancos and reposados.But, using some other brands will change the flavor from the usual suspects, cuervo gold and 1800, which are perfectly fine.I like El Charro reposado which is and inexpensive mixto that is smoother and more flavorful than cuervo.Hornitos is also a great go to in a margarita.Others:4 Ventos, Zapopan,Cazadores, Puerto Vallarta, etc.

                    Shoot/sip the good stuff and put the rest in your margarita.I believe that using real fruit and a nice orange liqueur or damiana will make you margarita have that special quality you are looking for.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: streetgourmetla

                      Just think if you use damiana and hornitos, you'd have a dam horny rita. Or if you use damiana and el jimador you'd have a dam him rita. That's what we serve at our neighbor hood parties.

                    2. my tidbit about the triple sec -- cointreau and gran marnier are just so darn expensive! i've used patron citronge and gran cala before, and both are much more affordable and still very high quality products.

                      as for the margarita itself, i like my drinks on the heavy side, so i use 3:1:1 of tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur. haven't tried mixing it in with lemons yet, but can definitely see how that might also work. do use a good tequila, but if you're having a party, there is nothing wrong with sauza.

                      26 Replies
                      1. re: dandandan

                        hi folks:

                        my first post to CHOW.

                        I wanted to chime in on the topic from a couple of angles.

                        First, I, too, have been looking for a "decent" tequila for margaritas, recognizing that you just don't necessarily have to have top-shelf tequila for a margarita. I'm gonna happily give 1800 silver a shot! (Sauza Gold has served me well, too)

                        Regarding the orange component, I have to share--- I recently did a (kinda) blind taste test with a cocktail fanatic friend of mine and had some interesting results. The simple fact: I, too, hate that Cointreau costs so much. I mean --- damn.And Gran Marnier? double damn. Anyway, we did a test of C, GM, Patron's offering Citronge, plus some cheap triple sec and orange curucao, just for good measure.

                        The results were dismaying at least for a cheap dude like me who was looking to spend less cash on superior cocktails. The short version: the oranges pretty much ranked by price. That is to say: Cointreau is king. I hate that, but it's true. Gran Marnier is amazing, but it's almost too orange for a Margarita (although a splash is mighty fine), and the cheapies (triple sec and orange curucao) are candy-like. But the real exposé IMHO is Patron Citronge, which I had high hopes for. I thinkthey're clearly positioning themselves as a competitor to Cointreau (since there is a Margarita recipe on the bottle's hang-tag). Suffice to say: it failed miserably, with an overall reek of alcohol and pretty much none of the charm and distinction of Cointreau. Blind test, okay?!

                        I know--- I hate it, too. I was really excited about spending $15 less per bottle, but it ain't worth it, people! 'Fraid the classic margarita is with Cointreau.

                        FYI: Based on something I read on the web (so you know it's true), Cointreau is the *original triple-sec.* They stopped using the term after a host of inferior competitors seeped into the marketplace. Or so it's said: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cointreau

                        1. re: mrtoastey

                          Did you try real curacao, from Curacao?It makes a big difference.You can get it here in LA, it ismaturally clear, but comes in several colors here, blue being the most common.In Curacao, they have a myriad of colors and flavored curacaos as well.After GM and Cointreau, I use real Curacao damiana.

                          1. re: streetgourmetla

                            I WISH I could get some real curacao, I assure you! I don' t know-- my luck with staple mixers like triple-sec, curacao, and a few others is that i can't find any premiums, despite the existence in these parts of a pretty huge big-box liquor chain called Liquor Barn. Somewhat hilariously, I can't seem to pay more than about $7 for bottle of these things. Streetgourmet, know anywhere I can order me up some fine curacao? (and some quinine while yr. at it, 'cuz I wanna make my own tonic water.)

                            1. re: mrtoastey


                              Wine and Liquor Depot in the San Fernando Valley carries Curacao of Curacao from Curacao and does ship liquor.(http://www.curacaoliqueur.com/).I went there and did a tasting a few years back.It's a crime that DeKuyper's gets to call their product Blue Curacao.

                              Anyways, I love curacao on the rocks or in margaritas.I think I'll have one tonight.

                              Where are you located by the way?If you're in LA you can head over to Wine and Liquor Depot.

                          2. re: mrtoastey

                            I've become a convert of the "Tommy's-style" 'rita with no orange liquor. Some people claim this makes it a Tequila gimlet and they might be right, but it's pretty tasty. Basically lime juice, agave nectar or simple syrup, and 100% Agave Tequila. You could put some orange juice in there if you want.

                            Helpful threads:

                            And some CHOW stories on Mixes:
                            Premium mixes: http://www.chow.com/stories/11198
                            Mixes: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/277277

                            My feeling about mixes are they they are usually really gross - too sweet and fake tasting. But some of those in the taste test were OK. Not great, but passable. Frankly, it's easier to squeeze your own limes and throw the sugar in. There's a huge difference between fresh-squeezed and pasteurized lime juice.

                            But back to the booze- Cazadores, and even Patron won't break the bank if you hit up Trader Joe's or the like. If you don't use a orange liquor you can spend a little more on the tequila. It will be worth it.

                            1. re: 5 and Dime Eater

                              Interesting notes on the "Tequila Gimlet" or whatever it is that you've been making. Sounds tasty. You might toss in a dash or two of orange bitters to get just a little bit closer to the Margarita flavor profile, while adding only a few cents to the overall cost of the drink (a bottle of bitters costs around $8-10 and will make many, many drinks -- and the Angostura orange bitters taste strikingly similar to Cointreau, in my opinion).

                              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                Out of curiosity, have you run across the Angostura orange bitters around Boston yet? I haven't done a huge search yet, but haven't stumbled across them either.

                            2. re: mrtoastey

                              Thought your points on Patron Citronge were interesting, and since they were somewhat an inspiration to what I finally tried this weekend I wanted to report my own thoughts.

                              We've been dabbling in margaritas a bit for a couple months or so, just making one each for the two of us generally just once a week at home on the weekend. Our first buy was the Citronge and some 1800 Silver. At first we only had limes, but then after noting the Citronge hang tag we started a mixture of lemon and lime. This was interesting enough. All along I've been reading up more on tequilas and margarita recipes and such. After that I spied a PLCB (PA definitely limits some choices here, unfortunately) closeout on Herradura Anejo. They used to sell it for somewhere north of 40 bucks, and one store, not our closest, but not too far away, had some left at the closeout price of I think $25 or less. There were two bottles, and I still wish I had bought both! Ah, well.

                              Yes I know some say to save such things for sipping but we have made margaritas with this Herradura and the Citronge. I thought it made them better. But that was then. Yesterday I bought a bottle of Cointreau. The state store generously had it on sale, $3 off for the fifth (bringing it down to $30 from $33, yow). Yesterday's 'ritas were made in the same proportions as I've been making, using the 1800 Silver again and the Cointreau. Wow, that made the difference alright! I did open and smell both bottles of orange and yes I think even from the smell you can tell a huge difference between the Cointreau and the Citronge. I feel like I wasted my time drinking through most of that bottle of Citronge. Now I know better.

                              Also since we started I once went to a Mexican restaurant that before I thought had a good basic margarita. Now I'm totally a snob and it wasn't that great. ;-) They have the option of getting better ones with fresh juice, of course. It's just that once upon a time I remember thinking the basic one was pretty good. Heh.

                              So the only good thing I've gotten from the Patron Citronge is the recipe that I pretty much use: 1.5oz tequila, 1oz orange liqueur, juice of 1/2 lemon, juice of 1/2 lime. I make double that and split it for the two of us. And I usually put a bit more lime since the lemons are huge, 1 1/2 limes per the two drinks instead of just one. Now that I have the Cointreau, though, I think I'll fiddle with the recipe more to try that variation. And maybe another tequila. Fun. :-)

                              PS The liquor store checkout guy said "You just drink this straight, right?" when I checked out with just the Cointreau, and when I said we were going to make margaritas with it he was almost shocked. He's like "Hm, you must be doing well then! You know, you can use triple sec, it costs about 7 bucks a fifth!" LOL Little do they know, I guess. Besides, it is just one a week, one very good, worthwhile drink a week. :-)

                              1. re: CrazyOne

                                Those sound like wonderful proportions. I find that lemons tend to have about 1 oz each and limes have about 1/2-3/4 oz each. So you are essentially using a 1.5:1:.75 recipe. What you should try is to measure out the lemon and lime juice sometime to figure out exactly what you are using for better consistency. You might have horrid dry lemons one time and it will just taste off.

                                1. re: CrazyOne

                                  crazyone: please consider the hilarity that I'm now, three years later, replying to your reply… I guess my notifications settings were off. How's the margarita life? :-) Loved your account of migrating from Citronge (which won't die, it seems, probably because of the very much over-lauded Patron name) to Cointreau. Also, I got a kick out of your becoming a restaurant Margarita snob. That totally happens. My wife says my at-home mixology has ruined her for bar drinks. (note: we do live in KY, and the epicurean cocktail craze is finally landing here. Now we, too, can pay $12+ for a decent drink) The only thing I have to add in the triple-sec category, three years later: Gran Gala — which is produced by the Sazerac Company — is pretty tasty for not a fortune ($20). I'd rank it below Cointreau but easily above Citronge.

                                  And finally, I've come to a controversial conclusion about margaritas: Namely, that the pedigree of the tequila is the least important thing. What?! Yep, that's what I think. Take FRESH lime (and lemon, sure) juice, Cointreau, FRESH ice (I only use bag ice), and any half-ass decent tequila (or not! I tend to use — I swear — El Toro, no sh!t) and you can wind up with a Margarita that your friends RAVE about. I've done it over and over.

                                  The key is to make them fresh. No mixes. Ever.

                                  Hope you're well! More Margaritas for everyone! ¡Olé!

                                  Now I'm going to have a Corazon Anejo-Cointreau Margarita (Hey, I didn't say to *always* use cheap tequila. ;-)

                                  1. re: mrtoastey

                                    Wow, funny, I had to go back and see what post it was, one of my very earliest on this. Over the last few years I have contributed to more threads on tequila and margaritas. I drink some other things now, even gin recently, but I still gravitate back towards tequila. I haven't made too many margs at home this year though. But I am sipping some Cuervo Platino Reserva de la Familia right now, courtesy once again (just like the post 3 years ago) of the PLCB closeout process.

                                    Seriously, anyone who lives in/near PA should run not walk and grab a bottle of Platino (it comes in a blue wooden box BTW) at 32 bucks on closeout instead of the usual $50-odd that it costs. You can check (roughly) store stock on the PLCB web site. Don't mind if the shelf tag hasn't been changed, be happy as that means others won't have run off with your bottle yet. It will ring up $31.99.

                                    At 32 bucks I won't be afraid to mix this with something either, but I thought my first taste again should be straight (I've had it before though). I bought two bottles this time and might even buy more to keep around. I won't go through it all in a row but will put additional bottle(s) away until after I have some other tequilas in between. Or do multiple open at once (though much of the time I don't bother because it's only me and maybe one other person drinking it).

                                    1. re: CrazyOne

                                      wow, i'd love to sample some of that. I do have a bottle of the Tradicional around sometimes. It's great for the price. Lately I haven't been dropping big cash on tequila. While my tastes run the gamut, I've lately been a bit obsessed with craft beer, especially of the Belgian wheat-style variety. Btw: I was speaking with bravado earlier; i didn't actually have the heart to make a margarita with the delicious Corazon Anejo… I sipped it straight. :-)

                                      1. re: CrazyOne

                                        Wow how did I miss this - I will check inventory and try to get someone in my family to get me a couple at that price, and get them when I head up there over Thanksgiving. They had it listed online at Owen's in Myrtle beach for $37 but when I went in the shelf tag said $43 and they wouldn't honor the internet price. Glad now I didn't get it.

                                        I just did a search and there are a few other interesting closeout items, though a few of them are only sparsely available - Zwack for $12, KAH tequilas (all 3), martell Cordon Bleu cognac $64, frapin fontpinot XO cognac $58, White Horse scotch 1.75 $19, Corralejo Blanco $21, Ancient Age Bourbon $12/1.75, baker's bourbon $25, Cazadores anejo $25.

                                        Some deals that it broke my heart to see no more stock - Ardmore Scotch $25 (got it for $38 when up there over Christmas, very good stuff), Caol Ila 12 yr $30 :-(( seagrams distillers reserve gin $3.99/7

                                        1. re: ncyankee101

                                          Doesn't look like too much rush on the Platino around here. 2 weeks later and there's still over a dozen in stock at a couple of the nearest stores. This is why they're closing it out, because it doesn't really sell I guess. Although, I suspect as I noted before the price on the shelf isn't changed! I haven't been into the store in the last couple weeks to check. Hope you were able to find some near wherever.

                                2. re: dandandan

                                  I just tried Patron Citronge and found it serviceable (especially if making them for a party). Nonetheless, I prefer Cointreau. Since I make mine in a 2 shots tequila to one shot Cointreau, I find the extra expense for a quality orange liqueur is justified since it lasts through two bottles of tequila ....

                                  1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                    I'm just the opposite. I switched from Cointreau to Citrónge and won't go back. I think the Citrónge rounds the edges off the lime and helps balance the drink without making it overly sweet, which is what I found happening with the Cointreau. My maggie recipe uses 1 oz Citrónge to 3 oz tequila

                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                      I've always used Harlequin or Gran gala (both Grand marnier clones) which are half the price of Cointreau and like them but I might try the Citronge since its only $5 more a bottle.

                                      I also used Licor 43 and it was interesting because without the orange flavor the agave came through a little more, but I did cut back on the lime slightly, usually use 2:1:1. I used 1/2 oz instead of 3/4 and it turned out good, though I prefer the orange liqueurs it was good for some variety.

                                      1. re: ncyankee101

                                        I've seen Gran Gala but not Harlequin. Maybe I'll give one of them a try next time I need the orange component. Hadn't considered Licor 43, thanks for the suggestion, maybe I'll try working with that too.

                                        Don't be put off by the aroma of Citrónge - some people have referred to it as gasoline-like, I don't see that, tho' - the aroma doesn't really play into the final drink.

                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                          Licor 43 works mainly as a sweetening agent in this drink, the spices are too mild to really hold up to the lime juice and agave but it does contribute in a subtle way. I used it with a repo - Camarena I think it was - and it really let the tequila come out a little more.

                                          1. re: ncyankee101

                                            I'm thinking it might work in a Manhattan as well :-)

                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                              Really? Maybe in a whiskey sour variation, but I don't see it with rye and sweet vermouth.

                                              1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                I make my Manhattans with dry vermouth and a tiny bit of maraschino cherry juice instead for the sweetness. Also use a couple dashes of Bittman's Xoxhitl Chocolate Bitter's instead of Angostra.

                                                Using Licor 43 would for sure be a variant and not a traditional Manhattan.

                                      2. re: DiningDiva

                                        Diva: I've really tried to like Citronge due to the price differential, but after using up a bottle of it in margaritas, I'm sticking with Cointreau.

                                        1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                          Then best to chalk it up to "different stroked for different folks" :-)

                                  2. i'll second what a lot of people have said - go 100% agave on the tequila, and lose the mix for fresh lime juice.

                                    cazadores is a great 100% agave tequila at a reasonable price point, a good step up in quality from a quervo mixto without the jump in cost that don julio or many of the others would involve.

                                    fresh squeezed lime juice and triple sec are the only other things you need. switching triple sec for cointreau or grand marnier is a nice touch, but also an expensive one.

                                    if you are used to something a little sweeter, include a little orange juice with the lime juice, and maybe sweeten with a little agave syrup (to keep with the agave theme) or a little simple syrup. all this takes you out of purist territory, but it's still a respectable drink, and more palatable to someone used to margarita mix.


                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: andytee

                                      If you are in a very warm climate and feel the need for a margarita that is a bit larger, I do not have any issue with using a little Simply Limeade to top off a 2:1:1 margarita made in a highball glass. However, do not waste your time or money on a margarita mix ....

                                      1. re: andytee

                                        I add blue agave syrup to fresh lime juice JUST until the "pucker" is gone. Then, add any 100% agave silver tequila (I normally use sauza tequila blanco).

                                        And serve very cold...

                                        1. re: sconover

                                          If I'm not mistaken, Sauza tequila blanco is a mixto, not 100% agave.

                                          1. re: tommy

                                            i actually saw something called Sauza Blue Sliver which was packaged almost exactly like the regular Sauza mixto but clearly said 100% de Agave. Saw it at the NH liquor stores but not in Mass.

                                            1. re: ac106

                                              Yeah, the blue is 100%. Unfortunate packaging. Not sure what they were thinking, as anyone familiar with the bottle of the mixto might assume that it's another mixto, like I did.

                                              1. re: ac106

                                                Yeah, Sauza's labeling leaves something to be desired ... Ensure that it says 100-percent Agave!!

                                        2. Campo Azul blanco will make the smoothest margarita you ever tasted. If your making large batches, Don Alexandro is a 75%mixto, and is around 18bucks for the big bottle

                                          1. A few reasonable 100% tequilas I've tried recently include:

                                            El Jimador reposado, and I agree that straight it has a dinstinctly flabby taste. Fine in a margarita but that's about it.

                                            Polished off a 1.75 of Camarena reposado while on Cape Cod a few weeks back. Again, fine in a marg, but not really a sipper. With rebate it was a wicked bargain at $29.99.

                                            1800 which is going for $34.99 1.75L at the Marty's bargain outlet here in Brighton MA. I've had both the silver and the reposado. Read some so, so reviews of the reposado, but must say I just tried a new bottle. Either they cleaned up their production or I just totally disagree with the on-line reviews, but this 1800 Reposado is a beautiful sipping tequila. Smooth with some nice delicate floral notes and a hint of Agave tartness. Just darn good. An insane bargain at this quality level.

                                            I also have a bit of the silver left and really great stuff to. Nice clean grassy notes, a hint of sweetness. Delicate Agave herbal notes.

                                            Of all the reasonably priced 100% Agaves I've tried lately I'd give this and Espolon the best reviews.

                                            Marty's is also selling Espolon at $22.99 for a 750.

                                            But honestly the recent production on the 1800 is just beautiful stuff at a very gentle price. Kind of absurd that Sauza Hornito's is $44 or so for 750ml or 1L and that is really harsh spikey stuff compared to the 1800 product.

                                            Heck the 1800 product is priced about the same as the Cuervo mixto crap...

                                            1800 is now my go-to for sipping and margs...

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: StriperGuy

                                              Geez your prices are all over the place up there in MA.

                                              I agree that the 1800 repo is not bad, not the most flavorful but smooth and nothing unpleasant - but it is not cheap here in NC, $30 for a 750. Hornitos and espolon are $25, and there are a number of good tequilas under $20.

                                              I just tried the El Jimador repo, can't say I love it - has the same off flavors I tasted in the Lunazul repo, but not quite as pronounced.

                                              I haven't tried sipping the Camarena repo yet but I thought the blanco was pretty decent.

                                              1. re: ncyankee101

                                                It might have been a full liter on the Hornitos.

                                                What do you guys get in the under $20 range?

                                                Nothing up here in MA at that price.

                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                  Espolon was $19.99999 at SavMor (or whatever) by Trade Joe's at Alewife, Cambridge, MA

                                                  I mixed with it, but I thought it was very good for the money.
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                                                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                    That's a good price for Espolon. I like it just fine.

                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                      30-30 repo - which I like a lot, El Ultimo which might be the best blanco I have had in that price range. SC has Espolon and camarena for $20, they are between $21 and $25 here. Lunazul is $20 here, though I am not a fan. El Charro was $15 in SC, haven't seen it here yet.

                                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                                        We don't get anything under $20 here either, and I haven't had good luck finding good things in MA when I'm up there, though admittedly I haven't shopped in much of the right places. Had to pay like 32 bucks for Hornitos one time, sheesh.

                                                        Espolon is very good, usually $23-25 here I think but sometimes goes on sale for less. I haven't had 1800 recently. PA doesn't get a lot of stuff in 1.75s. They usually have 1800 in that, maybe Hornitos, and that's about it. At this point short of wanting something and paying a little more, and weird stuff like the closeout of Platino, I would just get Espolon I think. It's worth a couple bucks more than the cheapest stuff here but still doesn't break the bank. The repo and blanco are both good.

                                                        1. re: CrazyOne

                                                          I saw that PA has Azul Reposado on closeout for $14, some stores have a lot of it left but none near my connections. I have never had it but I saw some on this board who liked it.

                                                          1. re: CrazyOne

                                                            Yankee Spirits is usually pretty cheap. I've bought Epsolon for $19.99 there. Their prices are usually good for MA.

                                                          2. re: StriperGuy

                                                            Striper: I stumbled across Calle Azul Anejo at my local Sam's Club and due to it being $15 for a fifth, I decided to buy it to make margaritas. Only after having everyone rave about the margaritas I made with it, I googled it and found out it was exclusive to Sam's Clubs: http://www3.samsclub.com/NewsRoom/Pre...