If you plan on mixing your tequila into cocktails or taking it as a shot, it shouldn’t be extra aged or come with a steep price tag. To help navigate the maze of bottom-shelf tequilas that are actually drinkable, we created this guide. Here, our top five choices for the best tequilas under $30 that are good enough to serve neat—or with just a rock of ice.
Cimarrón Tequila $19
One of our favorite tequilas—period. While Cimarrón just happens to be under $20, it has the taste of premium tequilas twice the price. Produced by Enrique Fonseca, a fourth generation jimador and tequilero, Cimarrón is fermented with wild yeast and rested in American white oak for four months before being bottled. On the palate the tequila is soft and creamy, with an abundance of vegetal agave flavors and a long, lingering spicy finish. Whether you choose to shoot it, sip it slow, or mix it in cocktails, this tequila is guaranteed to satisfy.
This tequila is one of the most common well tequilas in craft cocktail bars and for good reason: Pueblo Viejo tequilas are versatile, delicious and inexpensive. Almost bourbon-esque on the palate, this reposado tequila has notes of cinnamon toast, crème brûlée and clove, with a woodsy, peppery finish. This is the kind of tequila that you can drink straight, mix into a stirred cocktail like an Old Fashioned, or serve in a citrusy Highball like a Paloma.