To celebrate National Margarita Day on February 22, we have found the best premium tequilas for sipping straight or a cocktail base. Plus, some fantastic margarita recipes.
Tequila is one of the most consumed alcohols in the world. While the spirit has always sold in record numbers in the US, distillers are now seeing growth in the UK, Spain, Australia and Japan. Evolving from a late-night club shot to a sophisticated cocktail base and on-the-rocks sip, high-end tequila has become a mixologist essential – especially as margaritas are one of Australia’s best-selling beverages. In fact, in 2022, margaritas were Australia’s most popular on-premise cocktail, and tequila was the second most preferred spirit base.
To celebrate National Margarita Day, we’re giving six lucky readers the chance to win the ultimate margarita pack. All you need to do is sign up for our enewsletter to be in the running.
- 1 x 700ml Manly Spirts Margarita Cello
- 1 x 700ml Cointreu Orange Liquer
- 1 x 700ml Patrón Silver
Terms and conditions: Competition closes 11.59 pm Monday 11 March 2024 and is open to Australian residents over the age of 18 only. The winners will be notified by email. For general terms and conditions pertaining to Vacations & Travel competitions, click here.
Celebrate National Margarita Day with one of these top-shelf tequilas
Hailing from Mexico’s western state of Jalisco, tequila is a distilled beverage made from blue agave that can only carry the title when produced and aged in the state of Jalisco and limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas. Forming an integral part of the Mexican cultural identity, tequila carries a protected status – much like Champagne – and is available in different varieties such as blanco, reposado, añejo. Perhaps adding to its appeal is tequila’s status as a ‘healthier’ alcohol, containing no carbohydrates, no sugar and fewer calories than wine, beer and cider.
However, a cocktail is only as good as its base spirit, and a renewed interest in tequila has created a niche for premium interpretations to fill. We’ve found 11 of the best premium tequilas for your next dinner party, cocktail soiree or after-work tipple to celebrate National Margarita Day on February 22, International Tequila Day on July 24, plus some fantastic margarita recipes, too.
Best tequila to serve over ice with a slice
Patrón El Cielo
A round-up of the best tequilas can only start with Patrón and its new prestige tequila, El Cielo. The world’s first four-times distilled silver tequila is bright, smooth and naturally sweet. Best served over ice with a slice of orange, El Cielo is distilled in small batches to ensure the highest quality. It’s packaged in a sleek glass bottle outfitted with gold designs inspired by the volcanic tahona stone used to produce Patrón tequila, with elements inspired by the agave fields and light found within the Jalisco Highlands of Mexico. RRP AUD $300
Kendall Jenner’s tequila label knows how to produce a full-bodied spirit. The 818 añejo is a light amber liquid with gold highlights that is aged in oak barrels for over a year. Tasting notes of vanilla and sweet agave are underscored by herbal inflections. The aroma is sweet and rich, channelling caramel, chocolate, toasted nuts and citrus zest. Expect a long and silky texture from this flavoursome tequila. RRP AUD $130
Don Julio 1942 Añejo Tequila
The 1942 Añejo tequila from Don Julio was first created in 2002 to celebrate the brand’s 60th anniversary. Today, this blend is produced in small batches and aged for at least two years and six months before being bottled. It’s a fantastic sipping tequila with notes of caramel and chocolate on the nose, while oak, vanilla and roasted agave are present on the palate. RRP AUD $300
Launched in Australia just last year, Tequila Herradura Legend is made in small batches from the finest 100% Blue Weber agave, traditionally cooked, naturally fermented, twice distilled, and matured for at least twelve months using a unique combination of seasoned, grooved and new American white oak barrels. This first-of-its-kind añejo tequila has an incredibly rich, deep colour and a luxurious, velvety smooth taste. RRP AUD $300
Best tequila for cocktail bases
Known for its pure, crystalline appearance, this silver tequila is young and crisp with citrus and herbal notes. As it hasn’t yet been aged in a barrel, the clean palette and vibrant profile make it ideal for margaritas. Mixing this spirit into any cocktail will deliver a subtle yet solid flavour kick that plays well with other additions. RRP AUD $90
1800 Coconut Tequila Liqueur
Double distilled and boasting a natural, ripe coconut flavour, the signature 1800 Coconut Liqueur has a medium body and tropical finish with a slightly sweet profile. While it pairs perfectly with pineapple and can even be enjoyed on the rocks, it’s a great little number to have up your sleeve for coconut margaritas. RRP AUD $71.99
818 Tequila Blanco
Expect notes of lemongrass and minerality on the nose from this tequila, underscored by mild floral and chamomile elements. With a brilliant and lightweight colour and texture, 818 Blanco is ultra smooth with a bright and crispy finish. Vanilla and sweet agave give way to tropical and citrus flavours on the palette. RRP AUD $100
Subtle oak notes and a sweet taste characterise Herradura Plata, a silver tequila aged for 45 days in American White Oak barrels. Expect a light golden hue to the tequila, a bold aroma of vanilla and wood, and a finish that leaves your mouth feeling refreshed. RRP AUD $99
Cincoro Michael Jordan Reposado Tequila
A special project from basketball legend, billionaire, and prior owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, Cincoro Tequila is made from a celebrated blend of both valley and highland agaves from private farms in Jalisco, Mexico. The bottle and packaging are a commissioned piece from Mark Smith, Vice President of Innovation Special Projects at Nike, while the name “Cincoro” comes from a blending of two Spanish words, cinco and oro. The portmanteau pays homage to the five founding partners and their pursuit to create the gold standard in Tequila. With notes of vanilla, baking spices and toasted oak, it is a very approachable tequila. RRP AUD $214.90
Komos Anejo Cristalino Tequila
Komos Anejo Cristalino is a bold and refined tequila with a direct and unmistakable character. Poured into a glass, it presents a crystal-clear appearance, hinting at the purity and precision of its craftsmanship. The aroma is robust yet inviting, with pronounced notes of oak, vanilla, and caramel, reflecting its ageing process. The finish is long-lasting and warming, leaving behind a lingering impression of sweet agave and subtle earthy undertones. RRP AUD $120
Don Julio Blanco
Made from only the finest blue agave with a crisp flavour and hints of citrus, the silver tequila is the base on which all Don Julio variants are made. It’s perfect for cocktails and can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. RRP AUD $120
818 Pure Margarita
60ml 818 Tequila Blanco
30ml Fresh Lime Juice
30ml Agave Syrup (50% Agave Nectar, 50% Water)
- Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain and serve over fresh ice.
Patrón‘s Perfect Margarita
45ml Patrón Silver
30ml Citrónge Orange Liqueur
22.5ml Fresh lime juice
7.5ml Simple syrup
+ Lime wedge for garnish
+ Kosher salt (optional)
- Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously with ice to chill.
- Strain onto fresh ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a lime wedge.
- Optionally, salt half the rim of the glass with kosher salt.
Herradura’s Spicy Margarita
45ml Herradura Plata Tequila
30ml fresh lime juice
3-5 dashes Tabasco sauce
15ml Herradura Agave Nectar
- Combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake to mix.
- Strain into a margarita glass with fresh ice and rimmed with salt (optional).
- Garnish with a wedge or wheel of lime.
Avocado Mezcal Margarita by Pier One at Pier One Sydney Harbour
40ml Vida Mezcal
20ml Avocado Syrup
30ml Lime Juice
10ml Agave Syrup
Salt (for glass rim and garnish)
Avocado (for garnish)
Chilli flakes (for garnish)
Blend one avocado with a mixture of 20g sugar and 10g salt per 100g of avocado. Leave to sit for four hours before straining, add a splash of agave syrup and 100ml of water to dilute.
- Salt the rim of the glass by dipping into lime juice and salt
- Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
- Fine strain into glass over cubed ice
- Garnish with a slice of avocado and sprinkled with mixture of blended chilli flakes and salt
30ml 1800 Coconut Tequila
30ml freshly squeezed lime
- Lightly toast desiccated coconut in a frying pan.
- Mix with Maldon sea salt flakes (chilli flakes, too, if you like it spicy).
- Use the lime peel to rub around the rim and dip the glass in coconut, salt mix.
- Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass with a coconut, salt rim.
Manly Spirits Co. Margarita Cello
Take the hard work out of shaking up a top-notch margarita with Margarita Cello from Manly Spirits Co. Made from premium Australian limes, three types of citrus and triple sec, this bottle has a perfectly balanced selection of pre-mixed ingredients for effortless cocktail construction. Expect a floral nose with a hint of sweetness, an intense lime backbone on the palate and a subtle sherbet finish. RRP AUD $60
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