Tequila is fast becoming a favourite among spirits enthusiasts worldwide. Experience some of the best around with this sublime selection.

Tequila and agave-based spirits are enjoying even more time in the sun right now then, well, agave, quite frankly. Tequila as a category in particular has worked hard to shake off its hard-partying image of shots, slammers and lime and salt to emerge as one of the most fascinating distilled spirits available.

Part of Tequila’s appeal is how versatile and characterful a cocktail ingredient it is. With National Margarita Day on the horizon (22 Feb), now seems like the perfect time to shout about the fab Mexican agave-based spirit. We’ve picked out a few choice expressions for you to get your teeth into, each with its own sublime serve…

Patrón Silver

The first Tequila on our list iss one of the most well-known and regarded around. It was produced by Patrón, who some have credited with making Tequila top-shelf. Silver is a blend of two triple distilled Tequilas that were crafted using two different methods, one made using a traditional tahona and fermented with agave fibres, the other made using a modern roller shredder. Also, that bottle you see there? It was hand-blown and individually numbered.

What does it taste like?:

Dried earth, dark sugar, soft spices, butterscotch, cedar, agave and zesty citrus.

Sublime serve: Margarita De Piña

Combine the refreshment of a Piña Colada with the classic Margarita, and what do you get? The ultimate beachside cocktail. It’s super easy to create and packs a more indulgent, sweet taste than you’d get from the original Margarita. To make, all you need to do is combine 30ml of Cointreau, 50ml of Patrón Silver, 20ml of fresh lime juice and 20ml of fresh pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake this mix and then the strain it over ice in a cinnamon-sugar* rimmed rocks glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge before belting out the lyrics to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville without the slightest bit of shame.

*It’s so easy to make cinnamon sugar. Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and two tablespoons of ground cinnamon. That’s it. Just cinnamon plus sugar. Exactly what it says on the tin.

Cenote Reposado Tequila

To call your product a reposado Tequila, it must be aged in oak barrels from 2 to 12 months. In the case of this beauty, Cenote Reposado Tequila spent three months maturing in American oak casks, helping to develop a wonderful fruity, creamy sweet character. The spirit was crafted by master distiller Arturo Fuentes and master blender Alejandro Garcia Páez using blue agave which had matured for at least 6 years.

What does it taste like?:

Buttery at first, but before long you’ll find notes of fresh hay, lemon peel and toasted sugar.

Sublime serve: The Oaxaca Old Fashioned

An agave-based riff on a whisky classic, the Oaxaca Old Fashioned has now forged its own fabulous reputation and is a favourite among bartenders and mixologists. To make, you need to add 45ml of Cenote Reposado Tequila, 15ml of Pensador Mezcal, 1 teaspoon of agave nectar and two dashes of Angostura Bitters to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir this mix well until its chilled and then strain it into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. You can now garnish with a twist of orange peel in the traditional manner (put an orange peel in your glass), or you could impress your guests by lighting a match and flaming the twist of orange peel (please look up a video on how to do this safely before you try it). You’ll want to drop citrus oils on the surface of the drink and rim the glass with the peel, which you can then place in the glass.

Casamigos Blanco Tequila

Casamigos Blanco has a lot going for it. It’s light, refreshing and made with 100% agave. But the most notable aspect of it is probably that it was the brainchild of businessman Rande Gerber and professional gorgeous human male George Clooney. The brand was actually purchased in June 2017 by Diageo for $700 million (plus up to a further $300m based on the brand’s performance), so it’s a great example of how much faith the industry has in the future of Tequila. Cheers to that!

What does it taste like?:

Earthy agave, chilli spice, lemon meringue pie, tomato leaf, peppery agave, vanilla pod, damp leaves, wet stones and fresh mint.

Sublime serve: Juan Collins

Another refreshing change on one of our favourite cocktails, the Juan Collins is all about impressing with the basics: base spirit, sweet, sour and soda. To make, pour 45ml of Casamigos Blanco, 25ml of lemon juice and 15ml of agave nectar into a collins glass filled with ice cubes. Stir thoroughly, then add 50ml of soda water (or enough to top the glass) and garnish with a wedge of lime or lemon. Serve while trying not to be too distracted by thoughts of Clooney’s face.

Don Julio Añejo Tequila

Añejo quite simply means ‘aged’, and this edition from Don Julio was matured for eighteen months in American white-oak barrels, Rich, distinctive and wonderfully complex, this añejo Tequila was made with specially cultivated, hand-selected blue agave that was distilled at La Primavera distillery according to the same methods used by Don Julio González more than 60 years ago.

What does it taste like?:

Grapefruit, mandarin, butterscotch notes, cooked agave, wild honey and a bright, lightly spiced finish.

Sublime serve: Tequila Manhattan

What happens when use tequila instead of whiskey in one of the best-known cocktails? Magic in a glass! The secret to the Tequila Manhattan is using añejo Tequila, which works as a superb substitute for bourbon. To create, add 50ml of Don Julio Añejo Tequila, 25ml of Martini Rosso Vermouth and two dashes of Angostura Bitters to a mixing glass. Stir, then strain into a cocktail glass (chill if desired). Garnish with lemon and serve to the The Gipsy Kings’ rendition of Hotel California (you might remember it features in The Big Lebowski when Jesus Quintana is bowling) for extra effect.

Kah Blanco Tequila

The multi-award-winning expression is a blanco Tequila, which means that it was bottled unaged. Kah Blanco Tequila was created to pay reverence to Mexico and its people, which you could probably tell by taking one look at the charming bottle. It was inspired by the traditional Calaveras used in Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations in Mexico. What a haunting/handsome addition to a drinks cabinet this makes for!

What does it taste like?:

Sugared almonds, herbal agave, citrus, cinnamon and a slight nuttiness.

Sublime serve: The Tequina

Essentially a Martini made with a tequila base, the Tequini is a deliciously dry concoction that allows the tequila to shine. To make, simply pour of 45ml of Kah Blanco Tequila, 15ml of Noilly Prat Original Dry and a dash of Angostura Bitters  into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, then garnish with an olive or lemon twist. Avoid any Day of the Dead cliches while serving – don’t be that person.

Código 1530 Rosa

A tipple that looks as good as it tastes, Código 1530 crafted this bottling by resting its Blanco Tequila for 1 month in uncharred Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels, which impart a subtle pink hue and light floral note to the Tequila’s character.

What does it taste like?:

Dried cranberry, earthy minerals, plenty of authentic agave notes continuing to shine though.

Sublime serve: The Paloma

The Paloma is a light, fruity drink that’s a real favourite in Mexico, who I have a suspicion might know a thing or two about Tequila. To make, simply mix 50ml of tequila, 15ml of lime juice and 200ml of grapefruit soda together in a collins glass filled with ice. Stir this well and garnish with a wedge of lime. You can salt the rim of the glass if you choose. If you can’t get your hands on grapefruit soda (what kind of a world…), then instead use 50ml of tequila, 15ml of lime juice and 50ml of grapefruit juice and top it up with regular soda water.

El Espolòn Blanco Tequila

This blanco Tequila is from Destilladora San Nicolas in Los Altos and was named ‘Espolòn’ in reference to the spur of the rooster’s foot, an important bird in Mexican culture. You might actually notice that on the Dia de los Muertos-inspired (Day of the Dead) label there’s actually a skeleton riding a rooster. I could go on here about how it was made with made with 100% blue agave, but let’s face it you’re already just looking at the label.

What does it taste like?:

Light and floral, with agave, citrus zest, vanilla and notes of cracked black pepper.

Sublime serve: The Tequila Sour

The Tequila Sour is tart, refreshing and very tasty. To make, fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 10ml of lime juice, 10ml of lemon juice, 15ml of sugar syrup and 50ml of El Espolòn Blanco Tequila. Shake up a storm like Tom Cruise in Cocktail (“The Bar. Is. Open!”) and then strain this mix into a tumbler and garnish with either a cherry or a chilli, depending on how brave you feel…


The final expression on our list isn’t a Tequila. Why? Because we’re marking National Margarita Day and you can’t make a good Margarita without an orange-flavoured liqueur, of course! Cointreau has been a world-wide legend since its creation in 1849 and chances are you’ve seen it on virtually every bar in the world. The crystal-clear liqueur was crafted with Caribbean bitter orange peel, Spanish sweet orange peel, neutral alcohol, sugar and water.

What does it taste like?:

Fresh orange peels, and a very subtle whisper of mint leaf. Warming caramel develops later on.

Sublime serve: The Original Margarita

The Margarita is perhaps the ultimate Tequila cocktail. To create your own edition you’ll just need to combine 30ml of Cointreau, 50ml of blanco Tequila (take your pick) and 20ml of fresh lime juice in a mixing glass and add ice. Shake well and then strain this mix into a margarita glass. Garnish with salt and a lime wheel and lead another rendition of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville so all your guests leave and there’s more Margarita De Piña for you to enjoy.