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10 Best Budget Tequilas for Margaritas: Quality Choices (2024)

Best Budget Tequila For Margaritas

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Lydia Martin

The quest for that perfect, refreshing, and delicious Margarita often lies in the crucial decision of which tequila to pick. 

I’ve been there, standing in front of endless tequila options at the liquor store or in my collection, contemplating the best choice. 

So, if you find yourself wondering about the best budget tequila for Margaritas, let me share the best collection I have tried so far. Keep reading.

Top 10 Cheap Tequilas For Margaritas

1. 1800 Blanco

Man Drinking 1800 Blanco

Average Price: around $37 (Company website) 

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Balanced aroma of fruit notes and spices

Palate: Smooth, balanced, and clean with a sweet prune flavor and black pepper finish

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: For those with more delicate taste buds like me, you must have noticed the black pepper and citrus notes of 1800 Blanco tequila.

But that is not what makes it one of my best cheap tequilas for Margaritas. Its versatility and smoothness make it a refreshingly bright base.

2. Ghost Tequila

Man Holding Bottle of Ghost Tequila

Average Price: around $33 (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Bold and spicy aroma with agave notes 

Palate: A gradual build-up of ghost pepper spice flavor, leading to a unique fiery taste

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: If you want to craft a fiery, delicious Margarita, try Ghost. Sipping straight, Ghost has an alcohol burn that slowly fades into a spicy aftertaste, making it the perfect base for fiery cocktails.

I also recommend it for people who also love mezcal.

3. Peligroso Silver

Bottle of Peligroso Silver on a Bucket

Average Price: around $32 (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 42% ABV

Nose: Strong agave notes, mint, banana, and a slight hint of medicinal smell

Palate: Smooth with hints of vanilla and roasted agave

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: The silver/blanco tequila promises big agave flavors, making it one of my favorite inexpensive tequila products with a little punch. 

It adds a well-rounded complexity of white pepper and agave sweetness.

Read: Top Chasers For Casamigos Tequila

4. Corazón Reposado Single Estate

Bottles of Corazón Reposado Single Estate and a Glass

Average Price: around $33 (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Oak, barrel spice, vanilla, pepper, and cinnamon

Palate: Baked agave, honey, and black pepper finish

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: This one has a sweet flavor that fades into an oaky aftertaste. 

“The Margarita is an iconic drink that consists of just four ingredients. Everyone knows the heart and soul of the drink is tequila.” – Al Sotack, Bartender and Writer 

When I use it for Margarita, its rich flavor profile adds depth and character, letting me craft a more refined drink than other brands.

5. Olmeca Altos Plata

Bottle of Olmeca Altos Plata with Glasses and Lime

Average Price: around $31 (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Cooked agave with fresh citrus aroma

Palate: Oily mouthfeel and medium-bodied tequila, with crisp, clean agave and black pepper

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: Olmeca Altos is a decent sipper and a delicious budget mixer.

The edges of Olmeca Altos, a medium-bodied tequila, can be covered with sugar and lime, helping me create a refreshing, tasty drink.

Also Read:

6. El Jimador Blanco Tequila

Bottle of El Jimador Blanco Tequila

Average Price: around $24 (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Cooked agave, pepper, sweet and mint

Palate: Agave-forward, with peppery, citrus, and herbal hints

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: Like Olmeca Altos, El Jimador is also one of the best cheap tequilas for Margaritas, considering its affordable price and smoothness. 

It’s an inexpensive tequila that offers a smooth and easy-to-drink base spirit to make barrels of Margaritas.

7. 21 Seeds Cucumber Jalapeño

Bottle of 21 Seeds Cucumber Jalapeño

Average Price: around $35 (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 35% ABV

Nose: Fresh agave aroma with spicy jalapeño kick

Palate: A blend of cucumber notes, agave sweetness, and spicy jalapeño 

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: A Margarita commonly comprises tequila, lemon or lime juice, and orange liqueur [1]

But this product is infused with cucumber and jalapeño, putting another twist to the Margarita, letting you craft a spicy classic drink. But how many margaritas can make you drunk?

8. Lunazul Blanco

Bottle of Lunazul Blanco

Average Price: around $23 (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Fresh agave scent like a combination of salt and citrus, with tropical fruity notes

Palate: Crisp and straightforward flavor, with vanilla and citrus hints

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: The clean and refreshing presence of this blanco incorporates an agave sweetness with citrus hints to the Margarita. 

“For Margaritas, Blanco tequila is ideal: clear, bold, slightly sweet.” – Liquor Laboratory

It creates a bright summer drink that is perfect for the warm weather. 

9. Sauza Hacienda Silver

Bottle of Sauza Hacienda Silver

Average Price: around $18 (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Straightforward agave aroma with a subtle hint of floral or herbal smell

Palate: Strong agave taste with alcoholic punch and slight saltiness in the background

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: This product does not have the best finish, but I still like to use it for cocktails. It is mild and blends well, not overpowering other ingredients of Margarita like lime.

10. Margaritaville Silver

Margaritaville Silver

Average Price: around $15 (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Fruity notes like apples and pear with a woody and black pepper aroma

Palate: It delivers a prominent agave flavor with a sweet black pepper flavor

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: This silver or blanco surprisingly goes down smoothly and tastes good, making it one of the best cheap tequilas. 

It blends well when crafted with a summer cocktail, infusing it with lively characters that will remind you of beachside paradise.

*Note: Average prices are based on Drizly and the official product websites. The star rating was determined based on a blind test, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Each product was evaluated on its overall quality, tasting profile, flavor complexity, smoothness, and compatibility with Margaritas.

FAQs Related to Best Budget Tequila for Margaritas

What defines a good budget tequila for margaritas?

A good budget tequila for margaritas should offer a balance of flavor, quality, and affordability. It should be smooth enough to mix well in cocktails while still imparting authentic agave flavors.

What type of tequila is best for margaritas on a budget?

Blanco (silver) or joven (gold) tequilas are typically the best options for margaritas on a budget. These unaged or lightly aged tequilas offer bright agave flavors and mix well with other ingredients.

What are some recommended brands of budget tequila for margaritas?

Some popular budget tequila brands for margaritas include Espolòn, Olmeca Altos, El Jimador, Camarena, and Lunazul. These brands offer good quality at affordable prices.

Is it necessary to use 100% agave tequila for margaritas?

While 100% agave tequila is preferred for its pure flavor and quality, mixto tequilas (which may contain a blend of agave and other sugars) can also work well in margaritas, especially for those on a tighter budget.

Should I avoid flavored or infused tequilas for margaritas on a budget?

Flavored or infused tequilas can add complexity to margaritas but tend to be pricier. For budget-friendly options, it’s best to stick to unflavored varieties and rely on fresh ingredients for flavor.

In Summary

Agave spirits like Blanco tequilas usually lend your cocktails the freshest and purest agave flavors, while aged tequilas like añejo can incorporate a smoother character. 

So, if you’re looking for the best cheap tequilas for Margaritas, it’s best to look for Blancos and reposados because they are more affordable than other tequilas.

References:

  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Margarita
  2. https://www.bonappetit.com/story/types-of-tequila#
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