Tequila is usually the go-to for drinkers who are on a budget. Most of these spirits are below the $20 marker. However, inexpensive tequila is often harsh, burning your throat when swallowed.
Luckily, not all of these cheap bottles are low quality. Here are a few brands we know are the best cheap tequilas for shots.
7 Cheap But Must-Try Tequilas For Shots
1. 1800 Silver
La Rojeña Distillery produces 1800 Silver Tequila. This is a cheaper tequila but considered a premium top-shelf. This variant is a blend of unaged white tequila and is double blended.
You can compare its smoothness to longer-aged tequilas though the maximum aging for this variant is just two months. 1800 has the soft flavors of fruits and spices, balanced with fruity sweetness with a finish that fades out.
You can enjoy this tequila at roughly $26 per 750ml in a margarita cocktail or shots. The agave taste will still be evident even when mixed with other liquors.
2. Agavales Blanco Tequila
Agavales is a Jalisco’s Casa Maestri product, produced in small batches. It follows Mexican culture, using only 100% Blue Weber agave plants made in the lands of Mexico.
It is one of the less-expensive tequilas with a full taste of cooked agave. Although its taste is not that remarkable, it does have a lingering finish after tasting the basic taste of tequila.
Priced at around $18 per 750ml, this is perfect for sipping, good as a mixer, and excellent for budget shots. Their reposado variant, aged in oak barrels, is also a good base for margaritas.
3. El Jimador Silver
El Jimador is 100% agave. The brand name is after the workers who cultivated the Blue Weber Piña called “Jimadores” in Spanish. This bottle is also among the best-selling spirits in tequila town, Mexico.
Mexicans like their tequilas strong with no fancy flavor in them. This brand is giving them the agave tequila they want. This spirit is sharp but with a warmth that crawls softly down the throat.
The taste of white pepper tugs on the palate and leaves a minty flavor. A 750ml bottle is roughly $20. This bottle is great for tequila shots with or without lime, just like how Mexicans love it.
4. Espolon Blanco
Espolon Blanco is from Casa San Nicolas, located in Los Altos, Jalisco, Mexico. This is a highland tequila with a full agave flavor. Many consider this brand one of the best cheap tequilas because of its simple taste.
There is nothing extra special but the presence of roasted agave with notes of floral and earthy flavors and hints of black pepper.
At a price of around $26 per 750 ml, it is not essentially the cheapest but great for shots. Also, Espolon may have the best Añejo produced, which is also a great mix for cocktails.
5. Olmeca Altos Plata
Olmeca Altos Plata Tequilas are premium tequilas. This bottle is a versatile tequila as you can enjoy it neat, with lemon juice, or mixed in your favorite cocktail. Olmeca Altos Reposado tequila mixes incredibly in cocktails.
As per Erin Scala, the beverage director of Common House, it is impossible not to recognize that it is of superior quality, even in a blind taste. A 750 ml Plata and Reposado is roughly $26.
It is not a bad price since it’s great to sip neat. Plus, it can be the best reposado to mix in a cocktail.
6. Teremana Blanco
Teremana Blanco tequila is a premium tequila made from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. This variant is roasted and distilled in traditional copper pots. It has a full agave presence with citrus notes and vanilla.
According to market research, its popularity is also for the health-conscious drinker. It is a gluten-free drink, zero-carb, and zero-sugar. The flavors are perfect for sipping neat and for mixing in margarita cocktails. At around $33 per 750 ml, it is very affordable for its taste. It is one of the agave spirits a bar director will recommend.
7. Tres Agaves Organic Blanco Tequila
Tres Agaves Organic Blanco Tequila is made by Tres Agaves Products Inc. Apart from the Blanco tequila, they also have the Anejo tequila and the reposado. All are organic (1) and single-sourced from the Tequila Valley, Mexico.
The tequila Blanco from Tres Agaves is good for agave tequila shots because of its citrus, and peppery notes savor. It is also great with lime juice or in margaritas and most definitely relaxing to sip.
This cheap tequila is priced at around $30 for every 750ml, but it can compete with the taste of Don Julio Reposado.
What type of tequila is best for shots?
The type of tequila best for shots is the gold variant, better known as Añejo. These agave drinks are aged, normally in American oak barrels. The harshness of an aged tequila is toned down after one to three years inside white oak barrels.
What is the proper way of doing a tequila shot?
The proper way of doing a tequila shot is “lick, shoot, suck.” You lick the salt, take the shot and suck the juice from citrus fruit. However, Mexicans claim that the only way to enjoy tequila shots is by taking agave spirit straight, the way their ancestors did it.
The best cheap tequilas listed are brands that are commonly the choice of many tequila lovers. It is common to see a Blanco or a silver tequila because these agave tequilas hold the spirit’s true taste.
These are not aged for a long time like Añejo tequilas. But the best brands can remove the burn that so many tequila drinkers loath.
They may taste like vanilla or brown sugar. When you drink them, these can also have floral notes or hints of citrus, but these are what real tequilas should be. Just the pure agave taste, the way Mexicans want them to be.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds!