Looking Down on Margaritaville
The uniquely aromatic spirit of tequila is on a major uptick in the United States, up 158% in sales since 2002, the Distilled Spirits Council says. That includes pricier craft and high-end tequilas aged like fine scotch or bourbons, most in seasoned oak barrels and infused with the essence of other spirits, and meant to savor and sip — not to be the base of a margarita. Part of this demand is thanks to celebrities who have dabbled in their own tequila brands, such as George Clooney (Casamigos), Sammy Hagar (Cabo Wabo, Santo Fino Blanco), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Diddy (DeLeon), and Justin Timberlake (Sauza 901). It's also just about the tequila, though: a simple natural Weber blue agave juice nurtured by a centuries-old stone- and fire-wrought distillation process, using time and wood to become what connoisseurs crave.
To help you decide which bottles are worth a splurge — especially since we're currently confined to our home bars for virtual happy hours these days — Cheapism tracked down exceptional tequilas that range in style and price, and that have earned high marks from industry experts.
Prices and availability are subject to change.