Ten of the best tequilas for Cinco de Mayo celebrations
Featuring coffee and watermelon flavoured spirits, as well as a colour-changing liqueur
El Sueño Watermelon
This naturally flavoured tequila is made from fresh watermelon and Mexican piloncillo – unrefined whole cane sugar – which provides a delicate sweetness. The versatile liqueur is perfect for a twist on a classic Margarita or other classic cocktails, but can also be enjoyed straight over crushed ice as a deliciously refreshing summer cooler. El Sueño Watermelon might not be quite what Harry Styles has in mind when he sings about a watermelon sugar high, but its flavour is still fairly euphoric.
“Artists rapping about ‘shots of Patrón’ have really given tequila an undeservedly bad (and, ahem, cheap) rep,” said Rolling Stone. Don’t be fooled. One of the world’s most popular tequila brands, Patrón has been on the market for more than 30 years, during which time it has solidified its position at the top of the liquor leagues. Rolling Stone described the Grand Patrón as “like a fine wine that’s been aged to perfection”, first in used American and new French Oak barrels, and finished in vintage Bordeaux ones. With notes of fruit and mushroom, it’s a unique, smooth blend. If the price point is off-putting, the Añejo is well worth a try. Aged in used bourbon barrels, expect a little citrus, ginger and black paper on the taste buds.
Its producers describe this spirit as one for the new generation of tequila drinkers – and it’s pretty clear why. Goya Blanco is made with a considered environmental approach, produced on a small-scale and using traditional methods. Like most top quality tequilas, it is made from 100% blue agave, but unlike some others, its production is organic. You won’t find sugars or insecticides in this seasonal elixir. It’s incredibly smooth – a testament to its creators’ vision of producing a tequila worthy of a Michelin starred-chef’s palate.
The Butterfly Cannon Blue
The super-premium tequila – which is named after the migration of butterflies from the US to Mexico – comes from Destiladora del Valle de Tequila, a leading, traditional distillery in Tequila, western Mexico. The first thing you’ll notice about this 100% agave liquor is its vibrant violet-blue colouring which changes to pink when a mixer like tonic or citrus juice is added. Aged in a barrel for up to 30 days, the liquid’s flavour is rich and unique, with notes of clementine, prickly pear, strawberry, watermelon, fig and banana. Other flavours, including The Butterfly Cannon Rosa, which is made by infusing Mexican pink grapefruit peel, are available too.
In 1795, the Cuervo family became the first in the world to be given permission to sell their tequila commercially. “The 1800 tequila brand is all about paying tribute to tradition,” said BBC Good Food, so traditional growing and production methods are closely followed. With 100% agave, the double-distilled 1800 Silver tequila is light and smooth. Selected white tequilas are blended together to add a level of depth to the balanced flavour, that can be sipped straight, over ice or as a star cocktail ingredient.
Mijenta Tequila Blanco
This super silky, award-winning tequila is made from 100% agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco. It’s one of the most sustainable products of its kind: all of the paper elements of the packaging are made from agave waste by an organisation of single mothers in Mexico and the company, Mijenta, is a carbon-neutral operation. Mijenta has also partnered with The Ocean Foundation (TOF), a community foundation working to conserve ocean environments, and Whales of Guerrero, another community-driven organisation that focuses on conserving the ecosystem of humpback whales.
Cazcabel Coffee Tequila
The team behind Cazcabel, located in Arandas, a small town nestled in Mexico’s Jalisco mountains, have combined two of the country’s greatest exports: tequila and coffee. Cazcabel Coffee Tequila marries a roasted sweet hit of luxury coffee with a spirit fashioned from Jalisco-grown Blue Weber Agave, creating a sweet and boozy treat that’s delicious both in cocktails and neat. Other flavours include honey and coconut.
Agave Blanco Spirit
Agave Blanco Spirit may be produced by Lyre’s, the non-alcoholic spirit brand, but it’s definitely still worthy of inclusion on this list for all the teetotal tequila lovers out there. With notes of citrus, roasted agave, earthy pine and olive, this peppery and flavourful Agave Blanco is the perfect ingredient for a hangover-free Margarita. Other spirits in the Lyre’s portfolio include Agave Paloma, which combines Blanco with grapefruit juice, and Agave Reserva, which has lemony, vanilla-like tones.
This award-winning tequila is produced from nine-year-old Weber Blue Agave, grown in Jalisco, Mexico, with the addition of natural volcanic spring water. Traditional hornos (or ovens) are used to produce this smooth spirit that’s finished with a slightly floral flavour. It’s an easy drinker that holds its own in punchy concoctions, or can be enjoyed au naturale. The Blanco option is a favourite, but if you prefer your tequila aged, then opt for the award-winning Añejo. A reposado is also available, and the Cafe VS is sure to prove popular with espresso martini fans.
Clase Azul Tequila Reposado
This is the “piece de resistance of top-quality tequila”, according to GQ. Six to eight year old Blue Weber Agave is slow-cooked to aged for eight months in American whiskey casks, creating Clase Azul Tequila Reposado’s characterful flavour mix of vanilla, hazelnut, cloves and cinnamon. This medium-bodied tequila is easily recognisable for its ceramic decanter which features a distinctive blue design hand-painted by Mexican artisans. “Sip this slowly, you’ll want to make it last,” said GQ.