The Margarita has evolved a lot since it first captured the attention of just about every American drinker in the first half of the last century. But in each iteration, from ultra classic to souped-up modern riff, tequila remains essential. With the ever-increasing availability of high-quality options, though, how do you know which bottle is right for your next round?
“When picking a spirit for one of the world’s most celebrated cocktails, you have to remember that people have an archetype floating around in their mind that defines what a Margarita is,” explains Bobby Heugel, owner of the Thorough Fare group of bars in Houston. “You can either give them a perfect match that satisfies their cravings, or you can challenge them in a way that is distinct enough to reflect the origins of the drink but offer an original take.”
We surveyed a handful of bartenders to hear how they approach that dichotomy. Here are their top recommendations for the best tequila to use in Margaritas, at every price point.