The Best Cheap Tequilas Of 2023

It seems like everyone either has a fairly positive or absolute horrified response when offered tequila. The drink may conjure up memories of hazy nights gone wrong, after too many shots that burned going down your throat. Or, hopefully, you're someone who enjoys a margarita on a hot day, whether it's with or without salt. Tequila was the second-fasted growing spirit in 2021, according to CNBC. When anything becomes more popular, the variety of offerings on the market tends to expand. Thankfully when it comes to liquor, that means that tequila as a category gets way better than the cheap stuff you downed in college. 

Tequila can range from cheap to top shelf. It can be flavored, it can be mezcal (but note: not all mezcal is technically tequila), and it can come in a spiked seltzer. Tequila is derived from the piña fruit of the blue agave plant that's native to Mexico, and it is produced only in certain areas of the country. It's not necessary to shell out top dollar for a good bottle to make margaritas (or even to sip over the rocks). There are general rules to know though. A label with 100% agave likely means it's better quality, and it's important to know the difference between a blanco and an añejo. Here at Mashed, we decided to round up some of the best budget-friendly tequilas on the market. Whether you're mixing cocktails, taking shots, or looking for a complex sipper, we've got you covered. 

How we choose

In order to find the premiere cheap tequilas amongst those not-so-amazing bottles you should avoid, we take into consideration many factors. Thanks to the booze enthusiasts of the internet on websites like Tequila Matchmaker and Drink Hacker, there are plenty of tried and true reviews from the masses that greatly affect our decision on the top tequila picks. We also consider general popularity, availability, press buzz, and professional reviews when picking the best of the best. 

We also like to pick the right tequilas based on the occasion. Of course, you'll find the top tequilas in the main categories of blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo on the list. However, we'll also give you options at different price ranges, since everyone's definition of "cheap" can be different. Additionally, we picked out a few bottles that are prime for mixed drinks, and others that you should try on the rocks or straight from a shot glass. Regardless of what kind of tequila you're looking to add to your bar, there's probably a low-cost option available right at your fingertips. 

Best overall tequila

It's hard to pick one tequila that is universally tasty and useful, but El Tesoro Blanco comes as close as it gets. Good tequila should be made out of 100% blue weber agave, and it better taste like it. El Tesoro Blanco is agave in a bottle with a hint of white pepper, and there's no mistaking this stuff for a nondescript clear liquor — it's unapologetically tequila. Aside from pepper and agave, it has a herbaceous trademark that provides a solid earthiness that shines through straight up or in a cocktail. 

"This is a different level of tequila, and it surprised me. Best blanco I've ever tasted," a review on Distiller reads. Many other tequila aficionados on the internet seem to agree — this is downright good tequila that's hard to improve upon, especially considering its price point. It's simple and light but still perfectly executed to make it an easy option to keep on your bar. 

You can get a 750-milliliter bottle of El Tesoro Blanco for $49.99 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best $15 or less tequila

Believe it or not, there are plenty of tequilas worth trying that you can snag for $15 or less, especially if you find a deal. If you're looking for something under $15 to stock your bar or to make a big batch of cocktails, Olmeca Altos Plata is the way to go. It's a citrusy spirit that's a margarita must, and not just because of the price tag. One review on the brand's website from a self-proclaimed tequila expert sings its praises. "This is the tequila I buy 75% of the time because it's not just affordable, it competes with tequilas twice the price," the review reads. 

Olmeca Altos Plata is one of those overlooked options that will quickly become your easy go-to. It has 100% agave, unrivaled smoothness, and an affordable price — what else do you need to convince yourself to grab a bottle? "Quite simply for me the go-to tequila, very good price, excellent taste, perfect ice cold, [with] shots and in cocktails," a user review on Master of Malt reads. 

Grab a 375-milliliter bottle of Olmeca Altos Plata for $14.99 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best $20 or less tequila

Casa Sauza's tequila pedigree speaks for itself. The company has been producing the drink since 1873 and played a large part in making it the national spirit of Mexico. Casa Sauza utilizes a method known as gentle extraction, in which the agave juices are cooked only after they've been separated from the plant. This process results in a fresher flavor, one devoid of the bitterness that can be found in some tequilas made using the traditional method.

It is this purity of flavor that makes the affordable Sauza Silver an ideal sipping tequila. The spirit boasts a taste profile that includes notes of blue agave, green apple, and citrus with an aroma of jasmine and herbs. It has won over many consumers, who have given the drink high marks. "Me and my whole family are solid Silver fans and have been for years," one reviewer on Drizly wrote. "I find it to be a consistently quality product that's versatile, enjoyable & fun to have around the house." Another added that they used to be Patron drinker but, "when things got tough I tried many other tequilas but none of them came close to the flavor of Sauza!"

You can order a 1-liter bottle of Sauza Silver tequila from Drizly for $19.99 as of April 2023.

Best $30 or less tequila

Bump the budget up to $30, and grab yourself a bottle of Familia Camarena Reposado. Reposados are slightly aged tequilas, so the flavor tends to be a little more complex. This blend is no exception, especially at the price point. It's aged in oak barrels for 60 days, adding notes of vanilla, caramel, and toasted agave. "For the price, it's one of the best Reposado's for sipping and mixing," a customer review on Total Wine reads. "I tried many tequilas and stopped after finding this on seven years back." Are you craving a drink yet? 

Reposado is a good option for sipping, especially for tequila newbies, but it really puts a welcomed spin on cocktails. It can totally open up your mind to new cocktail mixing possibilities, and it'll only cost you $30 and some change. Next time someone is talking smack about cheap tequila, give them a sip of Familia Camarena Reposado to quickly change their minds. 

A 750-milliliter bottle of Familia Camarena Reposado is on sale for $27.99 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best $50 or less tequila

If you're someone who doesn't mind spending top dollar on liquor, $50 or less might be considered "cheap" in your book. That, or if you're looking for a solid gift to give a margarita-loving friend, DE-NADA Reposado is a great option. This spirit is rich amber with notes of almond, cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla. That description might make it sound more like a bourbon, but it's distinctly tequila with a warm twist. The brand was the brainchild of two friends from New Orleans who couldn't find good tequila in their budget while attending college. They teamed up with expert distillers from Jalisco to create this top-quality blend (via DE-NADA). 

The cinnamon is what really makes DE-NADA Reposado a must-try. Reviews on Tastings recommend this bottle for sipping and cocktails, like a Tommy's Margarita, which is basically the basic recipe plus agave nectar. 

Grab a 750-milliliter bottle of DE-NADA Reposado for $47.29 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best canned tequila cocktail

With the ever-popular spiked seltzer market constantly expanding, there are more tequila-based seltzers than ever available in the fridge at the liquor store. It's hard to pick one because they're all so different and some are better than others. Onda is a spiked seltzer that is worth a shout-out. Onda was founded in 2020 by Hollywood fixture Shay Mitchell alongside co-creators Kelli Adams, Noah Gray, and Max Dworin. The name means "wave" in Spanish, which is fitting for a brand soaking in beach vibes. 

Onda is great because there are so many flavors available, and they are all tasty. Each can has only 100 calories, 1 gram of carbs or less, and contains 5% ABV. The options for the tequila soda-inspired drink include mango, passionfruit, pineapple, strawberry, lime, blood orange, grapefruit, and watermelon. They're all solid, but blood orange, grapefruit, and lime are particular stand-outs. 

A four-pack of Onda Blood Orange is available for $12.59 via Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best blanco

We've recommended quite a few blanco tequilas already, but Arette Blanco truly rivals them all. It's one of the rare cheap tequilas that is easy to sip straight up, thanks to a clean taste. Blanco is usually not aged (or only for 60 days maximum), so they have to be of high quality to be tasty, as it's pure distilled agave. "This is the cheapest sipper I've ever had," one Tequila Matchmaker review reads. "Superb, definitely grab a bottle if you're interested in a neat budget bottle that drinks way above its price."

Arette is another classic blanco with notes of agave, pepper, and a general earthiness. Long Island Lou Tequila wrote that when they blind taste-test Arette among other expensive tequilas, it often wins and is at least half the price, if not more, than competitor bottles. 

A 1-liter bottle of Arette Blanco is $27.72 on Drizy as of April 2023. 

Best reposado

Espolon is one of the more well-known tequilas on the list as it's widely available, but luckily, it's also a superior option. It's another liquor distilled from 100% blue weber agave that's aged for two months in American oak barrels. It's a tad sweet, but still with the smokiness of a reposado. Some people may like this for shots or sipping, but it's one of the easiest tequilas to use in an amazing margarita. 

Sure, margaritas typically feature blancos, but once you try it with a reposado, you'll never look back. "Great medium grade tequila at an affordable price. Make unique great flavored margaritas that will please everyone all night," one Influenster review reads. The margarita aficionados have spoken. At less than a $40 price point, Espolon is an easy tequila to make your regular bar order, whether it's featured in shots or mixed drinks. 

Drizly is selling a 750-milliliter bottle of Espolon Reposado for $37.99 as of April 2023. 

Best añejo

Once you get into the categories of tequilas that are aged for longer, the price tends to go up. However, there are a few options, like Herradura Añejo, that offer the same luscious sipping experience for a fraction of the price. Herradura Añejo has been around since 1962, so it's a tried and true brand. It's even aged a few more months than the average añejo — 25 months in white oak barrels (añejo tequila is typically aged from one to three years). The result is a velvety smooth dark liquor that is agave-forward and rich on the tongue. 

Thanks to the aging, Herradura Añejo contains notes of oak, caramel, and black pepper present throughout that keeps the flavor complex. As pointed out by Whiskey Reviews, Herradura created an interesting palate that doesn't overshadow the blue agave, which is the ideal balance for good tequila. 

A 1-liter bottle of Herradura Añejo is available on Drizly for $56.70 as of April 2023. 

Best extra añejo

It's nearly impossible to find an extra añejo tequila, which is aged for more than three years, for less than $50. It's the most time-consuming to make, so that's reflected in the price. Shockingly, Patron Extra Añejo is a low-cost option that doesn't cut corners when it comes to taste. It's aged for over three years in American, French, and Hungarian oak barrels, resulting in a 100% agave tequila with notes of vanilla, oak, and dried fruit. The brand actually recommends spicing up your whiskey cocktails with Patron Extra Añejo, such as a substitute for bourbon in an old fashioned. 

Drink Hacker's review actually compares the flavor of Patron Extra Añejo to a creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream dripping with chocolate syrup and caramel sauce. It's an absolutely mouth-watering experience. Marcas de Tequila co-signs that Patron Extra Añejo is the best offering from the brand for the price. Sure, it's not as transformative as some of Patron's pricier options. But it's a great way for new drinkers to experiment with more complex tequilas without straining their wallets. 

A 375-milliliter bottle of Patron Extra Añejo is available for $47.29 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best flavored tequila

Flavored liquor isn't for everyone, but the options are much better than the syrupy pre-mixed margaritas available at the grocery store (though some of those are pretty tasty). If you like tequila with a bit of spice, check out Dano's Dangerous Pineapple & Jalapeño tequila. It's a little lower in alcohol than straight-up tequila and comes in at 36% ABV. It is distilled from 100% agave blanco and infused with fresh fruit flavors. As of now, it's the only flavored option from the distillery, but that could change based on this blend's popularity. 

Travel Distilled's review raves about the combination of tequila, jalapeño, and pineapple all in one convenient bottle. Customers who bought Dano's Dangerous tequila via Total Wine also seem to be pleased with the burst of pineapple flavor and perfect amount of spiciness in the recipe. "I normally drink tequila on the rocks with a splash of club soda. The Tequila Pineapple & Jalepeño adds a nice margarita-esque taste without overpowering the drink," one review reads. This beverage is good on the rocks all on its own, but does amp up your typical cocktail with a fiery tropical twist. 

At the time of this writing, you can grab a 750-milliliter bottle of Dano's Dangerous Pineapple & Jalapeño tequila via Total Wine for $35.49.

Best for margaritas

Margaritas are always a good idea, but not all margaritas are made equally. If you're looking for a low-cost option to make margaritas for yourself and some lucky friends, El Jimador Reposado is the way to go. We can hear the comments already that margaritas are supposed to have cheap blanco tequila. However, a reposado margarita is pretty life-changing. It's more complex than your typical margarita and doesn't require any added flavorings to make it interesting. 

El Jimador Reposado is distilled from 100% blue weber agave aged for two months in American oak barrels. As you'd expect, oak and vanilla are present, which are a welcomed smokey addition to the tried-and-true cocktail. A review on Flaviar also recommends trying it in an Oaxaca old fashioned, which is a solid option if you're a blanco margarita purist. 

A 750-milliliter bottle of El Jimador Reposado is available for $27.81 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best for palomas

We like to provide options. Sure, the same tequila that's good in a margarita is likely perfectly tasty for palomas (though the two drinks are not the same). No, you don't need to go out and buy another bottle to make such a similar drink. If you're looking for an excuse to buy tequila and are craving some grapefruit, try Hornitos Plata. It's distilled from 100% pure agave with a flavor that's a balance of fruity, floral, and citrus-infused, adding a pleasantness to the cocktail. Hornitos has a fool-proof recipe for palomas if you're looking for somewhere to start, but using this tequila will likely result in a delicious drink regardless of your bartending skills. 

Hornitos Plata costs about $40, so it's an outstanding option to buy for a summer dinner party where you want to serve some refreshing cocktails to your guests. "I have tried several tequilas. From Patron to Presidente. The thing I like about Hornitos Plata Tequila is that it's smooth and not overwhelming," one Influenster reviewer wrote. 

A 1-liter bottle of Hornitos Plata is available on Drizly for $40.65 as of April 2023.

Best tequila for sipping

Most sipping tequilas are top shelf and priced high, but it doesn't have to be that way. If you don't believe us, grab a bottle of Tequila Mi Campo Reposado for less than $30, pour it over the rocks, and tell us we're wrong. This 100% agave reposado is aged for three months in French oak barrels, giving it a sweet and fruity essence. However, it's still spicy thanks to strong pepper notes like you'd expect from a lightly aged tequila. 

Tequila Mi Campo is one of the newer options on the market, first debuting alongside a blanco in 2018. For the price, it's hard to find a reposado that's this high quality, as explained in several reviews on Tequila Matchmaker. "Agave notes present all the way through the tasting, rich caramel notes from the oak and a lovely finish. Bueno," one user wrote. 

Tequila Mi Campo Reposado is available in a 750-milliliter bottle for $24.99 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best tequila for shots

Let's be real — the best liquor to take shots of if you want to party is tequila. For some people, bad experiences with poor-quality tequila may have totally ruined that, which is perfectly acceptable. However, if you try a chilled shot of Tres Agaves Blanco with a juicy slice of lime, it might just be powerful enough to change your mind. Tres Agaves Blanco is a fruity tequila that's mild, which is preferred for shots. It's shockingly subtle, while still having that slight alcoholic burn you expect from a shot. 

Shots get a bad rap as being cheap and something to get down your throat (and keep down, hopefully). However, Tres Agaves is the refined shot. You'll likely enjoy drinking it out of a real glass, preferably chilled, while relaxing with friends (responsibly). "Go to tequila. Good as a shot or in mixed drinks. Has a distinct light flavor. Worth the price," one Influenster review reads. 

At the time of this writing, a 750-milliliter bottle of Tres Agaves Blanco is available on Drizly for $41.72 as of April 2023.