Sure, tequila shots are fun at parties (and maybe gives you some liquid courage before stepping onto that karaoke stage), but artists rapping about “shots of Patrón” have really given tequila an undeservedly bad (and, ahem, cheap) rep.
These days, some of the best tequilas in the world are actually more comparable to a fine bourbon or robust glass of wine than jello shots and beer pong. Patrón, one of most well-known tequila brands in the world, actually offers a diverse portfolio of authentic tequilas that you won’t find in nightclubs or seedy bars. Despite the brand’s hard-partying reputation (blame it on lyrical shout-outs from everyone from Lil Jon to Bruno Mars), the company is actually making some incredibly interesting, flavorful and expensive tequila these days, with bottles of its Patrón En Lalique: Serie 2 going for up to $7,500 online.
Not flaunting rapper-sized bank accounts? There are a handful of smooth, premium-tasting tequilas you can get for under $100 too. You just need to know what to look for.
Cenote Blanco Tequila
Cenote makes a super drinkable tequila that’s flavorful without overwhelming the palette. While some tequilas make us pucker, or burn the inside of our mouths and throats, Cenote’s Blanco Tequila is light, mellow and refreshing. It’s aged in oak barrels for three weeks, and delicate notes of bright citrus, greens and pepper lead to a crisp and smooth finish.
The secret to Cenote’s smoothness? The company says it sources naturally filtered water from an “artesian well” located at their distillery, which sits at the base of the Jalisco volcano. Cenote says the water goes through a reverse osmosis process and carbon filters with silver ions help to eliminate any chance of impurities affecting the taste.
This tequila is great on its own or with a splash of soda. Bartenders love Cenote in a Paloma too, and the company responded by introducing the first-ever “World Paloma Day” last May.
Read more on Rolling Stone here.