Food & Drink

5 Flavored Tequilas That Actually Taste Good

Courtesy of YaVe Tequila

Attention all you flavored vodka lovers: Now flavored tequila is officially a thing. And yes, you’re going to love it just as much, if not more than you love whipped cream vodka. Although flavored tequila seems kind of gimmicky, we assure you that it’s not. Surprisingly, flavored tequilas still taste like tequila—just with a little more oomph to them. Here, we tasted our way through the new category to find the best ones available now. From chili to tropical fruit, here are the bottles of flavored tequila that actually taste great that you should buy now. Your Tequila and Soda will thank you.

Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila ($17)

Sauza’s Signature Blue Silver Tequila is one of our favorite bottom shelf bargains. Despite its $19 price tag, the tequila is not a mixto tequila and is made from 100 percent agave. It is also excellent in a Margarita. Now Sauza has outdone itself with this flavored tequila. The tequila is infused with natural cucumber and chili pepper flavoring and bottled at 70 proof (which is lower than the brand’s standard tequila). On the palate, it is cooling, with flavors of honeydew melon, cucumber, limestone and garden fresh herbs. On the finish the chili heat reveals itself, leaving a vegetal, barbequed bell pepper flavor on your palate. This tequila is incredibly versatile behind the bar and can be used in anything from a Tequila Martini to a Highball to a Frozen Margarita.

Tanteo Chipotle Tequila ($36)

Made with a base of 100-percent blue Weber agave tequila, this flavored tequila is infused with chipotle peppers (which are essentially roasted, smoked jalapeños) sourced from Chihuahua, Mexico. Wickedly spicy, the spirit has an incredible amount of depth and flavor. There are notes of barbecued pork, fire roasted chilies, barbecued pineapple, charred green onion and celery seed. The finish is long, subtly smoky, slightly creamy in texture and fiery hot. While this can (and should) be used in Sours or Bloody Marys, it actually makes a phenomenal Piña Colada variation. Since we’ve discovered this tequila, it has become a staple in our liquor cabinet.

Playa Real Pineapple Infused Tequila ($35)

This Austin, Texas, based tequila company is the passion project of Matt Davis—better known as the hubby of high end jewelry designer Kendra Scott. Inspired by Davis’ surfing trips in Mexico, his tequila company’s portfolio includes this bottling, a mandarin orange flavored blanco tequila, and an unflavored silver tequila. Out of everything, this bottling was the standout. With bursts of pineapple acidity, a light florality and big juicy tropical fruit flavors, this was one of the most unique flavored tequilas that we tried. What is most interesting about Playa Real’s pineapple is that the vegetal and peppery characteristics from the agave were not overshadowed by the fruit. They play in harmony with the pineapple rather than hiding behind it. This summer, Playa Real Pineapple will become our go-to rum substitute for a Daiquiri.

YaVe Mango Blanco Tequila ($40)

Launched in December 2017, this new tequila brand is already making waves in the tequila market. YaVe has a range of unflavored, classically styled tequilas—including a blanco, reposado and an añejo—and a range of flavored tequilas that use those tequilas as the base. Their Mango bottling is not only the sole mango flavored tequila currently on the market, it also happens to be absolutely delicious. If you’re a mango fanatic you’re going to love this spirit. Made without adding artificial sugar or sweeteners to the spirit, YaVe’s Mango Tequila is made with only the company’s blanco tequila and natural mango flavoring. Bottled at a lower ABV (it’s only 70 proof), the tequila has less alcoholic bite on the finish and is exceptionally smooth when sipped straight. In the glass the tequila just explodes with mango flavor. But the flavoring still allows subtle vegetal and pepper notes from the raw blanco tequila to shine through. Not only is this is an excellent tequila to take as a shot, it has enough backbone to be used in a variety of tropical tequila cocktails—especially a Mango Margarita.

YaVe Coconut Blanco Tequila ($40)

If you’re not a fan of a mango’s funky tropical flavor, you should try YaVe’s Coconut tequila. Made with the company’s blanco tequila at the base, the spirit is punctuated with all-natural coconut flavoring (like their mango tequila the spirit doesn’t use any artificial sugars or artificial additives). The meaty, coconut flavoring—which reminded us of Almond Joys but less sweet—permeates the tequila. The coconut’s more floral notes pair perfectly with the herbaceousness of the blanco tequila, creating a flavored tequila that is vibrant and layered rather than one note. Extremely versatile behind the bar, this tequila can be paired with straight seltzer for an ultra-hydrating Tequila Soda, with Coco Rico soda for a coconut heavy libation, or in a  Piña Colada instead of rum.