The Best Tequilas for Taking Shots

Max Schwartz

Whether it was a rough night in college or you simply had a bad experience with the cheap stuff, it’s hard to enjoy tequila shots if you’ve been burned in the past. But the bracing, head-clearing ritual can be wonderful if you choose the right liquid to throw back. These five bottles are not only delicious to sip or mix into cocktails, but they also make for the best tequila shots—salt and lime optional.

Tanteo infuses this 100% Blue Weber agave tequila with fresh jalapeños for one of the most satisfying sips on the market. We can personally guarantee that everyone—including those who don’t usually take tequila neat—will happily throw back celebratory shots of the spicy stuff. It has a satisfying bite that doesn’t overwhelm the palate.

If you’re looking for a crisp, fresh tequila, Milagro Silver is one of the smoothest blancos you’re going to find. It’s agave-forward on the nose with notes of refreshing citrus and spicy black pepper as it goes down the hatch. Serve this one chilled with a slice of lime to bring out the tequila’s vegetal side.

Los Azulejos’ blanco bottling is for the true tequila lover—someone who prefers robust, earthy flavors. It’s smoky on the nose and has a zesty, peppery flavor with a hint of sweetness. Wonderfully food-friendly, it makes for a great start and end to a meal.

Most decent bars stock Don Julio Blanco, which makes this silver tequila a great go-to shot order almost anywhere. A citrusy burst of lemon, lime and grapefruit hits the nose before you experience a sweet, light flavor with a grassy finish on the palate. This tequila is always a surefire crowd-pleaser.

Most people reach for the blancos when pouring tequila shots, but give this reposado a chance. It’s aged for six to eight months in former whiskey barrels but is lighter than most tequilas of its kind. It’s sweet and citrusy with subtle hints of vanilla and wood on the palate. Give this to your whiskey-loving friends and they won’t look back.