Food & Drink

What Tequila to Drink if You Like Patrón

Patrón Silver is everywhere. It’s in songs, clubs, bars and was likely your first exposure to premium tequila. It’s the second biggest brand in terms of cases of tequila sold (2.4 million a year), and the bottle is instantly recognizable. But where do you go after you’ve tried Patrón? These six silver tequilas all cost less than $50 and are a good bet if you like Patrón and want to try something new.

Don Julio ($43)

There’s a good chance that you’ll see Don Julio on the shelf at your favorite bar right there alongside Patrón. Don Julio Blanco is double distilled and has a touch of vegetal agave flavor and citrus. It plays well with other ingredients, whether your go-to tequila cocktail is a Margarita, a Paloma or anything else, really. But there’s nothing wrong with drinking it neat or on the rocks, either.

Playa Real ($35)

A new brand on the market, Playa Real is a triple distilled tequila that makes for clean and easy drinking. It was launched by a couple in Austin, Texas in January 2018 along with two flavored tequilas, Mandarin and Pineapple. The Silver is the one to look out for if you’re a Patrón fan—it’s light with no burn and has a hint of grassy vanilla notes.

Espolon ($22)

Espolon Blanco is just about the best value tequila you’re going to find. It’s good enough to drink straight, yet affordable enough that you can experiment with it in a wide variety of cocktails. It’s made with agave from Los Altos, the highlands region of Jalisco, Mexico. Espolon is a bit sweet with vanilla, tropical fruit and citrus notes.

1800 Tequila ($25)

The name “1800” comes from the year that the brand’s tequila was first put into barrels. It started as a Jose Cuervo bottling, called Cuervo 1800, but split from Cuervo in 2008. Today, 1800 Silver is one of the most popular tequila brands in the United States and a good alternative to Patrón if you’re looking for a lower priced mixing tequila.

Camarena Silver ($21)

Camarena is another tequila that hails from Jalisco’s highlands. The brand is based in the town of Arandas and uses a mix of traditional ovens and modern distillation techniques. It has a nose of vegetal agave with subtle vanilla notes, finishing with a little bit of spicy pepper.

Casa Noble ($37)

Casa Noble is the result of agave grown in Jalisco’s volcanic soil and distilling knowledge that’s been passed down through seven generations. It was one of the first tequilas to be triple distilled, which gives the spirit a flavor that’s bright and pure but not boring. If you’re a Patrón-on-the-rocks type of person, this one’s for you.