We Asked Bartenders To Name Their Favorite Shots Of Tequila

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Tequila is an interesting elixir. The Mexican-made agave-based spirit has had a full-on renaissance in recent years, with more and more refined, high-quality, and sometimes pricy expressions being released. And while there’s certainly a place for slow sipping a well-made tequila on the rocks or neat, this vegetal spirit is also great for shots.

If you’re using a tequila for shots, there’s a pretty good chance you aren’t going to grab a bottle of añejo or extra añejo. Blanco (or silver, plata, or white) tequila and reposado expressions are the way to go. Also, you should stay far away from anything that comes in a plastic bottle with a handle and is less than the price of a Starbucks latte. Why torture yourself?

There are a lot of good-value tequilas that are perfect for a nice evening shooter. To find the best, we asked a handful of notable bartenders to name their favorite tequilas for shots. Keep scrolling to see all of their picks.

1800 Silver

1800 Silver
1800

Kevin Smith, food and beverage manager at The Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg, Florida

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $27

Why This Tequila?

1800 Silver Tequila is double distilled from 100 percent Blue Weber agave. That gives it a well-rounded and fruity flavor. This tequila is so refreshing and smooth, making it a perfect and easy shot, especially when followed by a lime.

Casamigos Reposado

Casamigos Reposado
Casamigos

Eric Cohen, lead bartender The Kimpton Sawyer in Sacramento

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $47

Why This Tequila?

Casamigos Reposado is my pick for a tequila to shoot. It is very smooth, decently priced, and one of the best reposados I’ve tried. Vanilla and caramel are the two flavors that stick out most.

Nosotros Reposado

Nosotros Reposado
Nosotros

Alejandro Mendoza, restaurant and bar manager at Hotel SLO in San Luis Obispo, California

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $38

Why This Tequila?

Nosotros Reposado is my pick for shots, It goes down easy but also has a great flavor profile of vanilla and vegetal agave sweetness. It’s aged in French oak, which gives it a sweet taste.

Don Fulano Blanco Fuerte

Don Fulano Blanco Fuerte
Don Fulano

Nick Gergen, beverage director at Juniper and Ivy in San Diego

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $45

Why This Tequila?

Don Fulano Fuerte would be my choice for a neat pour to sip and enjoy or as a shot. It’s the high proof bottling of their blanco and shows more vegetal notes in it which I’m keen on in my agave spirits.

Ocho Plata

Ocho Plata
Ocho

Eric Johnson, beverage director at Waverly in San Diego

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $49

Why This Tequila?

I prefer a tequila like Ocho Plata to sip on. I’d shoot it, but it is a bit pricy. There are flavors of black pepper, tropical fruit, and hints of earthiness but that can change year to year based on the farming locations. This slow-cooked artisanal tequila is pure and will not have any additives.

El Sativo Blanco

El Sativo Blanco
El Sativo

Josh Curtis, bar director at Malibu Beach Inn in Malibu, California

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $38

Why This Tequila?

El Sativo Blanco is an organic tequila because they are following proper artisanal practices that shine through in the natural flavors of the agave plant and not a lot of additives. That also means that you won’t be wrecked when you wake up the next day.

Espolon Blanco

Espolon Blanco
Espolon

Christopher Devern, lead bartender of Red Owl Tavern in Philadelphia

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $25

Why This Tequila?

This 100 percent agave tequila won’t break the bank and won’t leave you with a massive hangover like some cheap tequilas are known for. No promises depending on how many shots you plan on taking though! Please drink responsibly.

There are floral/sweet agave notes on the nose with some tropical, vanilla, and peppery tasting notes.

Casamigos Blanco

Casamigos Blanco
Casamigos

Heather Buelna, lead bartender at Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay in San Diego

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $48

Why This Tequila?

Wow, there are so many different places to take people when they are looking for tequila. As Patron shots became more and more popular, that flavor profile tends to be what people think of when they are looking to shoot tequila. While I love a good Patron, for my money, I would rather sip (and sell) a Casmigos any day. It is so balanced with the agave notes and tropical fruits and it won’t have anyone making that “tequila face.”

Writer’s Pick: Patron Silver

Patron Silver
Patron

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $43

Why This Tequila?

There’s a reason Patron is such a big name in the tequila world. When it comes to shots, it’s difficult to beat the classic flavor of Patron Silver with its notes of vanilla beans, vegetal, sweet agave, and ripe pineapple. It’s smooth, mellow, and goes down easy every time. Isn’t that exactly what you want in a tequila shot?

Writer’s Pick: Fortaleza Blanco

Fortaleza Blanco
Fortaleza

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $45

Why This Tequila?

In a world of harsh, burning tequila shots that are choked down quickly, Fortaleza Blanco is a peppery, sweet, and slightly smoky oasis. It’s just as good as a shot as it is on the rocks or as the base for your favorite tequila-centric cocktail. It’s definitely a versatile bottle.

Editor’s Pick: Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Platino

Reserva De La Familia Platino
Cuervo/Proximo Spirits

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $63

Why This Tequila?

Yes, I’m calling out a Cuervo as one of the best tequila shooters you can get. But this isn’t any old average Cuervo. Reserva De La Familia Platino is the good stuff that’s made low-and-slow in one of the oldest still operating distilleries in the Americas. This unaged tequila is made from estate-grown agave grown right outside of Tequila, Mexico. After close to ten years, the pinas are harvested and trucked into the center of Tequila where they’re slow-roasted in fire-heated brick ovens. Those roasted pinas are then shredded and sent into open fermenters for an extra-long fermentation before double distilling in old-school stills.

The result is a truly phenomenal white, or blanco, tequila that truly wows. From the nose, every stereotype one might have about white tequila is dispelled thanks to a matrix of freshly cracked black pepper spicing up fatty cottage cheese curds next to apples soaked in fresh and floral honey with a hint of fresh green herbs sneaking in the background. The palate leans into those peppercorns but counters it with floral honey sweetness, savory pumpkin flesh, and a dry layer of baled hay. The finish lingers for just the right amount of time while settling into freshly ground cinnamon, a touch of dried hibiscus, and a soft honeycomb.

Trust me, you won’t need any lemon or salt with this one. — Zach Johnston

Source: https://uproxx.com/life/the-best-tequilas-for-shots-according-to-bartenders/

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