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.
11. El Bandido Yankee Tequila
A new entry into the tequila market, El Bandido Yankee launched in 2021 by former NFL player Jim Bob Morris and restaurateur and NHL Hall of Fame Hockey Player Chris Chelios. The idea: to create an ultra premium, ultra-smooth tequila at an accessible price point. This is an all-around crowd-pleasing tequila, too, with a wonderfully distinct flavor profile that’s at once rich and complex. Notes of pepper and vanilla balance the buttery profile along with hints of citrus. The Reposado expression is also aged in stripped and recharred American Oak bourbon barrels, which gives it a deliciously herbaceous toasted flavor.
Though we prefer El Bandido Yankee as a sipping tequila (it really is as “criminally smooth” as the brand says), the flavor has enough bite to make for some beautiful cocktails, too. Everything is made in with 100% blue weber agave and is confirmed all-natural and additive-free for a tequila that goes down smooth and silky. We like what the brand is doing with the no-for-profit S.A.C.R.E.D too, which re-invests 100% of proceeds from merchandise and a portion of tequila sales back into the local Mexican communities where agave spirits are made to identify and support vital needs.