Tequila for the Bourbon Drinker

Whether you’re drinking your bourbon neat or in a cocktail, this is a guide on how to enjoy drinking tequila for the bourbon drinker.

Tequila for the bourbon drinker

To begin, it’s important to understand what makes a good tequila. This basic explanation is concocted, pun intended, with the assumption you already know about basic bourbon and your own preferences.

Good tequila is meant to be enjoyed with its terroir presented. With bourbon, you’re not so much into white lightning, but more into the aging of the whiskey, barrel char levels, and the nose and tasting profiles that result from that.

With tequila, aging it too much causes the barreled tequila to lose out on its nuance and craft of the distillation process. Blancos and many reposados will show the best expressions for a high-quality tequila – especially tequilas without additives.

Tequila for the bourbon drinker mas tequila

However, if you know for certain you love bourbon and simply are not a fan of a young tequila, you’re going to want to go for anejos, extra anejos, and other tequilas which have been aged for more than a year. You’ll start to pick up a lot more on caramelization and other familiar tasting notes.

You’ll notice many of the high-quality extra anejo tequilas tend to be much more expensive. If you see a budget or cheap extra anejo, chances are it probably isn’t very good or is full of additives to achieve a specific flavor.

In fact, all those horror stories of the worst headache ever brought on by tequila? It is my personal anecdotal experience that additives in tequila cause these hangovers. All the times I’ve drunk a looooot of tequila or mezcal without additives, I’ve felt in way better shape the next day.

Budget Picks (Under $40)

Tequila for the bourbon drinker espolon
  • Cimarron
  • Espolon
  • Tapatio
  • Tres Agave – One of the cheapest additive free options available

Value Picks ($40-$80)

Tequila for the bourbon drinker fortaleza
  • Arette
  • Cascahuin
  • Don Fulano
  • Don Julio – One of the safer tequilas, specifically crafted to appease American taste buds
  • Fortaleza – Best bang for your buck on a high-quality tequila
  • Herradura
  • Ocho – Try when your taste buds are ready for more of an agave forward experience
  • Terralta
  • Siembra Valles
  • Siete Leguas

Expensive Tequilas ($80 and up)

Tequila for the bourbon drinker g4
  • Cascahuin Extra Añejo
  • G4
  • El Tesoro
  • Ocho Extra Anejo Tequila
  • Siete Leguas D’Antano Extra Anejo


Some other options to consider trying are blends, for example between Blancos and Reposados, often titled Joven.

Lobos 1707 joven tequila
  • Libelula Tequila Joven
  • Los Lobos Joven

Cocktails with Tequila for the Bourbon Drinker

So, you like a good bourbon-based cocktail? This selection of cocktails takes that familiarity and sticks it with a big piece of agave, leaving you with just a bit of familiarity with these insanely delicious cocktails.

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