margarita  
 

You have a big fiesta coming up soon and you plan on mixing up some delicious margaritas for your guests, right? Just around the corner is the Super Bowl, and what better time to break out some tequila and lime than on Super Bowl Sunday (though I would argue any day is a good day for a margarita).

But what tequila should you buy to mix the perfect margarita for your friends and family? Well the answer isn't quite that simple.

 First of all, not all tequilas are equal! There is a huge difference between the more expensive anejo tequilas and the less expensive blancos. But with that being said, there are some ways to narrow down your choices.

First, opt for a 100% agave tequila. This is important, because many more inexpensive tequilas are what are known as "mixtos" - that is, they are agave tequila mixed with a neutral spirit (think vodka). This is done to make it a bit cheaper, as agave can be quite expensive.

Now this is perfectly legal in Mexico and the tequila region, but the taste will certainly affect a margarita. Instead of an earthy, peppery agave shining through, you might taste something a bit sour or not even taste anything at all. This, of course, defeats the purpose of a margarita - you want to taste the tequila!

Okay, now that the really cheap stuff is out of the way, what about the more expensive types - the anejo, or even better, the ultra anejos?

These can be quite expensive, anywhere from $50 to well over $1000 depending on the type you look at. But these types of tequilas were never made to be mixed with anything, and in fact I'm sure that if the distillers that made them saw someone mixing them with lime juice they'd be pretty upset!

These tequilas are meant for sipping, like fine brandies or Scotches. They are to be savored, usually neat without ice and warmed by the hand. Needless to say, these shouldn't go into your margaritas!

 
  Herradura bottles  
 

This brings us to the last two varieties, the blancos and the reposados. These are the two that you want to look at when considering a good mixing tequila.

Blanco tequilas are clear and unaged, and are as close to pure tequila from the tap as you can get. Blanco tequilas are spirited tequilas that can have a bit of a bite! However, if you want the clean, crisp full flavor of the agave to come through on the nose and in the drink, then a 100% agave blanco would be a really good choice. I like to use Sauza Blanco tequila, which uses the high quality Blue Weber Agave.

The next choice for a margarita would be the reposado (or rested) tequilas. These have been aged in oak barrels for a short amount of time, anywhere from two to 12 months. They take on a golden or straw color and pick up notes from the oak barrels. The result is a more complex tequila, with subtle tastes and notes that aren't present in a blanco. This sophistication adds an entirely new experience to the margarita, and produces a deeper taste and more mellow agave flavor. My choice here would be a Herradura Reposado tequila or any other 100% agave reposado.

So there you have it! For your Super Bowl party, your Cinco de Mayo Fiesta or any other occasion, these are my choices for the best tequilas to use in your margaritas!

Salud!