Just like vodka, gin and whiskey, tequila—no matter whether it’s sipped neat or mixed in a Margarita—has become a year-round favorite. A bottle of it is also a thoughtful holiday present. To help you out, we asked expert Julio Bermejo, owner of San Francisco institution Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, for his spirited gift suggestions.
When it comes to blanco, Bermejo likes 7 Leguas ($40), which is family-owned and crafted in the highlands of Jalisco using both traditional and modern techniques. The lowland Fortaleza Blanco ($48) is another excellent choice. “It’s the last tequila made by hand in the valley,” he says.
Bermejo calls the highland Espolón Reposado ($25) “a tremendous value for the money.” It’s aged for approximately six months in American-oak barrels. If you can find it, Chinaco Reposado ($53) is also a lovely gift. It’s produced by the only tequila distillery in the state of Tamaulipas.
The highland El Tesoro Añejo ($60) is a perfect present. It’s made with the most old-school of methods and is aged for two to three years in former bourbon casks. El Jimador Añejo ($30), from the lowlands, is a good alternative. It’s “very wood-driven and a great value,” Bermejo says.
The oldest tequilas are awarded this prized distinction. If you’re looking for something special, give the highland Don Julio Real ($350), which is matured as long as five years, or the lowlands’ “spicy and bold” Partida Elegante ($350), which, according to Bermejo, lives up to its name.