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The Best Mexican Tequila for Under $15 in Mexico

What’s the best Mexican tequila to buy in Mexico? You might be wondering that when you look at a supermarket shelf filled with 40 brands or more. “The best tequila” is a subjective term though and often a $15 bottle will taste as good as a $150 one. For the latter it’s all about the packaging. So if you’re on a budget, let’s go find some deals on the liquor shelf.

best tequila under 10 dollars

My advice is always to look for the local bargains wherever you go in the world. In Mexico that includes good tequila for a good price. For a whole lot of brands, you can expect to pay half what you would in the USA. Sometimes less.

Mexicans aren’t as status-conscious as Americans and a very small percentage will buy something overpriced just because they think it makes them look wealthier than they are. This extends to the liquor store, where you don’t see many $100+ bottles of anything flying off the shelves. This is especially true for top-shelf tequila, where the locals think anyone buying a bottle costing that price is just a sucker. 

I promoted Mexico from an “honorable mention” to a full-blown chapter in the 5th edition of  The World’s Cheapest Destinations book because the country is actually cheaper now for many goods and services than when I first started visiting in the early 2000s, including all the best-selling tequila brands. This was purely because the U.S. dollar had gotten stronger against the peso though, not because the country is worse off.

As I update this in 2024 though, the peso has gained strength and is hovering around 17 to the dollar. Combine that with inflation and prices have gone up, including for affordable tequila. 

Despite what you may hear on Fox News, most of the people in Mexico are living a pretty good life and have no intention of trying to cross the border to live in the USA. There’s a huge middle class and a lot of very rich people in the cities. So prices are good, but some items are not as cheap as in poorer countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, or Bolivia, for instance.

The best brands of tequila in Mexico for $15 or lessNobody beats the local prices for Mexican tequila from Mexico though. For around the $15 mark, you’ve got plenty to choose from in the tequila section at your local Mega, Soriana, Aurrera, La Comer, or Walmart. And believe me, it’s a big section, with a lot more brands than you’ll see in most U.S. liquor stores. Get the budget up to $20 and that covers at least half of what’s on the shelf. 

The expensive extra añejo tequila brands that Mexicans may drink on special occasions or give as a gift are often locked up in a cabinet and you have to ask for help from a store clerk. The others are out there for the grabbing and sometimes supermarkets run a 3-for-2 sale that makes it worth stocking up.

There are no fears here that you’ll have to drink crap if you’re on a budget though. For $10 to $15 in Mexico, you can turn up your nose at the horrid Jose Cuervo Gold (one of the greatest marketing campaigns of all time to win over the gullible) and drink 100% pure blue agave aged tequila that’s good enough for sipping. Or order it in a bar for a few dollars.

That “100% blue agave” designation is key. Even the worst brand with that on the label will be better than any more expensive “mixto” tequila that has who knows what mixed in with it. That means it is made purely from the blue agave plant, roasted and distilled, and nothing else.

So just use the following list as a starting point. If you see a bargain of your own, snag it! Competition is stiff here and agave plants take 8-10 years to grow: distillers are not going to waste that fruit on something crappy like vodka and gin producers can. Especially for cocktails, you can be sure any 100% blue agave tequila is going to be worth buying.

Most Mexicans go to aged reposado for sipping, unaged blanco for mixing in cocktails, and longer-aged añejo is mostly something the upper crust pulls out as an after-dinner drink. In general, the blanco, often called silver tequila, will be cheaper since it’s not aged. (It’s not really white or silver: this is just what they call clear tequila.)

Orendain Anniversario Reposado

I’m not sure why this tequila is so cheap or if it will remain that way, but it’s a bargain for sure. This is the same distillery that makes more expensive brands that retail for $40 a bottle in the U.S. It’s one of the oldest producers in the town of Tequila itself. 

100 Años Tequila

You can consistently find both the blanco and reposado versions of this “100 years” tequila for around 150 to 220 pesos, which is well under the $15 mark. It’s a great one for mixing in cocktails and is readily available almost everywhere, including at convenience stores. Just be sure to get the 100% agave one and not the mixto one as the labels aren’t much different.

Mexican tequila bargainReal Hacienda

This has been my go-to tequila for a lot of years in Mexico when I was just looking for a cocktail mixer. It’s consistently for sale at a good price and even has a nice agave plant relief built into the bottle. Classy!

It adds the right kind of character to cocktails, with strong agave notes but no off flavors that shouldn’t be there. This is a well-rounded tequila that’s good enough to sip neat, but is almost always $12-$15 on the shelf.

Jimador Tequila

Occasionally you’ll find a bottle of Jimador reposado tequila on sale for 200 pesos ($10-$13 depending on the exchange rate) or less. If so, snag it. Of all the hundreds of Mexican tequila brands, this is the most popular one within Mexico, so if you grab something to bring to a party, you can’t go wrong with this brand. (If you’re spending $25 or more for a really good friend though, go with Don Julio.) It’s not a great tequila I’ll admit—kind of like Evan Williams bourbon or Appleton rum—but fine for cocktails and always available.

You can pretty much always find the blanco version for 220 pesos or less though, even in a convenience store, so it’s a good default buy if you’re looking for something to make margaritas or palomas with. It’s a bit harsh to drink straight, like most blanco brands since there’s no aging, but it’s good for mixing.

If you want to sound smart as you’re pouring drinks, a Jimador is the guy who cuts the spiky leaves off the agave plant and loads the big fruit into the truck.

El Amo Tequila

This brand is not as easy to find as it was when I first moved here, so it’s clearly not the most popular tequila in Mexico by any standard, but if you see it on the shelf it is a dependable choice for under 15 bucks. It has a nice wooden cap that gives it a little extra cachet and what’s inside is not bad at all for the price.

This brand may not win any points from your Mexican friends if there are ten other bottles on the table, but if yours is the only one, don’t worry. They’ll be quite happy to see you once they take their first sip. It has plenty of agave flavor and a nice finish.


I have picked up Mayorazgo tequila on several occasions and for just 10 or 12 bucks in a Mexican supermarket, you really can’t go wrong. It has a pretty glass bottle, a nice wooden cap, and would fare well in a blind taste test against better-known brands costing twice as much.

In this photo below from March of 2024, it was going for 259 pesos, a shade under $15 (and Mexican prices already include the tax, unlike in the USA). The Jarana brand next to it on the supermarket shelf, also a good choice, was on sale for 10 bucks! 

best affordable tequila in mexico

Cazadores Reposado

This is my favorite reasonably priced tequila and the one I’m buying the most these days. Cazadores has gone up and down in price a few times over the years though and sometimes it is now breaking the $20 mark. I’ve found it multiple times on sale though for $15. Sometimes in a nice gift box even! It’s the tequila with a deer on the label because Cazadores is “Hunters.”

This is a complex “Los Altos” highland tequila that’s triple-distilled and smooth. Sip it neat with friends and you’ll wonder how your bottle got empty so fast. Rather than going eeny meany miny moe when overwhelmed with choices, this is the one to pick that’s available almost anywhere, including at convenience stores.

Azul Tequila

As with Cazadores, this easy-to-find brand has steadily come down in price since I first moved to Guanajuato. You can consistently find it in any Oxxo convenience store, so it’s an easy default choice to grab and go.

Azul Tequila is also widely available in the USA, so you can try it there first to see if you like it, then get it for half price or less when you land in Mexico. The bottle is boring, but what’s inside is good. Don’t get this or the next one confused with Clase Azul reposado tequila: that costs several times as much, is delicious, and comes in a hand-painted white porcelain bottle. It’s one of my favorites, but way too expensive for this list!

Campo Azul Selecto

bargain Mexican tequila from Mexico - Campo Azul

Have you ever seen such a nice bottle of liquor for just $10? That’s how much you’ll likely spend on this pretty custom bottle from Campo Azul and what’s inside it is quite good. Bring this one to someone’s house (or back from a Mexican vacation) and they’ll probably think you spent much more than you did.

When I bought this from a supermarket in August of 2023 the price had crept up to 190 and in 2024 I saw it at one store for 230, so I guess inflation is starting to hit the liquor aisle as well in some places, but it’s still a great value. 

Which tequila brands are worth the splurge?

I don’t drink only cheap tequila, of course, especially when I’m writing about some all-inclusive resort and it’s an open bar. If you want to know my favorites if money is no object, those would be Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul tequila in the nice porcelain bottle.

The 99,000 Horas from my home state of Guanajuato is quite good too and is a terrific value. Cuervo’s Reserva de la Familia makes a great gift because the artistic box changes each year and it is consistently good, but I personally would have trouble parting with a hundred bucks to purchase it myself. I go for their 1800 brand instead: the añejo version of that is a good value.

Do understand that the more the spirit has been aged, the more it costs the companies to produce, so you’ll pay more for the best tequila brands when they’ve spent a year or two in French oak barrels or, more frequently, in used bourbon barrels from the United States. The best sipping tequilas are meant to be savored.

Occasionally you’ll still find a small distiller making craft tequila in small batches, but that is becoming a rarity. There’ aren’t a whole lot of truly Mexican-owned tequila brands using pot stills and traditional methods for grinding and roasting. The big international liquor conglomerates have swallowed most of the companies up to meet rising demand in the USA and elsewhere. If you want, you can see the production process for yourself by doing a tour in the Mexican state of Jalisco, where most of it is produced.

jimador harvesting agave for tequila

Despite what the marketers of premium tequila want you to believe, there is very little correlation between price and quality. This is very clear every time you see the winners from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition where there were blind taste tests by professional judges. Sure, on very rare occasions some $300 brand will win a top prize, but for every one of those winners there are 40 costing $40 or less. Not many celebrity tequila brands win out in a blind taste test.

If you see a bottle at the duty-free shop that’s $250, you can bet that $200 of that is usually going to marketing and packaging. This is especially true with ones that cost that much in Mexico, such as Casa Dragones hawked to rich visitors in San Miguel de Allende. (Plus their bottle isn’t even that special.) You can often do just as well by spending far less.

So what’s the best tequila to bring back from Mexico? In my opinion, you’ll do best if you can find a 100% agave tequila that’s produced in small batches, something that’s hard to find in the USA, but isn’t priced at a “stupid tourists” level. You should be able to find something like this easily between $15 and $50, the latter being for versions that have spent a long time in charred oak barrels, tequilas meant for sipping. 

Drinking Tequila the Mexican Way

One last note on drinking habits in Mexico. The traditional way to drink tequila is by sipping it neat, though occasionally you’ll see people alternating their tequila with sangrita, which is kind of a sweet bloody mary mix made with orange or pineapple juice and hot spices instead of tomato juice. Mexicans don’t really do tequila shots by downing it in one gulp unless they’re trying to imitate what they saw in a Hollywood movie.

The closest you get to the whole lime and salt thing is ordering a bandera: tequila, sangrita, and a shot of lime juice. The name means “flag” and it’s meant to imitate the colors of the Mexican flag: white, red, and green. Mexicans don’t drink a lot of margaritas either: that’s mostly a tourist thing. They’ll more frequently drink a Paloma (tequila and grapefruit soda) or a Vampiro (tequila and sangrita mix or michelada mix usually). Nothing too complicated, though there will often be salt or Tajin spice on the rim. 

How about you? Have you found any happy cheap tequila surprises on the shelf or at the bar in Mexico?


Thursday 30th of June 2022

Tim! This was a good read. Appreciate the information. I am looking to buy in bulk some decent low priced tequila like "CAMPO AZUL SELECTO" or better, straight from the source for export. Appreciate any leads you could share that might be interested to supply. Thank you!

Tim Leffel

Wednesday 6th of July 2022

You need an importer's license to bring any tequila in by bulk purchase. You're limited to the duty free allowance otherwise, though naturally you're more likely to get away with more if you're driving in instead of flying.


Thursday 8th of July 2021

I discovered the brand '30-30' in Guadalajara it is 100% agave, excelent clean taste and cheap! Not easy to find though.


Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

How do I buy some small town miskell and tequila direct from Mexico with big shavings on brands of never heard of

Tim Leffel

Tuesday 9th of March 2021

You'll have to get someone to bring it back from Mexico if you want Mexican prices. Otherwise there are import duties.

Joseluis Moreno

Saturday 30th of November 2019

Hello it's possible to buy tequila from Mexico can deliver to California If so how many is the minimum And how much can coast Cazadores 1lt Thank you

Tim Leffel

Sunday 1st of December 2019

I doubt it. Different alcohol percentage, different packaging, different laws. The USA gets the export versions. You have to cross the border and bring it back---or put it in checked luggage when you fly somewhere on vacation. (You don't get any savings from Duty Free usually.)


Friday 26th of July 2019

I second the Cazadores recommendation, err, make it a double!