Premium tequila - likely not the evil liquid that traumatized you in high school - isn't cheap. Made from 100 per cent blue agave, it's the product of years of meticulous manual labour and millennia of knowledge. Between sips at Reposado, I asked owner Sandy MacFadyen to recommend a trio of premium tequilas available at the LCBO for less than $45. (I should note that the ratings are my own - and that Sandy, unsurprisingly, has wonderful taste).
Los Arango Blanco
Why Experts consider blanco (unaged) tequilas a benchmark for the category. It's the purest expression of agave's painstaking cultivation. Los Arango is bright, crisp and smooth, with notes of agave and green herbs.
Price 750 ml/$40.95
Availability Vintages 357046, limited quantities. If you can't find any, give Espolón Blanco (750 ml/$42.25, LCBO 324848) a whirl.
Why Reposado, with its caramelized agave notes, smooth fruitiness and subdued spice, is one of the most approachable tequila styles. Espolón Repo is smooth and vanilla-forward enough to take neat, with a price point fair enough to justify mixing. Price 750 ml/$42.95
Availability LCBO 324855
Why Añejo, or "aged," tequilas sit in oak for just one to three years. Aged for the minimum 12 months, Cazadores Añejo is full of spice and citrus. Note: whisk(e)y drinkers can easily wean themselves onto tequila via añejo.
Price 750 ml/$42.95
Availability LCBO 113241