Jose Cuervo is the most famous name in tequila, and for most people, the association is with lime, salt, and headaches from their college days. Sadly, many people never realize that Tequila has so much more to offer, and even Jose Cuervo has some surprises up its sleeves. Jose Cuervo is the best selling and biggest producer of tequila in the world, accounting for 1/5 of all tequila sales worldwide. While most of their products are mixto tequilas, they also produce a few bottlings of 100% Agave tequila.
Depending on the bottle, Jose Cuervo’s production process can be quite different. Jose Cuervo Especial Silver, Especial Gold, Black Medallion, and Cinge, and many other Jose Cuervo products are mixto tequilas, meaning they are 51% agave tequila and 49% other spirits such as grain spirit or sugar cane spirit. Made by blending low quality tequila with other spirits, They are hangover juice and regarded as garbage by most tequila aficionados. Jose Cuervo does, however, make a number of products which are 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila and while not necessarily the best on the market, there are worse bottles out there.
Jose Cuervo Products
- Jose Cuervo Especial
The most famous and widely available bottle of Jose Cuervo is either the Jose Cuervo Especial Silver or Gold. Both are mixto tequilas containing added grain alcohol. Found in dive bars and frat houses the world over, these are budget bottles meant more for causing inebriation than for being enjoyed as a spirit. Bottled at 40% ABV.
- Jose Cuervo Platino
Platino is a 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila made using a process created by Jose Cuervo which recaptures the steam created during distillation and focuses the flavors back into the tequila. It is bottled at 40% ABV
- Jose Cuervo Tradicional
Jose Cuervo Tradicional is the Cuervo line of tequila which is actually tequila, as opposed to mixto. They produce a Plata, Reposado, and Anejo. While none of these are the best available for their price, they are 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila and respectable as tequila. The Anejo is finished in Irish whiskey casks for a fruitier note of flavor, while the Plata is recommended to be consumed as cold as possible, which is never a good sign regarding tequila.
- Jose Cuervo Reserva de Familia
The bottle at the higher end of the Jose Cuervo product line, Reserva de Familia claims to be the world’s first extra Anejo tequila.
Jose Cuervo Pricing
Below are the latest Jose Cuervo prices.
|Type||Bottle Size||Starting Price|
|Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila||750ml||$12.99|
|Jose Cuervo Especial Gold||750ml||$12.98|
|Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado||750ml||$21.99|
|Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Extra Anejo||750ml||$139.99|
|Jose Cuervo Tradicional Añejo||750ml||$31.49|
- Olmeca Altos
Olmeca Altos is a great budget tequila. A bottle should be comparable in price to Jose Cuervo Especial, and unlike Jose Cuervo Especial, Olmeca Altos isn’t a mixto tequila. Don’t confuse Olmeca Altos with plain old Olmeca Tequila, which is a mixto and on par with Cuervo in terms of being hangover inducing frat party fuel.
Affordable, authentic, and solid quality. Espolon won’t break your bank. It’s a fantastic tequila for mixing and the reposado and anejo are nice enough to sip neat if that’s your thing too. A bottle of Espolon shouldn’t run you too much more than a bottle of Jose Cuervo, and for the extra cash, you get a real 100% agave tequila.
- El Tesoro
Not really an alternative to the Jose Cuervo Especial, but if you were considering footing the money for a bottle of Jose Cuervo Tradicional or Reserva de Familia, look at El Tesoro as a possible alternative. The brand just recently won a gold or double gold medal at the International Spirits Challenge for every one of its expressions, from Blanco to Extra Anejo. It’s one of the best Tequilas on the market today.
Fortaleza is another brand that isn’t in the same price range as Jose Cuervo Especial but is a great alternative to the pricier bottles of Jose such as Tradicional or Reserva de Familia. Made using traditional methods and high-quality ingredients, Fortaleza is one of the best tequilas out there. It might be difficult to track down in your area, but keep an eye out for their Still Strength Blanco, bottled at 46% ABV.
Cuervo Old Fashioned
- 2 oz Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado or Reserve De Familia
- ¼ oz Agave Syrup (1:1 Agave:Water)
- 2 dashed Lime or Grapefruit bitters
Stir, strain over rocks, garnish with a grapefruit or lemon twist
- 2 oz Jose Cuervo Tradicional Blanco
- ½ oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- 3-4 oz grapefruit soda ( Ting, Jarritos, etc)
Build in glass over ice, gently agitate, garnish with a slice of grapefruit.