12/19/2014 04:33 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Best Mezcals for $40 or Less

Ten years ago, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything other than a dusty $20 bottle of worm-drowning swill in the mezcal section of your liquor store. Today, you can easily drop $100 on wild-harvested, handcrafted tepextate or tobalá from any number of industrious importers.

As a result of its popularity these last few years, there's also a swath of wonderful Mexican mezcals in between those two price point extremes. Some are lower-proof, cocktail-friendly expressions that rarely rise above 40 percent ABV; others neat-sipping entry points for higher-shelf brands. They're all joven (young, unaged) spirits, and produced the old-fashioned way (except for one), but from 100 percent cultivated espadín agave (the genetic mother to tequila's blue weber variety). Plus, they're all excellent. Get those glasses ready.

The Best Mezcals for $40 or Less

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