Top 5 Best Mezcals for Under $40

Are you looking for a delicious yet cheap mezcal? Well, you’re in the right place as we are going to guide you through the most affordable top-quality Mezcals on the market today. 

Originating in Mexico, Mezcal is a popular drink that has spread to the United States and across the world. Although not as famous as tequila, Mezcal brands are often more interesting and offer a wider variety of tastes.

glass of cheap mezcal under $40

Mezcal has grown in popularity over the last few years with some bottles going for over $100 today. Nevertheless, these are usually wild-harvested and handcrafted to perfection. And, to be honest, they are generally worth every cent! Thanks to its growing popularity, more Mexican Mezcals have hit our shelves meaning you now have more choices including some more affordable bottles.

Using Mezcal in cocktails is quite a new idea. In Mexico, it is typically consumed straight without any mixers (except for the odd slice of orange and sal de gusano). However, Mezcal goes superbly with many mixers and, if you want to enjoy it solo, there are some exceptional examples out there that are on the cheaper side. 

Read on as we guide you through some of the best and most affordable bottles of Mezcal available on the market today. All can be enjoyed straight or with a mixer. It’s just up to you to decide which one takes your fancy the most.

Del Maguey Vida Mezcal

Although Mezcal is usually enjoyed straight in Mexico, it was designed for use in cocktails. But, let’s focus on enjoying it as a solo spirit with our first choice – Del Maguey Vida. This Mezcal is produced from espadin agave which is sourced from areas of Oaxaca, Mexico. Wonderfully smooth, Vida doesn’t possess too much smokiness and, when served in a traditional copita (a slim stemmed glass), its distinct flavors of wet stone and clay shine through. 

Ask for Mezcal at most bars and they will have Vida. Ron Copper, Del Maguey’s founder, is considered to be one of the first men to bring Mezcal to the United States during the 1990s. Ever since, it has remained a popular choice in many bars. 

With a perfect balance of spice, smoke, and earthiness, Vida is a sweet and savory Mezcal. While it tastes great with a mixer, it is best experienced when poured solo into a glass. For its lower price tag, this is a Mezcal that you must try.

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Artisanal Mezcal Pensador Ensamble

Next, we have the Artisanal Mezcal Pensador Ensamble. Made from 100 percent agave (an ensemble of Espadin and Madrechuishe from Southern Oaxaca, Mexico), this Mezcal has some unique characteristics. 

Firstly, the flavors of Artisanal Pensador Ensamble are pretty distinctive with notes of cacao, roasted apricot, and a gentle smoke emanating through. This spirit is handcrafted from local, organic agave with no chemicals or foreign yeasts used in its fermentation process or production.

In fact, no electrical equipment is used during the production process of this Mezcal meaning you are getting a taste of pure, traditional Mezcal. 

This is one of the great Mezcals, especially for its low price. It goes down wonderfully smoothly and is very clean and sweet. If you’re a fan of tequila, then we think you will be a fan of Artisanal Mezcal Pensador Ensamble as it doesn’t boast that puntas flavor that is synonymous with so many Mezcals. 

Fidencio Clásico Mezcal

Fidencio Clasico has a delicate taste. Flavors of wood smoke and green pepper scents are evident with a flavor profile of tar, pine, and tobacco. In other words, it is a classic Mezcal drink.

For Mezcal enthusiasts, Fidencio Clasico is always one of the most popular. It is made using only espadin agave which is organically and biodynamically farmed. It is then fermented with indigenous, natural yeast before being distilled on a copper Alembic still. It is actually distilled twice using this traditional method and stills that are very similar to those used in Cognac. 

When we come to the flavors of this Mezcal, we are met with some complexity. The forefront boasts rustic, more earthy notes before the middle reveals a sumptuous texture with lime zest flavors. As we delve deeper, you will experience cinnamon, papaya, and black and white pepper notes.

A truly delicate taste of wood pepper smoke also glides onto your palette. If you want to experience Mezcal for the first time, we recommend starting here. 

La Niña del Mezcal Primario 

Made with agave Espadin in Santiago Matatlan, La Nina del Mezcal Primario has hints of smoke and green apple that combine perfectly. This Mezcal is unaged in wood and bottled soon after it is distilled. This helps play a key role in achieving the unique flavors and personality that these bottles offer. 

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If you’re looking for Mezcal to mix with other liquids, this Primario may be the one for you. Although it is made for cocktails, it is available in small batches of around 2,000 liters each.

This Mezcal sports a ripe fruity flavor profile that blends nicely with citrus juice or brown spirits. Although it has a slight rubbery scent at first, it is a classic example of traditional Mezcal. However, that initial scent may put some newbie Mezcal drinkers off at first! For a smoky yet complex cocktail, we recommend La Nina del Mezcal Primario. It will not let you down! 

Gusano Rojo Mezcal

Lastly, we have one of the first Mezcals to be exported from Mexico into the United States and beyond. To this day, Gusano Rojo is one of the most widely distributed Mezcals in the world. And, best of all, it’s pretty affordable!

Whether you want a bottle of Mezcal for yourself or you want to gift a bottle to a Mezcal enthusiast, Gusano Rojo is a great choice. Everything about this drink is fun. Even the bottle is colorful and has an entertaining cartoon worm on the label with a cheeky grin. That same cheeky grin you will probably have when you first take a sip of this famous Mezcal. As well as the cartoon worm, an actual worm comes contained in the bottle which can be either eaten or drunk (if you’re brave enough).

Upon first taste, this Mezcal is pretty smoky and quite sweet. Another Mezcal made in Oaxaca, Mexico, Gusano Rojo goes through a traditional distillation process after a dedicated fermentation stage where the juice of several agave species is used. It is then left for at least two months in wooden casks of oak or white oak to stabilize sufficiently. If you want a Mezcal to sip rather than do shots with, Gusano Rojo is worth trying. Sipping is the best way to appreciate its range of flavors. If you don’t like the thought of a worm in your drink, you should probably give it a pass. 

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  1. “Mezcal is a kind of distilled liquor that has been created in Mexico for hundreds of years. When you are drinking mezcal, you will have to know what type of mezcal you are drinking and where it came from.

    Mezcals are easy to find in stores and bars, but if you want to drink the best, top-quality mezcals, then this article can help you to find affordable and best mezcal under $40. Thank you for sharing the article. “

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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