Some hate it, some love it, some can’t remember much about it and some vow never to drink it again. But let’s face it, some bad experiences with tequila were probably because of lack of knowledge of the spirit itself and poor purchasing choices at the liquor store. So, let’s get down to the basics of tequila below.
Let’s talk tequila!
Tequila is a Mexican spirit distilled from the fermented juice of the blue agave plant grown in Jalisco, Mexico.
The juice from the blue agave plant comes from the “pina” part of the plant. The pina is taken to the distillery where it is cooked, thereby converting high starch levels into fermentable sugars. Later, when it’s cooled, they extract the sugars from the pina; separating it from the pulp. After fermentation, tequila is double-distilled in pot stills. The differences between tequilas is the strength to which it is distilled.
Two basic types of tequila are 100 percent agave and mixed tequila (aka “mixto”). If the label does not say “100 percent agave” then it’s mixto. “The 100 percent agave is distilled entirely from fermented juice from the plant. Mixto is distilled from a combination of agave juice and other sugars.” (1)
Blanco or Plata (white or silver): The original style of tequila. Clear and bottled right after distillation or left for under 60 days in the tank. Mainly used for mixing. Can be 100 percent agave or mixto.
Reposado (rested): Aged between 2 & 11 months. Can be 100 percent agave or mixto.
Anejo (aged): From 100 percent agave & left for at least 1 year in the wooden barrel. The finest are left for up to 4 years. Can be 100 percent agave or mixto.
Joven Abocado (aka Gold): The wannabe aged tequila. The golden color comes from additives such as caramel. Almost always mixto.
So, when buying tequila, make sure the label states “100 percent agave tequila.”
Fun fact: Unlike other spirits, it is said that Tequila is not a depressant. 🙂
Tequilas I like so far–> Herradura, El Jimador & Milagro was also a nice surprise.
(1) Complete Home Bartender’s Guide by Salvatore Calabrese