What is Tequila?
Tequila is a Mexican spirit made from the agave plant. More specifically, Tequila is made from blue weber agave, a cactus indigenous to Mexico. Tequila can only be made from blue weber agave grown in four states in Mexico: Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit, and Aguascalientes.
Tequila is generally sold at around 70-80 proof. It is one of those spirits that is generally enjoyed very simply. It is probably the most common shot around the world, being consumed quickly from a single serving glass over the bar in many countries. Other than this, it is often served on the rocks, in a cocktail, most commonly the margarita.
To achieve the certification of a Tequila, there are several rules you must adhere to:
- The liquid must be made of a minimum of 51% blue weber agave. The other 49% can be additives like sugar etc. The ones worth paying for are 100% agave and advertise this feature on the bottle.
- The blue weber agaves must be between 7-9 years in age. They can grow up to 2 meters in this time!
- The agave is grown exclusively in one of these 4 states in Mexico: Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit, and Aguascalientes.
- The labeling of the bottle must clearly state the following categories: Name of Brand, ‘Tequila’, the category (100% agave or otherwise), Net Volume and ABV, and the NOM number. The batch number, name of the distillery, and description of origin (specifically ‘Hecho en Mexico’) must be found on the back of the bottle.
What are the types of tequila available?
There are three main types of tequila: Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo. The name Blanco is misleading. In Spanish, it means white. However, in tequila terms, Blanco is a translucent liquid.
The three main varieties are all made in the same way, though Blanco is simply unaged.
Reposado is a slightly aged version of the Blanco, often up to a year. It has a gold-tinted color to it. It is probably the most common of tequila drinks. The reposado is often aged in American oak, more often than not in old Bourbon barrels.
Añejo is a much darker, syrupy-looking liquid. It is aged for up to four years in many cases. This tequila is so smooth, so dark, and so deeply sweet. It is often the most expensive of any tequila brands roster, due to its more laborious production process.
These are the three main types of tequila, though there are sometimes flavored varieties within a company's products. Some tequilas are advertised as ‘silver’. Though these are the same as Blanco.
There is also the existence of Cristalino tequila. This is an aged tequila, like añejo, that has been filtered to remove any impurities and color from it. The result is an entirely transparent tequila.
Which are some of the famous brands?
Tequila has certainly got an established place in popular culture. It is referenced countless times in songs, tv shows, films, and more. We believe it is because of the fun and proven track record of a great night out that tequila is associated with.
At CWS, we have all of the best tequila brands. We think one of the top tequila brands is Patron. All of their products can be considered top shelf, and some are sold at such a reasonable price.
Another famous name in this spirit is the Casamigos brand of tequila. One of the most famous types of tequila is due to its owner, George Clooney. Despite the fame and acclaim associated with this brand, it is only as widely drunk as it is because it is an excellent product.
Another world favorite is Corralejo, for so many reasons! It is such an authentic-looking bottle, with such mesmerizing artwork over the label. Made in Mexico for over 250 years, this is definitely one of the best tequila drinks around. What are some of the best ways to pair it with?
What does tequila taste like?
By now, I hope that we all know what is tequila. In order to answer what tequila tastes like properly, we have to break it down into the three main variations of tequila: Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo.
Blanco tequila, which tends to be harder to find in supermarkets, is the most intense. We recommend you buy tequila online for Blanco as you want a top-quality product here. Blanco tequila has a peppery bite, essentially quite spicy initially. There are many variations, but generally, there is the presence of stone fruits in the aftertaste.
The further we go from here, the more refined and sweeter we get. Reposado is a prime example of this. Being aged in oak barrels for anywhere up to 3 years, reposado tequila is a smoother, deeper flavor.
Reposado tequila has a bit more of an aroma than the Blanco, being aged and stored for longer, this makes sense. To find the best reposado, you should order tequila online, as you’ll likely find some quite cheap products in supermarkets. Reposado is a sweeter, more rounded drink, with notes of honey and nectar in the finish.
Añejo is definitely a situation where you’ll have to buy tequila online. Most stores and supermarkets don’t store it, and specialty stores will often mark up the price.
Añejo tequila is the labor of love for so many producers. It is smooth, sweet nectar that goes down heavenly. Drinking this any other way than on the rocks or neat is a cardinal sin! Most Añejos will have a touch of smoke, with deep molasses, rich honey, and earthy notes.
It is hard to recommend our favorites, as we sell so many amazing tequila online. We will highlight our favorites from each variety, though we don’t recommend you limit yourselves to trying just one!
For the Blanco, we recommend the Patron Silver. Though it is commonplace, and some might even say basic, it is a truly amazing drink. It has so many uses, we love just drinking it in a shot at the bar! It is probably the prime candidate for a margarita, however. The price you’ll find for this tequila online on our website is also cheaper than many stores!
For reposado, we recommend 1800 Reposado Tequila. This iconic bottle has found its home on so many shelves around the country. It is made with an incredible process and is one of the finest tequila drinks around. We think this works really well over ice with a wedge of lime.
For añejo, it is a little more tricky. Most options can range into the incredibly expensive, which will deter most people. In a similar vein, if a product is incredibly reasonable in terms of price, it isn’t worth going for.
Our compromise is the formidable Tequila Comisario Anejo. It walks the line between being an incredible, divine-tasting tequila, and casual evening drinking. It has the depth, sweetness, and elegance that you expect, without breaking the bank too hard.
Is Tequila the same as Mezcal?
In a word, no. There are many similarities between the two liquors, though they are quite different. The similarities are that they are both made in Mexico, they are both made from Agave, and they are both distilled.
This is where the similarities stop. The agave in Mezcal is cooked underground in pits. This is what creates the smoky flavor. Furthermore, Mezcal is produced in different regions. Primarily in Oaxaca, but also in Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacán, and Puebla.
The Anejo and reposado tequila varieties are also aged. Mezcal is only similar to Blanco in the fact it is unaged. If you are going to order tequila online, we suggest you do the same for Mezcal!
What makes tequila unique?
Tequila is unique for so many reasons. One is because it is only one of two spirits made from the agave plant. Between tequila is incredibly unique in comparison to mezcal, so by definition, it is unique!
Tequila is the only spirit grown in particular regions in Mexico. It is also the only spirit that is, with Mezcal being grown in separate areas in the country.
Tequila is the only spirit that is sold in three pre-defined colors. Many spirits have slightly different hues, shades, and tones of the same color. However, tequila has three pre-determined colors it is sold in.
Is tequila technically a wine?
Tequila is not a wine, it is a spirit. All alcohols go through a fermentation process, and all alcohols are made with a grain/fruit starting point. This is pretty much where the similarities stop between the two drinks.
Tequila is distilled, which wine is not. This means that the liquid is purer, and has less of the raw flavors and texture. Tequila is much stronger than wine, being around 80 proof as opposed to around 25 proof.
Furthermore, they are stored really differently. Tequila can be drunk immediately after bottling. Wine, due to its more raw state, needs to rest in the bottle and age for a while before it is ready to drink.
Is tequila stronger than whiskey?
Tequila and whiskey are around the same strength. Whiskey has the ability to be a little bit stronger than tequila, however. Due to the stricter rules around tequila production, there is not a lot of room to fiddle with anything. This maintains the strength at about 80 proof.
Whiskey doesn’t have as much regulation on its production and has a lot of artisanal, small-batch productions. This allows them to be more experimental, churning out more and more unique products.
To get an idea, there is a whiskey that is 180 proof! That is insanely high, it is basically pure alcohol at this point.
Does tequila have caffeine?
Tequila does not have caffeine. People often get confused about this, as tequila has certain properties that can boost alertness. Most alcohol is a depressant, meaning it makes you tired and slows your central nervous system.
Tequila is one of very few that is actually a stimulant. This means that tequila makes you more awake, alert, and sharp when drunk in small quantities. Obviously, if you drink tequila in excess you will become drunk and sloppy. In small doses though, it can have this effect.