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, li