Tasting Tequila : How To Drink Tequila According To A Master Distiller
Its time to diversify the way you drink tequila and go beyond the shots and margaritas. Most of us are used to drinking tequila in a way that covers up the harsh taste and the burn that comes with even the most well-known brands. Thats why the constant addition of salt, limes and oversweet mixers are used to make the experience tolerable.
But when you drink tequila thats taken all the right steps in farming, harvesting, and selective distillation, theres no burn and no bite and instead, the wide spectrum of aromas that are hiding within the blue agave fruit come through so youll actually want to savor every sip you take.
Here are tips from our Master Distiller, a renowned figure in the world of Tequila on how to drink tequila and enjoy every last drop.
Youre Drinking Your Tequila Wrong: Heres How They Really Drink It In Mexico
Mexicans sip tequila with a side of sangrita.
If youre like most Americans, you probably only drink tequila at bars, shot down as quickly as possible after a lick of salt and chased with a squeeze of lime. The tequila itself is something of an afterthought a nearly-unpalatable means to a drunken end. Well, weve got some news for you: Youre drinking the wrong tequila, and youre drinking it the wrong way. If you want to graduate to drinking tequila like an adult, do as the Mexicans do.
First of all, when youre knocking back shots of Cuervo Especial, youre not drinking real tequila youre drinking mixto, which is only 51 percent actual tequila . See the top-shelf stuff up there, the Herradura, Patron, and 1800? Thats the good stuff. Its made with 100 percent blue agave, and it tastes the way tequilas supposed to taste.
We know that youre thinking: Why would I want to pay $12 for a shot of tequila? The answer? You shouldnt be doing shots of it! Because in Mexico, not only do they only drink 100 percent agave tequila , they also dont only do shots of it. One hundred percent agave tequila is made for sipping and savoring from a snifter, like a good scotch. No lime or salt is necessary to mask the flavor. After every sip or two you can dip a wedge of lime into a little salt and suck on it if you want to, but if youre drinking mezcal skip the lime and opt for an orange slice instead.
What About Tequila Hangovers
The day after my tequila tour I was hangover free and I was absolutely staggered by that fact.
The tequila tasting had been liberal and the drinking period extended, however Id stuck to the tour guides tequila tasting rule: never mix tequila with sugar. Long island ice teas , orangey tequila sunrises, sugary margaritas our westernised tequila consuming ways are intrinsically linked with the one substance that should be avoided to keep a clear head the next day.
If you want to keep the hangover at bay, dont feed your body sugar and tequila in the same sitting.
All that said, sometimes all you want is a fun tequila cocktail, headache be damned. If youre in the mood for a party of a long, cool cocktail on a hot day, check out my 8 Tequila Cocktail Recipes To Try At Home.
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How Strong Is A Shot Of Tequila
Tequila is typically 35 to 50 percent ABV, or 76 to 100 proof. A standard tequila shot is 1.5 ounces and, since the only ingredient is tequila, your drink will be 75 to 100 proof. While shots are small and fun and easy to drink, be careful. They can quickly lead to extreme drunkenness or alcohol poisoning if you’re not careful. It’s wise to stick with one of these shots a night and enjoy a lighter drink before and after.
Youre Drinking Tequila Wrong
Were approaching National Tequila Day, which means for most of us, the following day is National Hungover Time. But it doesnt have to be that way!
This year, why not celebrate one of Mexicos greatest exports by practicing the right way to enjoy tequila? In other words, sip it. Because if you shoot tequila with salty lick and squeeze of lime, youre doing it wrong.
David Alan, manager of trade education and mixology at Patrón Tequila, told HuffPost that the tendency toward tequila shots is a remnant of days when crappy tequila dominated the market. He added, The shooting ritual was a quick way to get it down the hatch so you didnt have to taste it. You dont need salt and lime anymore because theres so much good tequila on the market.
And Americans are buying it up. According to the Distilled Spirits Council for the United States, U.S. imports of tequila grew 98 percent between 2002 and 2014.
But how do you pick the best ones to sip?
Avoid mixtos tequilas theyre fermented with a mix of blue agave cactus and other sugars, such as cane or grain alcohol, and tend to be rough stuff. Instead, seek out tequilas made completely from agave theyre much smoother.
After that, Alan said, its tasters choice.
People who like something thats more zesty and spicy generally go for blanco or silver tequilas, which are virtually un-aged and retain the punchy agave flavors, Alan says.
But just because a reposado tequila is more expensive doesnt mean its necessarily better.
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How Long Is Tequila Good After Its Opened
Heaven forbid any of our precious tequila go bad on us. Thats the last thing that any of us tequila lovers would want to happen, isnt it?
Well, lucky for us, the simple answer to how long tequila lasts is impressive practically forever.
The worst thing that will happen to your tequila after it has been opened is that it will not maintain its peak quality over time.
Next, we will look at how to store your opened tequila bottle to retain the maximum tequila shelf life in regards to the tequilas quality, freshness, and flavor.
Sniff And Take Small Sips
Hold the snifter in front of you, chest level, and take a nice sniff from above the rim of the glass. Dont just dive your nose into the snifter. You can move it closer if you want, just right at your chin, and sniff again to get a different set of aroma. Take very small sips and let the brandy roll around on your tongue before you swallow.
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How Long Does A Sealed Bottle Of Tequila Last
Regarding unopened bottles, its best to store these in a cool place away from sunlight for maximum shelf life. Depending on the storage conditions , you could get upwards of 5 years or even longer.
Though we still dont recommend keeping a bottle there for longer periods of time because over time even an unopened bottle without an expiration date could suffer from evaporation and eventually taste different.
Does Tequila Have A Worm In It
It is a common misconception that you can find a worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle. Indeed, the Mexican Normas Oficiales prohibits adding any insects or larvae to tequila!
In fact, its mezcal, which may occasionally have a creature in the bottle. However, its never a worm but a Mariposa moth larva.
Also known as gusano de maguey, the larvae are known parasites that feed off agave. There are two varieties of gusano de maguey. The gusano de oro simply eats the agaves leaves. Meanwhile, the gusano rojo will live in the heart.
Since its more than likely that the occasional larva got accidentally roasted with the piñas, its possible that producers felt that their presence even enhanced the flavour.
Nevertheless, the practice wasnt particularly well known until the late 1940s. In fact, its believed that it was used as a form of marketing so mezcal could differentiate itself from tequila.
It was argued that the meatier gusano rojo that lived off the heart would add flavour as well as promote virility. Furthermore, it was suggested that it showcased the mezcals purity if the larva didnt disintegrate.
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Where To Stay In Guadalajara
I stayed at Guadalajara Centro Hospedarte Hostel and booked my tour through them at a cost of $400MXN .
On a budget: Hostel Hospedarte Guadalajara Centro I stayed here and it was fantastically social with good options for booking tours.
Mid-range: The Westin Guadalajara clean, well-kept, modern rooms with a great location, The Westin offers reliable service for great prices.
Luxury: NH Collection Guadalajara Providencialocated in the financial district of Guadalajara, expect modern rooms in a good location, surrounded by a good choice of restaurants.
Hotels in the town of Tequila: If youd rather stay in the town of Tequila itself, there is a handful of hotels to choose from.
Whats your relationship like with tequila? Love it? Hate it? Prepared to give it a try the Mexican way?
How To Level Up Your Tequila Serve
Heres the basic principle: Any way you want to drink tequila is the right way to do it. Pleasure is personal, after all, and the world frankly has enough rules. Unlike the speed you drive or the amount you pay in taxes, how and what you drink is an entirely personal choice. The first rule? However you prefer to enjoy your favorite beverage is your call.
That said, youve got plenty of methods to choose from. Pick a great brand like Don Julio, start out with beginner techniques, and youll soon find yourself moving along to more sophisticated styles. Just remember that this journey goes in both directions . Even professional and seasoned sippers enjoy shooters every once in a while, while complete newbies are free to jump ahead to any of the more worldly methods in this guide.
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How To Drink Tequila The Right Way According To A Master Tequilier
Everyone has their own associations with tequila , but more often than not, people tend to use it in the same sentence as shots and regret. Tequila Cazadores Master Tequilier Tania Oseguera, a native to Guadalajara, Mexico, is here to debunk all myths about it and celebrate this authentic piece of Mexican culture. Its a fun spirit, and is meant to be, she says, And you can enjoy it however you prefer: in margaritas, neat, or in a good cocktail. The only strict rule is that you learn how to drink it neat first, sip by sip. After that, you can mix it with whatever you prefer. Oseguera told us more about how to create the perfect margarita and how she rose to the top of her ultra-competitive field with this important honor.
Meet the Master Tequilier
Brit+Co: How did you get into the food and beverage industry, and what was the process of becoming a master tequilier like?
B+C: What are some common misconceptions people have about tequila that arent true?
Cazadores also makes tequila with a strong commitment to sustainability. We source energy from the agave plant itself, by burning the residual fibers of the agave to turn into vapor. The distillery is also powered by solar tube systems were really committed to reducing our carbon footprint in any way possible.
Also, another myth: Strangely, some people think tequila comes from the cactus plant instead of agave.
B+C: Can you explain the difference between a couple of the major kinds of tequila?
Theres More To Tequila Than You Know
First things first, forget everything you thought you knew about tequila. Perhaps, you are one of the lucky ones who learned early on while building your liquor collection, that tequila is one of the most layered, impressive spirits available. For the rest of us, we were late to the game, believing tequila is for shots during last call.
A good tequila carries notes of all kinds, depending on the distillery. Senses come alive with hints of tropical fruits, smoke, vanilla, pear, agave, and sometimes even banana. Each type of tequila is unique. Step aside whiskey! Tequila is getting noticed, and its ready to show us what its got.
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Common Mistakes When Drinking Whiskey Bourbon Or Scotch
- Shooting instead of sipping. Dont believe what you see in the movies. Shooting whiskey, bourbon, or scotch is not a good way to enjoy it. Its just going to give you that unpleasant shudder and the lingering fire in your throat. Sip it and enjoy.
- Believing that age matters. With whiskey, bourbon, and scotch, age is indeed just a number. The idea that the older they are, the more superior they become is not always true. Just because a whiskey is young doesnt mean it wont suit your taste or style. Dont pay too much attention to age and focus on the uniqueness of each variety.
- Automatically assuming that ice will make it taste better. Ice can dampen the flavors and once youve mixed it with your whiskey, bourbon, or scotch, theres no turning back. Assess your drink first. Better yet, go with chilled instead of on the rocks.
What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Tequila
Although tequila was never produced as a herbal remedy like some alcoholic spirits, there are some who believe that it can provide you with health benefits.
Firstly, agave contains large concentrations of iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. As such, it is supposedly good for bone development and strength. However, much of the nutrients are stripped away when distilled. Therefore, its not certain how beneficial the tequila really is.
Additionally, the presence of inulin is meant to aid digestion. Similarly, fructans, which are mostly removed during distillation, are probiotic. Consequently, tequila is often consumed after a meal as it can help the stomach.
Finally, a unique sugar called agavin is an appetite suppressor, which can help in weight loss. As well mention below, its extremely low in calories, too. However, you should refrain from making it the basis of your meal plan!
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Which Is The Smoothest Tequila
What is the smoothest tequila? The smoothest tequila is often regarded to be Ocho Añejo, an estate-grown spirit brand that also bears the title of the first ever Tequila vintage. The Añejo is rich and vegetal with notes of vanilla and caramel and is aged in ex-American whiskey barrels for one year.
Get The Right Vessels
With mezcal, you really only have two good options. The first is to get a copita, a vessel that looks like a wide bowl and is typically made of ceramic clay, glass, or even wood. The copitas wide opening is great for getting your nose closer to the mezcal so you can pick up the complexities of the aroma. Or if you prefer sipping, you can always go with a copper mug.
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How To Make Aejo Tequila On The Rocks
Start with a large clear ice cube or crushed ice in a rocks sized glass or whisky glass.
I like the Clearly Frozen large ice cube maker. Or just run crushed ice though your fridge ice maker.
Pour 2 oz. of Añejo Tequila over the ice. Give the tequila a stir around the ice.
Optionaladd an orange or lime coin to the drink. A coin is just a round piece of citrus peel.
Also optional, add 2 tiny drops of agave syrup. Give it a really good stir around the glass. It doesnt change the flavor of the drink, it just takes the initial bite out of the tequila. And adds a super subtle sweetness that pairs really nice with the vanilla-caramel finish of the Añejo.
How To Drink Tequila The Proper Way
When it comes to tequila, there are pretty much only two ways that Americans consume this spirit. Either by throwing it back quickly from a shot glass or in a margarita with the glass rimmed with salt and a lime slice. If youre shaking your head right now, then you need to forget everything that you know about drinking this ubiquitous booze and get ready to learn how to drink tequila like a pro.
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For Authenticity Try Tequila With A Chaser
If you really mean business when drinking tequila, go and see if you can find any sangrita. This is the only real chaser that goes well with tequila as far as Mexicans are concerned. Its sweet and spicy with a blend of citrus juices, hot sauce, and sometimes tomato juice. Pour sangrita into a small glass. In between sips of tequila, sip sangrita to cleanse your palate and bring out the tequilas peppery and citrusy taste.
Why Does Alcohol Go Bad
Three main factors can affect the quality of liquor over time: light, temperature, and air. If you store hard liquor away from direct light at a medium temperature it lasts forever. At 30-40 % ABV, liquor isnt a good habitat for bacteria. Without opening it there will be virtually no oxidation. Only when you open bottles will it begin to deteriorate if improperly stored.
Unlike wines or other liquors, such as cream liqueurs, tequila will not go bad. The only thing that will go bad in an alcoholic beverage is mainly the other ingredients.
For example, a cream liqueur going bad can be chalked up to food spoilage of the dairy product mixed in with the alcohol. If you have ever had spoiled milk then you know it tastes awful.
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