Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Colleen Graham is a beverage writer with over a decade of experience writing about cocktails and bartending. She has visited tequila distilleries in Mexico, tasted countless tequilas over the years, and wrote a book on the spirit.
Kate Dingwall, a sommelier and spirits writer, updated this roundup. She has been writing about wine and spirits for five years and has visited the Jalisco region over a dozen times. She has even harvested her own agave.
Tequila : Silver Vs Reposado Vs Anejo
When shopping for tequila do you get confused by the different terms used to describe them? Dont worry, you are not alone! There is a great deal of confusion around tequila as we have discovered from the questions we often hear.
The first usually centers around why some tequilas say they are made with agave while others say 100% agave. To be considered a tequila the product must use more than 50% agave, but many connoisseurs would say that to be a true tequila in their mind it has to be 100%. So keep an eye on the label, you can still find some good values made with 100% agave.
The second most common question centers around the difference between tequilas three major classifications: Silver , Reposado, and Anejo. Silver is the freshly distilled liquor that does not age at all.
Reposado is rested for anywhere between two and eleven months in oak barrels. Reposado tequilas get a faint brown or gold color naturally from the wood. Be wary of Gold tequilas that often use artificial coloring to make them appear aged.
Anejo means that the tequila is aged for more than a year in oak barrels. These tequilas are often darker in color and have settle vanilla or toasty notes from the barrels. They also have very smooth finishes.
Watch our brief video to for a bit more information:
Color Of Gold Vs Silver Tequila
The main difference which can be spotted almost immediately is the difference in color. Silver tequila has a clear transparent look which makes it appear as clear as water. The gold tequila has a brown almost caramel appearance as it is matured in barrels. The process makes the drink absorb a different color and flavor from the wood it is stored in.
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Casamigos Vs Patron Tequila: Whats The Difference
Casamigos and Patron are both made from the Blue Agave plant. But the main difference is that Patron is produced in Jalisco, Mexico while Casamigos is made in Oaxaca, Mexico. In addition, Patron is slightly more expensive than Casamigos. This is more likely because Patron is the more established brand between the two.
Suppose you are interested in knowing about the real difference between Casamigos and Patron. In that case, you are on the right page. Continue reading below for more valuable information.
Best Cheap: Sauza Silver Tequila
Budget tequilas are tricky, and it is very easy to get burned when you buy the wrong one. Sauza Silver is one that wont let you down or leave your mouth on fire. It may not be as smooth as top-shelf tequilas, but it is one of the best affordable options, and its in nearly every liquor store.
Sauza is distilled in the town of Tequila and right across the street from Jose Cuervo. While both brands are famous for their cheap gold tequilas, Sauzas 100 percent blue Weber agave silver tequila is a smoother option for tequila shots when you want to save money. It makes a nice margarita as well, particularly when blended with fruits like strawberry and pineapple.
Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Fresh agave, fiber, pepper | ABV: 40% |Region: Los Valles, Jalisco
Silver tequilas are unaged and the most affordable of any brands lineup. Tequila Herradura offers a brilliant example that should be almost anywhere you look. It is premium, but not priced out of reach for the average drinker, and it always produces a great tequila cocktail.
Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Cooked agave, citrus, black pepper | ABV: 40% | Region: Tequila Valley, Jalisco
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Best Reposado: Olmeca Tezn Reposado Tequila
Los Altos is a region of Jalisco, Mexico thats known for producing some amazing tequilas. Its home to the Olmeca Distillery, the makers of Tequila Tezòn. While all of the tequilas are very enjoyable, the brands reposado is superb.
Reposado tequilas are aged for three to nine months, so theyre gently rested and pick up a perfect amount of oak flavors. Tezòn also uses a tahona wheel to extract the juice from the agave, which is an old-fashioned approach that leads to a truer taste. The result is one of the best reposado tequilas on the market and one that anyone will enjoy drinking in any way they please.
Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Roasted agave, leather, pickles | ABV: 40% | Region: Jalisco
Reposado tequila is a great middle-ground for cocktails. The mellow aged flavor can make them a fantastic choice for palomas, tequila sodas, or on the rocks. Blaze LaRoe, Beverage Director at Chikatana
Before the tequila boom of the last couple of decades, gold tequila was almost the only choice at many liquor stores. This category is a mixto meaning that its distilled from agave plant varietals other than the famous blue Weber. While gold tequilas are not as popular as they once were, theres something appealing about their caramel taste and low price. Youll want to be smart about which to drink, and Two Fingers Gold Tequila is one of the best in this category.
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?
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How Do You Make A Margarita How Do You Make A Margarita
One of the best things about margaritas is that they are so versatile and customizable. You can make them with pretty much any flavor combination you can think of. When out at the bar, youll likely see the option for frozen margaritas, which are sugary and sweet and perfect for a hot summers day. But not all margaritas are like that!
Regular margaritas contain lime juice, tequila, and salt or sugar around the rim, with other flavors as well. Many people like to play with the flavor profiles of different recipes and create margaritas using fresh juice and fruit wedges. Tequila also pairs well with spice, making things like jalapeno and cayenne popular additions.
Other than that, they are typically fruit-based drinks. The basic things you will need to make a margarita on the rocks is silver tequila, limes, salt or sugar, and some sort of flavoring . They also frequently contain triple sec or Cointreau for an extra boost of flavor.
Start by rimming your cup dab it in lime juice or water, and then add your coarse salt or sugar. Many people consider margaritas made best in a shaker, so add your ice, all your ingredients, and get to shaking. Pour into your glass and enjoy! Once youve mastered the single-serving margarita, consider trying big batch options or more unique flavor profiles for your next party.
Which Is The Smoothest Tequila
The smoothest tequila is going to be the one that is most agedextra añejo tequila. The dark mahogany of extra añejo feels like cool liquid caramel on the tongue and tastes extraordinary. Nice, right?
Now, heres something to think about: what is the smoothest tequila for shots?
Well, thats really up to you. Keep in mind that one of the main differences between gold and silver tequila is the taste. Since white tequila is sharper and more acidic, it is going to burn when you take a shot of it. Meanwhile, gold tequila is gentle, almost soothing, in its flavors. So, if you want to take pleasant shots and not go scrambling for the nearest chaser, choose a gold tequila.
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Tequila : What Exactly Is Considered Tequila
There are certain regulations defining tequila, which are meant to protect this distinctly Mexican spirit. It can only be made from blue Weber agave, and while most tequila is made in the state of Jalisco, it can also be produced in Michoacan, Tamaulipas, Nayarit, and Guanajuato. A mixto contains at least 51 percent agave, the rest being sugar and additives, but the tequilas in this list are all 100 percent agave spirits. It is legal to add a very small amount of color or flavor to tequila . You can definitely taste the additives in some brands, but not so much in others. If you are curious to find out more about this, heres a good list to get you started down the additive rabbit hole.
As far as production, some distilleries use more traditional methods to produce tequila-like brick ovens to roast the agave pinas and a tahona stone to crush it, while others use something called a diffuser. This modern and efficient piece of equipment basically strips the sugars from the agave by blasting it with hot water and sometimes also using acid or chemicals. The result is what tequila aficionados derisively call agavodka, claiming that the flavor has chemical notes, or at worst is just neutral. Diffuser-made tequilas are more likely to have additives, but that is not always the case.
Gold Vs Silver Tequila
The difference between Gold Tequila and Silver Tequila is that Gold Tequila is not purely made of the blue agave plant but it is a mix that is less than 100% agave and it is distilled into alcohol while silver Tequila is distilled in stainless steel storage containers and the total concentration can be either be 100% agave or a very close mix.
Silver Tequila is also called white tequila.
|Tequila gold is often more costly||Silver tequila is comparatively cheap and more pocket friendly|
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Is White Or Gold Tequila Better
Its truly your preference and how you like to drink your tequila . In the gold vs silver tequila argument, clear tequila comes out on top for margaritas. That extra bite alongside the orange liqueur and lime juice really makes a margarita popespecially when youre whipping up a frozen one. That said, some people truly prefer the flavors of gold tequila.
Gold or silver tequila for shots is a coin flip. Clear tequila can be horribly cheap and painful to drink, but if you want to get buzzed on a budget, it could work. Gold, depending on the quality, goes down much easier, but you might have to put out some extra money.
If you want to sip your tequila without any mixers, opt for reposado or añejo tequila. Again, that tang of clear tequila can make sipping difficult, whereas aged tequilas go down like a fine wine.
There’s A Great Tequila For Every Taste And Budget
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Whether you enjoy tequila shots or want to mix up a great , todays tequila market offers many excellent choices. Blanco tequilas are the most versatile and often preferred because they cost less, while the aged tequilasreposado and añejoare a nice upgrade worthy of the occasional splurge. For most styles, the best tequilas include the words “100 percent Blue Weber Agave” on the label, and you will pay a little extra for premium brands, but the majority of these are relatively affordable.
That means there’s no need to hesitate about mixing any of these best tequilas into your favorite cocktails.
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What Are Popular Tequila Cocktails
When it comes to classic Tequila cocktails, there are just three you need to know. Master the recipes for the Margarita, the Paloma, and the Tequila Sunrise, and you’ll be welcome at any party. Plus, you can always substitute Tequila for other spirits in favorite cocktails like the or .
Here are some of the best Tequila cocktail recipes:
Sauza Lives Right Next Door To Its Worst Enemy
OK, maybe worst enemy is a stretch, and main market competitor is a more accurate term, but like Casa Sauza, we went for juicy. Sauzas La Perseverancia distillery is a mere six-minute walk from Jose Cuervo. And to say Cuervo and Sauza havent mixed well is understatement. Theres even a rumor that Don Cenobios son, Don Eladio, shot and killed a Cuervo on the streets of Tequila in the 1900s. But wait, theres more
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Find Your Tequila Flavor Profile
Understanding the nuances of each of these Mexican spirits is what will elevate your tequila tasting experience to the next level. Whether you want the purest expression of agaves natural aromas in a blanco, a more complex tequila that balances out the agave with other warm flavors in a reposado, or a premium tequila with a rich, distinctive flavor profile in an añejo head on over to PaQui and find a store near you.
So Which Kind Works Better In Margaritas
Now, to finally answer the question at hand: which is better for making a margarita? While at the end of the day, it really is your preference, mixologists and tequila experts agree that there is a better choice when it comes to tequila for margaritas.
The tequila winner across the board for margaritas is silver or white . This is because silver tequila ages for the shortest amount of time, giving it the strongest and purest taste so it can cut through the other flavorings that youre adding.
When you use silver tequila for margaritas, you are getting a pure tequila taste, which will blend well with other flavorings and mixes. People prefer to sip on gold tequila rather than diluting it into mixed drinks because it has a more unique flavor profile.
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The Sauza Familys Legacy Lives On In More Tequila Brands
When he wasnt being briefly disowned, Don Francisco was doing good work within the business, including launching Hornitos under the Casa Sauza umbrella in 1950.
He also started the more upscale Tres Generaciones label in 1973 to celebrate three generations of Sauza family success in the tequila industry. Later, Guillermo Sauza, grandson to Don Francisco, relaunched the Fortaleza brand, in 2005. A bartender favorite, Fortaleza is the last Sauza family-owned distillery.
What Is Tequila
Just as French law states that champagne can only be made in the Champagne region of France using specific ingredients and methods, Mexican laws detail what is and is not a tequila. These laws are recognized by more than 40 countries through various trade agreements.
Mexican guidelines state that tequila must meet the following guidelines:
- Tequila can only be distilled from only the blue agave plant.
- Tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
Fun fact! The name tequila comes from the city of Tequila, which was established in 1666, though tequila was produced long before the town was born.
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How Is It Made
Most Blanco or Silver tequilas are bottled right after being distilled twice or thrice in some cases. Herradura Silver is aged for 45 days in oak barrels after distillation. This short rest imprints a light straw color in the tequila making it not as clear as other Blanco tequilas.
Herradura Silver is crafted with a traditional method by cooking agaves in old clay ovens, as opposed to autoclaves, which is the norm among tequila producers nowadays.