There Are 5 Types Of Tequila But Do You Know The Difference
You may think that there are only two types of tequila: cheap tequila that will cripple you with a debilitating hangover that will make you feel like youve devoured two dozen cotton balls and a herd of elephants had danced on your head or ultra-premium and ultra-expensive tequila that will drain your bank account. But there are actually five different types of tequila and there are differences between how they are made and how they are aged.
Tequila has some of the toughest regulations and can only be made in certain parts of Mexico. In order for a liquor to be classified as tequila, it must be produced in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, which includes the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. There are two basic categories of tequila are 100% agave, which only has the sugars of the blue agave plant, and mixto , which uses no less than 51% agave, with other sugars such as glucose and fructose sugars as the remainder. In those two categories, there are five types of tequila are blanco , joven , reposado , añejo and extra añejo .
Easy: Reposado Perfect Manhattan
Tequila can have a bit of spice to itso were playing that up with just a bit of 100-proof rye, along with both sweet and dry vermouth for an elegant Manhattan version that has a real bite. Delicious and sophisticated.
Instructions: In a mixing glass with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of reposado tequila, 1/2 ounce 100-proof rye , 1/2 an ounce of sweet vermouth and 1/2 an ounce of dry vermouth. Add 1 dash of Angostura bitters. Stir until well-chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a big twist of lime peel and a thin peel of lemon.
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Best From Tequila Valley: Fortaleza Tequila Reposado
“Valley tequilas have this ka-bam quality, says Mix. This one from Fortaleza delivers the personality in spades. Off the nose, you get overripe tropical fruit aromas, she describes, and then the palate pops with flavors of lemon, a bit of cardamom, and plenty of black pepper, which cuts through the cinnamon and vanilla of the barrel. A bottle of it provides all of the characteristics you want in a reposado. The beautiful thing about fall is we can make richer, citrusy cocktails, like a sour, but with some robustness, says Mix. When youre mixing an autumnal sour, this is the tequila to reach for.
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Tequilas Classifications Are All In The Aging
The five official classifications of tequila are determined by the time the tequila spends aging in barrels. Blanco is un-aged tequila that is bottled shortly after distillation, although it can be kept in stainless steel tanks for a few weeks before bottling. Joven is blanco tequila that is either blended with a little bit of aged tequila or aged for just a few weeks before bottling. Reposado is aged for between 60 and 364 days . Anejo is aged for at least one year, but less than three years. And extra anejo, the most recently added classification, is aged for at least three years.
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What Are The Best Anejo Tequilas
The 7 Best Añejo Tequilas to Sip in 2021
- Best Overall: Don Julio 1942 at reservebar.com.
- Best Under $30: Don Sergio Añejo Tequila at drizly.com.
- Best Under $50: Cazadores Tequila Añejo at reservebar.com.
- Best Extra Añejo: El Tesoro Extra Añejo at reservebar.com.
- Best for Sipping: Casa Noble Añejo Tequila at reservebar.com.
Best Splurge: Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
Courtesy of Drizly.com
“Ive always gravitated towards this reposado, says Easterbrook. Clase Azul’s ultra-premium tequila is made traditionally, with agave cooked in stone ovens and twice distilled in copper pot stills, then aged eight months in oak barrels.
Dark amber in color, it leans more toward the sweet side, so its great for drinkers who like the fruitier aspects of the agave. Bananas, pears, and pineapples is what I get, says Easterbrook, who prefers to sip it neat. If youre searching for a showpiece to jazz up your bar, this tequila’s uniquely shaped, hand-painted ceramic bottle looks stunning on the shelf.
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Best 100% Agave: Partida Reposado Tequila
Courtesy of Partido
Tequila Partida’s estate-grown crowd-pleaserone of Mixs favoritescomes from the Tequila Valley, where it is distilled from 7- to 10-year-old agave that has matured to full ripeness and complexity. Aged in reclaimed whiskey barrels for up to a year, it offers a floral nose with a caramelly and creamy flavor that resolves into a butter-and-honey smoothness and a spicy agave finish.
Though its lovely to sip with a single, large ice cube, its also dynamite in both summer highballs and strong, wintery drinks. If you like it, you might also try the distillerys new reposado expression, Roble Fino, aged in used sherry casks.
How Is Tequila Made
While grapes, wheat, or corn can be harvested a few months to a few years later before being processed and distilled into alcohol, the blue agave plants used to make tequila are different. They take about 10 years to grow before theyre ready to be harvested for tequila.
The labor-intensive harvesting is done by hand by agave farmers known as jimadores. Here are the main steps for turning agave into tequila:
- Agave harvesting: When ready to be harvested, the spiny leaves and roots are cut off the main plant body, called the agave heart or piña, which goes to processing.
- Process the agave: The hearts are slowly baked, which can sometimes take days. The slow cooking reduces caramelization and prevents the juices from turning bitter, thus maintaining the flavor of the agave.
- Crush the agave: Afterwards, the cooked hearts are crushed to release their sugary juices. This can be done by a mechanical crusher and grinder, or by the traditional way using a volcanic stone wheel called a tahona. Historically, a mule pulled the tahona, but these days an electric motor does the job. In theory, this slower practice of extracting agave nectar that will be fermented and distilled creates a more robust and complex flavor.
- Ferment the agave into tequila: The extracted juices are then fermented and twice-distilled as dictated by regulations. The distilled alcohol can then be bottled straight away or aged in wooden containers.
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What Does Cazadores Reposado Tequila Mean
Cazadores Reposado Tequila meaning in Drink Dictionary
Tequila Casadores is produced with 100per cent blue agave, hand selected from 10-12 year-old mature plants, that are organically cultivated inthe heart for the Loa Altos area of Jalisco, Mexico. This area, recognized for its perfect earth and environment, produces the best possible blue agave readily available.The best possible Kentucky oak barrels are acclimatized to age the tequila. Resting in oak, imparts the all-natural silver shade and contributes to the delightful and energizing aroma and flavor. No other tequila at any cost, can compare towards the smootness and wealthy personality of Tequila Casadores.Tequila Casadores is meticulously crafted in a manner that takes times. The fermentation procedure takes 2-3 times longer than most producers because no sugars or fungus is included. The tequila will be double distilled in cooking pot stills, using almost three times longer than various other tequila producers.Casadores outsells all sorts of tequila in Mexico, including Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo.
Sipped Neat And Versatile In Cocktails This Spirit Can Do It All
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Theres a reason bar industry experts gravitate towards reposado tequila. Meaning rested, reposado sits for at least two months, but generally less than a year, in the barrel. Most oftentimes, theyre American oak casks that once held whiskey. Its like the VSOP of tequila, aged but not too aged, with some wood but not overly decadent, says Ivy Mix, owner of New York’s Leyenda and author of “Spirits of Latin America.” She quotes Carlos Camarena, master distiller of Jalisco La Alteña distillery, where Tequila Ocho is made: He says aging is supposed to be like a picture frame, and in this case, the picture is of agave. You dont want the frame to overtake the picture but to bring out best attributes and highlight them.
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Understanding The Differences In Types Of Tequila
Tequila is made from the distillation of the juice from the blue agave plant. Pure tequila, made solely from the agave plant, begins its life in fermentation vessels. Mixto tequila must first be mixed with sugar or molasses before fermentation begins. Then, depending on the subsequent process, the tequila will become one of the following five types.
What Is The Best Tequila For Margaritas
For margaritas, youll want to choose a lighter-flavored tequila, like a reposado or blanco tequila. Aged tequilas will give your margarita an oaky-caramel flavor. Which isnt bad, but it does make for an expensive cocktail.
My favorite tequila for margaritas? Patron Silver. You could also go with mezcal if you prefer something smokier.
Mezcal is similar to tequila but where mezcal can be made from over 30 types of agave plants, tequila can only come from the blue agave. Basically, all tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila.
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Whats The Best Tequila For A Cadillac Margarita
Taste is subjective, and everybody has their own idea of the best tequila. Personal budgets are a factor as well. For some people, a $30 bottle of tequila is a luxury, whereas others might consider tequilas over $50 to be top-shelf. The simplest recommendation is to pour the premium tequila that is a luxury to you. After all, youre the one drinking the Cadillac margarita, so you should enjoy it and be comfortable with the amount of money you spend.
Best For Margaritas: Artenom 1414 Reposado Tequila
Courtesy of Drizly.com
“Some tequilas are so light that they just get lost if you make a drink with them, says Easterbrook. Bold and full-bodied, ArteNom’s reposado doesnt have that problem. When you add it to a drink, you can still get that agave flavor, he says, and it stands up to the sweetener and citrus. That makes for the perfect , which, after all, is a marriage of the three. Youre getting sweet, sour, and tequila all in one sip, says Easterbrook. Its just delicious. Still, it doesnt lack versatility, so you can use this one in any version of the cocktail you choose to make: on the rocks, up, with a salt rim, or even frozen and with flavorings.
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In Simplest Terms The Difference Is Their Age
Blanco is aged 0-2 months, reposado 2-11 months, añejo 1-3 years, and extra añejo 3+ years. This refers to the amount of time the tequila spends in oak barrels before it is bottled. Storing a bottle of reposado for a year does not make it an añejo. How long the spirit has had to interact with oak is what we are measuring.
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Why Is Some Tequila Gold And Some Clear
There are two reasons why gold tequila has its distinctive color. One reason is that it has been aged in barrels and gradually absorbed the color and flavor of the wood. If you are looking at a lower-quality and less expensive gold tequila, then it is likely that caramel or other coloring was added to the liquor.
Sometimes Theres Barrel Aging
The most commonly used barrels for aging tequila are American and French oak, but other types are used as well to impart different flavors into the tequila as it rests. These include bourbon, Cognac, wine, and sherry casks.
As the tequila sits in a barrel, it cycles in and out of the wood, picking up color and flavor. Thats why aged tequilas are amber or golden, while blanco is clear.
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Difference Between Anejo And Reposado
Tequila came into existence in the 16th century. It is a fermented beverage from the plant agave pinas. The place where Tequila was made for the first time is now known as the city of Tequila, Mexico. It was first produced on a large scale by Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle in Jalisco.
This indigenous drink was first exported to the United States by Don Cenobio Sauza, who founded the Sauza Tequila. Then the Mexican Government declared Tequila as its intellectual property in the year 1974. Now there are over 2000 brands worldwide producing Tequila. The original Tequila from the agave plant was ordered never to be flavored, unlike the other flavored tequilas available.
Different Types Of Tequila
Have you ever stopped to think about what Tequila is and where it originated? Tequila is made from the distillation of the juice from the blue agave plant. The main two types of Tequila are split into two categories, Pure Tequila, made solely from 100% Blue Agave, and Tequila Mixto that is mixed with sugar or molasses before fermentation begins.
With over a thousand Tequila brands to choose from, it helps to know the different types of Tequila and the special categories they fall into.
Silver Tequila, sometimes referred to as Blanco, Platinum, or White is rarely aged more than a couple of weeks, making it the purest form of Tequila. It can be bottled directly after distillation or stored in stainless steel tanks to settle for up to 4 weeks. It is often considered the best type of Tequila to use in mixed drinks and is commonly seen in margaritas.
Gold Tequila is typically a Mixto, that gets its color from caramel coloring added to the Tequila before fermentation. If the brand doesnt state 100% agave, it added coloring and sugar to obtain the gold color. Gold Tequilas are not typically aged, and usually contains only about 51% agave Tequila. Sometimes 100% agave gold Tequila is made by combining silver Tequila and an aged Tequila, such as Reposado or Añejo. Since quality aged Tequila has a gold hue, the addition of the coloring was a marketing tactic to improve ones perspective of cheaper brands.
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The Difference Between Blanco Reposado And Aejo Tequila Explained
There are three major classifications of 100% agave tequila: Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo. The flavors of each of these tequila types are largely affected by how they are distilled and how long they are aged in oak barrels.
Each flavor is uniquely suited for a different type of drinking, from mixing and making cocktails, to savoring and enjoying on their own. To revel in the full flavor and enjoyment of each tequila, we have put together a list on the differences between blanco, reposado and añejo tequila and how to best savor each drinking experience.
What Is The Smoothest Tequila For Shots
10 Best Tequilas for Margaritas and Shots in 2021
- Best Overall: Casamigos Blanco Tequila at Drizly.
- Best Top-Shelf: Milagro Añejo Tequila at Drizly.
- Best Cheap: Sauza Silver Tequila at Drizly.
- Best Mid-Priced: Herradura Silver Tequila at Drizly.
- Best Añejo: Don Julio Añejo Tequila at Drizly.
- Best Blanco/Silver: Espolòn Blanco at Drizly.
- Best Reposado:
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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.
Blood Orange Cinnamon Margarita Recipe
This sweet and spicy twist on the classic Margarita is perfect for summer sipping or for fall lounging. The original recipe calls for Bribon Tequila Blanco, but substituting in Bribon Tequila Reposado gives the drink deep vanilla notes.
2 ounces Bribon Tequila Reposado1/2 ounce fresh lime juice3/4 ounce fresh blood orange juice3/4 ounce cinnamon syrup1 blood orange slice
Add all the ingredients to a shaker. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain over fresh ice into a Margarita glass. Garnish with a blood orange slice.
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