Silver Blanco And Plata
Silver mezcal or tequila is probably the most well-known, and it typically appears perfectly clear in the bottle. It has only aged for a few months, so it doesnt have time to develop the color and characteristics that come from a longer aging process. Silver distilled agave is great to drink on its own, but its great for mixed drinks as well. It will typically taste sweeter and more refreshing, with a smooth, silky finish.
Best For Sipping: El Tesoro Aejo
Courtesy of leesliquorlv.com
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Citrus, Spice, Brown butter
Like any fine spirit served neat, a good sipping tequila should be smooth, velvety, and nonabrasivebut, simultaneously, should still taste like tequila, rather than trying to mimic the characteristics of whiskey, or vodka, or anything else.
The añejo from El Tesoro is a classically-styled tequila that checks all those boxes: it’s soft and silky, a result of two to three years of aging in American oak ex-bourbon barrels, but it’s not as flush with caramel or vanilla as certain añejos that receive a more heavy-handed aging treatment. Consequently, the flavor of the agave really comes throughno surprise for a brand that prides itself on traditional production methods, from crushing the agave with a volcanic stone tahona to fermenting in open wooden vats with ambient yeasts. The El Tesoro añejo is an ideal choice the next time you’re craving the vibrancy of raw agave character without wanting to bother with ice or with lime.
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Cinnamon, Olives, Grapefruit peel
What Are The Different Types Of Tequila
Tequila is classified according to the length of time the spirit was aged. As Tequila ages, it goes from a young Blanco to a more mature Añejo. During the aging process, the Tequilas color and flavors deepen, and the spirit develops a smoother taste.
Here is a deeper dive into the five types of Tequila:
- Blanco Tequila, more commonly known as silver Tequila, can be bottled immediately or aged up to two months and is the purest flavor of Tequila because it contains no added flavoring agents and is the best representation of the blue agave plants natural sweetness
- Joven Tequila, or more commonly referred to as gold Tequila, derives its name from the golden color imparted upon the liquid from agents that add flavor to the Tequila beyond the blue agave plant
- Reposado Tequila is aged for two to 12 months in an oak container, giving it time to turn a pale golden color
- Añejo Tequila, where añejo means “aged,” spends one to three years in an oak barrel similar to the ones used for aging whiskey or wine. It gets smoother, darker and the taste is sweeter thanks to the barrel
- Extra Añejo Tequila is barrel-aged for more than three years. The spirit becomes a dark amber color, and the flavor is rich with nuts, caramel, fruit, and spice, similar to whiskey or an older rum.
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Is Aejo Tequila Good For Margaritas
Yes, you can pour añejo in your margarita making it smoky, spicy and sweeter. Consider the fact that añejo will give your cocktail an amber hue making it look different than a traditional margarita.
I would rather choose a reposado for my next margarita. Reposados are cheaper and mix better with most cocktails.
Comiteco 9 Guardianes Agave Distillate
Liquor.com / Tim Nusog
The agave spirit from Comitán de Domínguez, Chiapas, is made by distilling fermented agave sap, called aguamiel. The locals long collected the sap to make pulque, a sort of beer. Eventually, they started distilling it. Comiteco production grew and industrialized in the early 20th century when volumes were competitive with tequila. When the industry ran out of agave in the 1960s, Comiteco was banned until agave populations could recover.
After more than 50 years in hibernation, Comiteco is back. In the glass, its like rum mixed with grass, smoke and baked agave. Bartenders love the strange set of flavors that you cant quite put your finger on. Is it a rum, aguardiente, mezcal? With hints of all three, its something newyet centuries old.
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What Is Aejo Tequila Best For
Añejo makes a great sipper. This is a tequila meant to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, although it can be used for mixing.
The lengthy period spent in contact with the wooden barrel provides añejo a distinctive deep amber hue along with a smoky, spicy and sweet flavor with marked vanilla and caramel notes making it a pleasing pour. If you enjoy drinking bourbon whiskey you will make an easy transition to tequila, but I can assure you that agave spirits are superior to corn-based spirits more on that later.
Good distillers mature tequila in small barrels so more of the liquid enters in contact with the wood.
Mexican Revolution To Present
Opposition to the Díaz regime was not organized in the state with only isolated groups of miners, students and professionals staging strikes and protests. Presidential challenger visited Guadalajara twice, once in 1909 to campaign and the other in 1910 to organize resistance to the Díaz regime. During the , most of the rural areas of the state supported , with uprisings in favor of this army in Los Altos, Mascota, Talpa, Cuquío, Tlajomulco, Tala, Acatlán, Etzatlán, Hostotipaquillo, Mazamitla, Autlán, Magdalena, San Andrés and other places. However, these were isolated incidences and did not coalesce into an organized army to confront the federal government. Carranza vied for power in the state with and during the early part of the war with skirmishes among the various forces, especially between those loyal to Carranza and Villa.
In 1914, Carranza supporter Manuel M. Diéguez was named governor of Jalisco. Diéguez persecuted the clergy, confiscated the property of the rich and imprisoned or executed the supporters of , whose forces he had pushed out of the city. Villa forced Diéguez to flee and released imprisoned clergy, but he too took money from the rich to give to the poor in exchange for their support. However, by April 1915, Carranza’s forces were on the rise again, pushing Villa’s forces out and reinstating Diéguez as governor.
During this time, the modern was founded in 1926, but it was closed in 1933, then reopened in 1939.
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El Nivel Ghost Pepper
Retail Price: $54.95 / 750mL
No pain, no gain. Every glass flask of El Nivel is crafted, labeled and sealed by hand, making each a unique piece that would feel equally at home in an art gallery as on the top shelf of your home bar. Photo courtesy of El Nivel
Were not sure if the makers of El Nivel have a wry sense of humor, but their marketing materials tout their ghost pepper-flavored tequila as designed to reflect the flavors of Mexican candya little sweet, a little spicy. We know we didnt grow up sucking on ghost peppers, but to each his own this is not your fathers Jolly Rancher.
Either way, El Nivel Ghost Pepper is perfect for the tequila lover who thinks theyve tasted it all. The agave grows on historic archaeological sites just outside of Unión de Tula, Jalisco, where agave has been growing for hundreds of years. Worth taste-testers felt the Ghost Pepper varietal was best appreciated over ice, but feel free to enjoy it straight as well if you are feeling particularly adventurous. On an inhale, sweet deep notes of fresh agave burst out of the bottle, giving way to a deliciously smooth, rich and, quite frankly, creamy taste profile with a big bite that lingers.
Tears Of Llorona Extra Aejo
Tears of Llorona is a top-notch dram crafted by Germán González one of Mexicos best masters distillers.
González uses extra mature agaves for this tequila guaranteeing sweetness. After distillation Tears of Llorona is matured for 4 and a half years in Scotch, sherry and cognac barrels in three batches to later me mixed creating a wonderful blend.
Nose: agave, oak, toffee and vanilla.
Palate: perfectly consistent with the nose. You sip what you inhale!
Finish: smooth, pleasant and leaving you craving for more.
Price: around $275 USD
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Why Is There A Worm In Tequila
No bottle of tequila will ever have a worm. The worms might show up in a bottle of mezcal, but not always. True tequila, produced under the regulations set by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila, A.C. in Mexico control the standards. No worms. Mezcal on the other hand, may have a worm put in the bottle purely as a marketing gimmick – and it seems to be working. You looked.
Are All Tequilas Made Of 100 Percent Blue Weber Agave
Nearly all premium tequilas are made entirely from blue Weber agave , but there’s another category of tequila called “mixto” in which blue Weber agave need only compose 51 percent of the spirit. Producers utilize various types of sugar to make up the remaining percentage, including high fructose corn syrup and molassesalthough sometimes a lightly processed Mexican cane sugar known as piloncillo is what’s used. If your bottle doesn’t indicate on the label that it’s made from 100 percent agaveand if the price is on the lower end of the spectrumthere’s a good chance that you’re dealing with a mixto. While less expensive, these tequilas don’t reflect a historically anthentic approach to the composition of the spirit.
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You Can Buy Tequila That Has Been Aged For Over A Decade
Three years might seem like a long aging time for tequila, but one of the oldest extra añejos currently for sale is actually 11 years old, and will run you upwards of $1000. Its made from 100% organic blue agave and aged in French oak. A wonderful gift for the obsessive tequila lover in your life?
They’re Produced In Different Regions
While there is some geographical overlap, tequila and mezcal primarily come from different regions of Mexico. According to McEvoy, tequila is produced in five places: Michoacán, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Jalisco, which is where the actual town of Tequila is located.
Conversely, mezcal is produced in nine different areas of Mexico. The include include Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacán, Puebla and Oaxaca, which is where upwards of 85 percent of all mezcal is made.
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Whats The Price Of Aejo Tequila
Añejo tequila is pricey, as you might expect the time spent in the barrel consumes resources and requires additional real estate making it more expensive than silver and reposado.
Expect to find añejos in a wide price range starting at $35 USD and all the way up to $500 USD. The solid options start at around $50 USD.
Gracias A Dios Espadn Mezcal Artesanal
Retail Price: $53 / 750mL
Gracias a Dios pays homage to daily gratitude and reminding oneself of lifes beauty. Photo courtesy Gracias a Dios
Gracias a Dios Espadín Mezcal Artesanal is a fantastic mezcal. Its smoky, dry flavor can be attributed the various Espadín and other agave piña varieties used in its assemblage. The mezcal is fermented at the Gracias a Dios palenque located in Santiago Matatlán and then distilled in copper by maestro mezcalero Oscar Hernández Santiago.
Outside of the tequila production, the team at Gracias a Dios takes pride in its conservancy activism, with about 2,200 mesquite trees being planted each year, with an expectation to plant 10,000 trees from 2020 and on. Gracias a Dios also contributes to its local community by donating adobe blocks made from the maguey and tree waste, which can be used for construction material. The company also provides their employees with 25 percent above the standard daily salary in Matatlán, as well as insurance, hot water and dorms for their workers.
The Gracias a Dios flavor opens with a slight smokiness and spice thats followed by a fruity flavor, finishing dry and spiced. It can be enjoyed as a mixer, on ice or neat.
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What Is Tequila Made From
Tequila is made by distilling the fermented juices of the Weber blue agave plant . A member of the lily family, it looks like a giant aloe vera with spiked barbs on the tips. After seven to 10 years of growth, the agave plant is ready to be harvested.
Underground, the plant produces a large bulb called a piña, which looks similar to a white pineapple. The agave’s leaves are removed and the piñas are quartered and slowly baked in steam or brick ovens until the starches are converted to sugars. The baked agave is crushed to extract the sweet juice, which is then fermented with yeast to convert the sugar into alcohol.
In 1978, the tequila industry initiated a set of strict Appellation of Origin standards. These regulate where and how tequila can be made, what is on the label, the style of tequila, and what can legally take the name “tequila.” NOM-006-SCFI-2012 defines these rules and it is overseen by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila .
Tequila can only be produced, bottled, and inspected within certain municipalities of five Mexican states: Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacan, and Tamaulipas. Jalisco is home to the town of Tequila and is where the majority of modern tequila production takes place.
Tequila is distilled in either pot or column stills until it reaches around 110 proof. Before bottling, the distillate is cut with water to obtain the bottling strength. Tequilas are usually 38 to 40 percent alcohol by volume but may not be stronger than 50 percent ABV .
Tears Of Llorona No 3 Extra Aejo Tequila
Retail Price: $219.99 / 750mL
Portions of the distillers cut of this Extra Añejo are aged separately in scotch barrels, sherry casks and cognac barrels for five years before coming together to make the golden nectar that is Tears of Llorona No. 3 Extra Añejo. Photo courtesy of Tears of Llorona
Tears of Llorona No. 3 Extra Añejo Tequila is something to behold. Sourced in the volcanic soil surrounding Atotonilco in the highlands of Jalisco, Tears of Lloronas Blue Weber agave hearts are slow roasted and shredded into aguamiel, a viscous honey-like dew, which is then fermented with a proprietary strain of yeast before being twice distilled through copper pot stills. Unlike most tequilas, half of each Tears of Llorona batch is aged in scotch barrels, a quarter in sherry casks and another quarter in cognac barrelsall for five years before being mixed together.
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Azulana Sparkling Tequila Original
Retail Price: $15.39 / 4 pack of 12 oz cans
A portion of each purchase of every pack of Azulana Sparkling Tequila is donated to charities dedicated to supporting working jimadors living in Mexico. Photo courtesy of Azulana
What could be better than tequila in a can?
If there was ever a legitimate candidate that could be the White Claw killer, we believe it is Azulanas Sparkling Tequila. The canned cocktail is made with 100 percent blue agave tequila and sparkling soda and naturally sweetened with agave syrup. Produced in Jalisco, the canned tequila company originally launched out of Los Angeles in 2019 with a promise to donate 8 percent of their profits to non-profit initiatives supporting jimadors and their families living in Mexico. A more than worthy excuse to splurge on its three different flavors: Original, Lime and Pineapple Rosemary. Each can of Azulana Sparkling Tequila is gluten- and impurity-free.
Best For Margaritas: Casa Dragones Blanco
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Herbaceous, Green peppercorn, Anise
Instead of sipping this high-end tequila, Volfson recommends trying it in a margarita. A margarita is about the relationship of three ingredients: tequila, triple sec, and limes,” she says. This tequila from Maestra Tequilera Bertha González Nieves gives off flavors of soft herbaceousness and grassy garden crispness, green peppercorn and fennel seed, cardamom, anise seed, and a bit of juiciness, which Volfson feels mingle well with the bright cirtus character of the triple sec and lime juice.
“The layers of orange blossom in Casa Dragones, along with the orange in the triple sec, brings together the drinks fruitinessthe recipe doesnt need as much lime juice as others, so it showcases the spirits with each other. Yana Volfson, beverage manager at Cosme and ATLA restaurants in New York
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Mezcal And Tequila Are Made From Agave
Neither mezcal nor tequila are made from a cactus, a pineapple, corn, potatoes, aloe vera and much less worms both spirits are made with agave.
There is a phrase that says: all tequilas are mezcal but not all mezcals are tequila. And its completely true because both Mexican drinks come from the agave plant.
However, there are varieties and, above all, there are specifications that establish the different denominations of origin that determine from the official regions where mezcals or tequilas must be produced to the production processes and the different types.
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Classic Bread Stuffing Recipe
Heres a hopefully handy reference to tequila terminology.
Mixto: You wont find this word on the bottle label, but if you dont see 100% De Agave then youve got a mixto. This type of tequila is distilled from a mix of at least 51% sugars deriving from the blue agave plant along with other sugars such as cane sugar. Mixto tequilas are inexpensive and include some of the most popular-selling tequilas, like Jose Cuervo Gold and Sauza.
100% De Agave or 100% Puro De Agave: These tequilas are distilled completely from fermented, distilled blue agave. They are more expensive but considered superior to mixtos in quality and flavor. 100% agave tequila brands include Patron, Herradura, Don Julio, and Cazadores.
Either mixto or 100% agave tequila may fall into one of the following aging categories:
Blanco, White, Plata, Platinum, or Silver: Usually unaged, but sometimes aged for less than two months in barrels. They are clear in color. Gold, Oro, or Joven: Most gold tequilas are mixto tequilas , adulterated with colorants or flavorings. However there are just a couple of joven tequilas that are 100% agave tequilas , in which a blanco tequila is mixed with older tequila to add color or flavor.
Reposado: Tequila aged from between two months to one year in oak containers. These can be large vats or small barrels.
Anejo: Tequila aged for a minimum of one year in oak containers not larger than 600 liters.
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