How Is Tequila Produced
Making tequila is a long and detailed process that requires a mix of craftsmanship, patience and a little bit of luck. Patrón employs a seven-step process that could take up to three years before the tequila is ready.
To start, agave plants are harvested by hand in the Jalisco Highlands, using farms that pass the Mexican Tequila Regulatory Councils yes, its a thing strict standards. The agave can only be harvested at a precise time to give off the optimal amount of sweetness without being too tart, bitter or bland. If the agave is cut from the ground too early or too late, it will compromise the quality of the tequila being produced. The ideal ripeness of agave is somewhere between six to eight years thats when the plant has optimal sugar content.
After the agave is selected and harvested, it is taken to the distillery where it is slowly cooked. The hearts of the agave plant are put in brick ovens and steamed to bring out the natural sugars of the plant . After baking for 79 hours, Patrón uses a time-honored tahona process that then takes the roasted agave and places it into a giant pit, where a large stone wheel is used to break down the agave to extract the juice.
If youre going to buy tequila, heres what you need to know:
1. Its Not Tequila if its Not Produced in the Tequila Region
All tequila comes from the Tequila region of Mexico, and in order for a spirit to call itself tequila, it must be distilled from agave plants grown in that region.
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My romance with agave and Aztec culture began as a teenager in the 90s while growing up in Eastside San Jose, Californiawhere I enrolled in Mexican and Aztec studies at local colleges to understand the history, language, and mythology, Quiñonez says. Im a first-generation Nicaragüense and I was raised in a diverse and culturally rich community dominated by hard working Mexicanos from Jalisco, Guanajuato, and Michoacán. My first experiences with tequila were mainly during celebratory and joyful occasions: family gatherings, weddings, and holidays. And the brands that resonated with my early years were Chinaco, Siete Leguas, and Tres Magueyes, because they had always represented quality and tradition.
It’s officially margarita season. Make sure to make yours with quality tequilaor a superb mezcal, … if you’re looking for a smoky kick.
Today, Quiñones is still in the spirits industry, but shes made the leap to become her own boss: Shes now the CEO and founder of her own boutique consulting firm, which specializes in global route-to-market strategiesfocusing on agave-based beverages, cannabis, and the multi-cultural luxury world at large, where she works only on projects and clients she truly believes in.
Rebecca Quiñonez’s curated list is a tribute to the legacy, art, and craft of the unsung heroes in … the industry: the agaveros, los jimadores, tequileros, and mezcaleros.
Villa One Silver Tequila
Villa One Silver Tequila is a well-known brand with a mild flavor and a combination of charcoal and almond tastes that create immense pleasure.
Liquor lovers always crave quality tequila from reliable sources, and Villa One never disappoints. It is regarded as one of the best tequila for margarita for its unmatched mixed fruit flavor.
Villa One continues to gain a lot of positive responses from all over the world. So if you are into a mixed fruity tequila, this ones for you.
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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
Jose Cuervo Clasico Blanco Tequila
Its no wonder that Jose Cuervo is one of the most widely known tequila brands on the market. Its a classic, and for good reason. Produced, of course, with blue agave, the blanco tequila is unaged and makes the perfect addition to any cocktail and the dream base of any margarita. Both sweet and strong, with a note of spice, its a crisp tequila that youll always come back to. £29.69. At
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Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila
This splendid spirit is effortless to sip but still manages to bring a rich flavor profile to cocktails. The Maestro Dobel Diamante is a blend of Extra-Añejo, Añejo, and Reposado Tequilas, enhancing the overall taste of your margaritas.
The spirit was aged in European oak barrels and double-filtered. It is the worlds first clear, multi-aged tequila, making it one of the best tequila for margarita for those who want a smooth, crisp, and clean finish.
Furthermore, this Cristalino tequila has a mild oak aroma with a touch of vanilla, taking your drinking experience to another level. So, grab your best tequila glass and have a good one!
El Tequileo Reposado Rare
El Tequileño Reposado Rare is absolutely unique, not only for its aging methodas they blend añejo tequilas that have been aged for over six years in a pipon, which is a wooden oak tank thats able to hold more than 23,000 liters of tequilabut for its depth of flavor and deep finish, Quiñonez says. With its elegant notes of dried fruit, ripe pineapple, honey and cooked agave, I recommend using a tequila glass or a champagne flute to truly take in the expressions bold flavors and luxurious taste.
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Best Gift: Casa Dragones Aejo Barrel Blend
Courtesy of Casa Dragones
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Nuts, Oak
Our job as bar pros is to be skeptical, but when I took the first sip, I was like, Oh, this is divine, says Chasse. A lot of bottles that people think about for gifting are on the sweeter side, but this one is not super sweet. Instead, the aging program, in both new French and new American oak, lends it complexity and balance.
Chasse finds plenty of peppery spice, nuttiness and a hint of cacao but with a lush mouthfeel that makes Casa Dragones’ tequila feel luxurious. Its sleek, charcoal-colored bottle and turquoise box present the kind of packaging that makes it giftable without wrapping paper.
Best Under $: Los Arango Blanco
Region: Guanajuato, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Agave, Herbs
Produced at Tequilera Corralejo in the state of Guanajuato, Jaliscos eastern neighbor, Los Arango Blanco is made with agave steamed relatively quickly in a high-pressure autoclave, then crushed with a roller mill, and distilled in a copper pot. Its one of the best blancos on the market, and at a great price, says Stevie Latona, bar manager at San Diegos Lionfish restaurant. Along with vanilla notes, the toasted agave and fresh herb flavors, he says, create a soft, smooth taste on the rocks or in a cocktail, its one of my go-tos.”
Region: Jalisco, Mexico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Cherry, Mint, Pepper
A NOM is a number used to indicate the distillery in which the tequila is made. To produce this special bottle of ArteNOM, distiller Jake Lustig teamed up with the Camarenas, the family that owns and operates NOM 1579, Jaliscos Destileria el Pandillo. Brick-oven, steam-roasted agave is crushed by a special tahona called Frankenstein, jerry-rigged out of scavenged parts: a junkyard cylinder and an old train wheel axle. After copper pot distilling with a mix of rain and well water, its left to oxidize overnighta key process as oxygen accentuates the blancos fruity nature. Cherry and papaya notes mingle with mint and pepper in a spirit with a big, silky mouthfeel.
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Mezcal Rey Campero Tepextate
For a seriously upscale mezcal experience, try this Rey Campero Tepextate . The mezcal is made using wild Tepextate agave thats been matured for 15 to 18 years before harvest . The agave is roasted and crushed before fermenting in the open air with wild yeast. Its then double distilled in copper pots and put in Rey Camperos old-school bottles. The flavor is forceful, lively and full of pepper, making it an excellent slow-sipper for mezcal lovers.
There’s A Great Tequila For Every Taste And Budget
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
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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Jose Cuervo Tradicional Aejo
BEST UNDER $50
Jose Cuervo is a legacy among the best tequila brands, one that has been synonymous with the spirit for over two centuries. That alone warrants its credibility. Its latest release in the Tradicional portfolio, Añejo combines the Cuervo family recipe with a touch of charred American oak to create a remarkably smooth tequila that might be confused for a light whiskey upon first taste. The company matures this blend for 12 months in oak barrels before spending an additional four months in Irish single malt whiskey barrels, adding unique flavors like cinnamon, caramel, and stewed figs to the tequilas already distinctive profile. Priced slightly above the $30 mark, its an amazing value and Fathers Day gift idea thatll warm you and the big guy up any night of the year.
Rooster Rojo Blanco Tequila
Tequila from the town of Tequila itself. This bottle comes from the Fabrica de Tequilas Finos distillery, a producer of many fine spirits. Rooster Rojo blanco is the brainchild of esteemed master distiller, Arturo Fuentes Cortes. Its full of herbaceous and citrus flavours, sparked to life by fiery pepper. Read our full Rooster Rojo blanco tequila review.
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Best Splurge: Don Ramn Limited Edition Extra Aejo
Courtesy of Liquorama.net
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Cocoa, Dark coffee
Only 5,000 bottles of this limited-edition Don Ramón extra añejo were produced. Made with 100% blue agave from the Tequila Highlands, this expression has been aged for three years in American oak barrels. The tequila provides notes of toasted coconut and vanilla, with some cocoa powder and dark roasted coffee, Hurley notes. But thats only part of the selling point for him.
The tequila is great, but the bottle is whats really gorgeous, he says. The glass is embedded with gold flakes and decorated in wooshing lines composed of Swarovski crystals, which frame the dark amber liquid inside. It makes a showstopping centerpiece for any bar.
Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver Tequila
The ideal cocktail base from the worlds oldest and biggest tequila brand. Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver is a premium offering from this mammoth distillery its a slick, 100 per cent agave spirit that has well-balanced smoothness and sweetness. Its perfect for a . Read our full Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver tequila review.
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Tequila Market: Regional Analysis
Regionally, the global tequila market is widespread into the regions of North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa. Each of these regions are classified on the basis of nations. Currently North America is dominating the market on account of major contributions from Mexico. Apart from this, lifestyle that involves regular consumption of alcohol in the United States and Canada will also aid in expansion of the North American market in the forecast period.
On the other side, the adoption of western culture, rising disposable incomes of people and rising inclination towards alcoholic beverages are likely to create lucrative growth opportunities for the Asia Pacific market in the coming years. In addition to this, the increasing popularity of night life, clubs and other party places in developing nations are likely to help generate significant revenues for the Asia Pacific market in the coming years.
This study by TMR is all-encompassing framework of the dynamics of the market. It mainly comprises critical assessment of consumers’ or customers’ journeys, current and emerging avenues, and strategic framework to enable CXOs take effective decisions.
Our key underpinning is the 4-Quadrant Framework EIRS that offers detailed visualization of four elements:
- Customer Experience Maps
- Insights and Tools based on data-driven research
- Actionable Results to meet all the business priorities
- Strategic Frameworks to boost the growth journey
Ner With An Integrated Beverage Developer
As you might have realized, creating a tequila brand is no less overwhelming than any other venture. If you are feeling uncertain about the whole process, we would recommend that you engage a full service developer instead of a distillery.
Although tequila distilleries handles the production part, partnering with an integrated beverage developer like us will guarantee that all key attributes of your brand including the brand story, packaging, and quality, are all aligned.
So, are you ready to give it a shot? Reach out today and lets help you create a tequila brand that speaks to your target audience and their lifestyle.
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Don Julio Reposado Double Cask
- Country of Origin: Mexico
- Region: Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco
- Age: Reposado
- Casking: American & Ex-Scotch Whisky Oak
- ABV: 40%
Since Don Julio launched its limited-edition double cask range, it has produced some fascinating combinations. On this occasion, it consists of finishing tequila that was aged in American white oak barrels with ex-Scotch whisky casks that were first used by Buchanan.
As a result, it offers deep flavours of chocolate malt with hints of peat while revealing tropical fruit and spices. Overall, an original and tantalising tequila to try!
Patron En Lalique Serie 2
Patrón has been, perhaps more than any other brand, responsible for elevating the reputation of tequila from an inexpensive source of quick intoxication to a sipping spirit as respected as the finest whiskies and Cognacs. So when the brand wanted to create a special package, they had to think big. The result was a collaboration with Lalique, the premiere French design house for fine crystal. Patrón en Lalique Serie 1, released in 2015, was a stunning, handmade crystal take on the classic Patrón bottle containing a bespoke extra añejo tequila created by master distiller Francisco Alcaraz.
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Mixto Tequila Verses 100% Agave Tequila
A tequila can be organized into two categories, mixto tequilas and 100% agave tequilas.
Mixto tequilas are made with no less than 51% agave, with the other 49% usually being fermented sugar cane juice. The result is a tequila thats very sweet in both smell and taste. However, the flavor usually stops there.
These mixto tequilas are often harsh in flavor, burn on the way down, and thus are inferior to other tequilas. Golden-colored mixtos are called joven or oro tequilas and have oak flavoring and coloring added. The reason these are made in the first place is because theyre affordable to make for producers and, frankly, they sell well in stores due to their low price point.
Mixtos arent ideal and I generally dont recommend buying them. But if youre planning a big party with a tequila-based punch that has a lot of juices and flavors to help mask the mixto, then a mixto is a practical option.
If a tequila is labeled as 100% agave, this means that the tequila in question was made with only blue agave. Generally, its recommended by most bartenders and tequila enthusiasts that you only buy tequilas which clearly state this on the label, as it will guarantee you a much better product that has a more complex flavor and significantly less burn.
Leela Cyd Ross
What’s The Difference Between Tequila And Mezcal
You may have heard the rumor that the spirit known as mezcal is simply a smoky version of tequila. In fact, the truth is closer to the reverse of that: the term “mezcal” refers broadly to any distillate of the agave plant produced in Mexico, so the spirit called tequila is simply one specific type of mezcal. While government regulations allow for the production of mezcal in nine different Mexican states, tequila may only be produced in five states: Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, Guanajuato, and certain parts of Tamaulipas. Addionally, while mezcal may be produced from dozens of different agave varietiesresulting in numerous distinct styles and flavor profilestequila may only be produced from the blue Weber agave.
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