For Your Sipping And Mixing Pleasure
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Whether youre looking to take some tequila shots with friends or mix up some delicious margaritas or cocktails, finding the perfect tequila can be a tedious search. The important thing is, you want to find a tequila that you can savor no matter how youre using it. With so many on the market, it can seem impossible to find one thats right for you.
So without further ado, here are the best tequilas to satisfy your needs on any drinking night.
Technically, a margarita is just a soura cocktail family comprised of a base spirit, a sweetener, and some citrus. Sours stand the test of time and trend because theyre refreshing and easy to execute. But a cocktail with so few ingredients requires each ingredient to hold its own. You dont need to spend a lot of money, but you do want quality.
To make a good margarita , your base spirit should be easygoing, but not wimpy. It should bring some personality to the table without stealing the show. For those reasons, Cazadores Tequila Blanco is one of the best tequilas for margaritas. With notes of basil and lemon blossom, its great for sipping, too, but it is especially well-suited for your margarita thanks to its freshness, roundness, and agave character.
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
Percent Blue Weber Agave
When shopping for tequila, look for these words on the bottle. It is easier than ever to find them because almost every tequila brand has realized that this is what drinkers really want.
Blue Weber is known as the most elegant expression of tequila. While tequila falls under the mezcal category, several distillers around the town of Tequila began distilling a superior form of mezcal. They used the whole heart of blue agave, which is indigenous to the region, describes Brian Olson, the founder and owner of Café Intermezzo.
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El Rayo Plata Tequila
Smooth, modern tequila, made for a T& T . This bottle is the passion project of a couple of young Brits who fell in love with tequila and quit their day jobs for the cause. Smooth and herbaceous, tonic helps bring out the more complex and oily citrus notes of this impressive, peppery spirit. Read our full El Rayo Plata tequila review.
Q: What Should I Eat With Tequila
You can always keep it traditional with your favorite taco recipe, but also consider how aged and unaged tequilas pair with different types of foods. Blanco tequila acts like white wine here, pairing nicely with fresh, citrusy dishes and seafood double up by dashing some into a ceviche. Meanwhile, añejo tequilas, often dark and smoky, are perfect with red meat and heartier, saucier dishes like enchiladas.
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Best Tequila Brands In 2022
Most Expensive | Most Cheap | Mexican | Silver | Agave
Tequila Brands are Mexican distilled beverages. Tequila is best known for its refreshing and relaxing qualities, and it has many different brands and can be distinguished by their difference in flavour profile and price range. The tequila you buy determines what kind of night you will have: a fun and rejuvenating experience or a regrettable one.
Tequila, a Mexican distilled alcoholic beverage, is named after the city of Tequila in the state of Jalisco. Even though tequila comes from Mexico, it contains no worms. This clear liquid has an alcohol content ranging from 38 to 55 per cent. The word tequila is one of many variations for a small evergreen tree, also known as Agave Tequiliana, or blue agave plant. In its natural form, this plant grows about six feet high and weighs about fifty pounds. When harvested at ten years old, whats been cultivated is called honey because thats when the plant is at its sweetest with the most sugars.
The naming of tequila is a Hispanicization of the Nahuatl word tecpill. It referred to a ceremonial drink containing pulque. It was brought out in celebrations in place of alcohol in some old cultures in Mesoamerica, mainly among people living in and around Tequila Volcano in parts of whats now known as Mexico State.
What Is The Smoothest Tequila You Can Buy
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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.
Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
Del Maguey is the brainchild of Californian artist turned mezcal maestro Ron Cooper, who has been importing this agave spirit since 1995. It has since become the darling spirit of the hipster world. This example shows how different it can taste from tequila, with smoky elements and an earthy undertone.
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Best Tequilas To Make Every Day Cinco De Mayo
If youre on the lookout for the best tequilas available, then congratulations youve obviously left those college days of bad decisions and cheap shots far behind. Tequila gets a bad rap when youre young, but as you get older, you should know that this incredibly diverse agave spirit is much more than the base of your favourite spicy margarita, often as vibrant and big in flavour as the highly ornate bottle youd find it in.
The prickly-edged agave plant can sure make some of the finest spirits on the scene, and with tequila being the most common of them all others include mezcal, raicilla, and pulque its worth getting across the most reliable tequila brands and their star products.
Until you can travel to Mexico and hop on board the all-you-can-drink Tequila train, building a collection of the finest agave spirits is the next best thing.
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.
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Consider Ethics And Sustainability
Aside from what’s actually in the tequila, it’s also important to remember the ethics behind a brand. “When it comes to buying a ‘healthy’ tequila, I’d challenge you to dig into how it’s made by the producer and if they’re ethically and sustainably sound,” says bartender, consultant, and drinks writer Tyler Zielinski. “If the brand treats their employees well and lists their distiller’s name on the bottle, has a sound plan for farming their agave and ensure the soil is healthy and agave are able to reach full maturity , and is 100 percent blue weber agave tequila with a NOM on the label , then you can trust that the brand is producing a product worth drinking.”
When in doubt, research a tequila distillery or email them to ask about their cultivating and distilling process, says Glasman. “If they’re reluctant to answer your questions, then it’s most likely that they’re hiding something.”
Reminder: Your spending power helps can help make an impact, even in its own small way. “The brand you choose can shape the industry as a whole,” says Fodor. “Do you want to drink cheap but overpriced additive-heavy tequila or traditional ones capturing the essence of the agave made by passionate, small, local businesses? By buying these bottles, you’re supporting an indie traditional and local tequila producer directly for producing a unique ,authentic tequila.”
Los Azulejos Tequila Silver
Tequila Los Azulejos, whose name means glazed or polished in Spanish, is made from 100% agave and bottled to maintain the spirits freshness and brilliance during the second distillation process. Los Azulejos Tequila Silver is presented in a stunning bottle crafted from hand-blown artisan glass that highlights the color and vibrancy of this exquisite Tequila.
This silvery tequila has a strong agave taste with hints of pepper, fragrant herbs, and sour-sweet overtones that appear to favor minerality from the moment it enters the mouth. Natural agave and clear flavors dominate the palate. The lack of roast allows smoothness and softness to take over your senses.
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Tequila Ley 925 Silver
The Brand: This tequila is made of 100% Agave. It is crafted to perfection with a high standard at par with the production standards of Mexicos oldest distillery. This brand does not contain artificial colouring or flavours.
To Know: For one thing, it can be served as both straight up and on rocks. Its refined acidity and spot-on balance between sweetness and spiciness, which you will love if you like good quality tequilas with a smooth finish.
T1 Tequila Uno Estelar Aejo
It’s quite common for añejo tequila to be compared to cognac or single-malt scotch for its depth of flavour. T1 Tequila Uno Estelar Añejo, crafted by master distiller Germán González of Chinaco fame, easily earns that distinction thanks to the robust flavours suffused into the spirit from sitting in scotch barrels for two years . The result is a smooth spirit that, bottled in a tear drop-shaped crystal decanter, belongs on the top shelf of the bar.
Aroma + taste: Aroma of toffee and herbs. Bittersweet cocoa flavours and hits of ripe peach and citrus, with lingering spice. Reserve Estelar Añejo for evenings in the man cave spent debating stock futures or cursing the Canucks .
Rule no. 4 about tequila: Dont go for the “gold.” A tequila with the word “gold” on the label is mixto the colour comes from additives . Reposado and añejo tequilas get their golden and carmel hues from the aging process.
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Casa Dragones Aejo Barrel Blend
- Country of Origin: Mexico
- Age: Añejo
- Casking: French & American Oak
Casa Dragones prides itself in its artisanal approach where it only produces tequila in small 500-case batches. Its Añejo barrel blend is produced by blending tequila that has been aged separately in new 100% Quercus Sessile French oak and new American oak.
Both barrels have been lightly bousiné or toasted, which helps in offering greater complexity by reducing the woods influence. The result is a floral and fruity nose with rich macadamia and spicy nutmeg flavour that finishes on a crescendo of cacao and pepper.
A Little Bit About Agave
Agave is a succulent that was once considered the most sacred plant in Mexican pre-Columbian cultures , explains Adam Fodor, founder of the International Tequila Academy. “Its leaves were used to create roofing, clothes, ropes, and paper,” he says. Out of more than 200 species of agave, nearly 160 species can be found in its native Mexico. “The middle part, which we refer to as ‘piña’ or ‘corazón’ can be cooked and chewed on,” says Fodor. Tequila is derived from cooking the “piña” before distilling it at least twice.
ICYDK, raw agave is prized for its nutritious health benefits. “Agavin, the natural sugar found in the sap of the raw agave plant, is believed to behave like a dietary fiber which may improve glycemic control and boost satiety ,” says Eve Persak, M.S., R.D.N. Preliminary studies suggest raw agave sap also contains modest amounts of prebiotics , saponins , antioxidants and plant-based iron , she says.
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How To Choose The Best Tequila For You
The name tequila is protected, so all brands and types come from Mexico. The spirit is mostly produced in the area surrounding the actual city of Tequila, and in the highlands of the central-western Mexican state of Jalisco. Here, the blue agave plant needs at least eight years to mature, after which harvesters extract the piña from the plants core, stripping it of its leaves before distilling it.
What types of tequila are there?
There are four main types:
Blanco a white-coloured spirit, bottled or stored straight after distillation or aged less than two months in stainless steel or oak barrels.
Reposado literally, a rested tequila, which has been aged in oak barrels for between two and 12 months.
Añejo is aged tequila. This stays in the barrels for longer generally between one and three years and the barrels themselves are smaller, which adds to the flavour.
Extra añejo tequilas that remain in the barrel for at least three years.
The different tastes are quite distinctive. With blanco, the agave flavours tend to be more intense, while reposado or añejo are usually smoother, mellower and more complex and just like other spirits aged in casks, they can take on the flavours of the wood.
How do I know its tequila?
Look for 100% agave tequila printed on the bottle label. This designation is only allowed to appear on bottles containing tequila that have no added sugars. When sugar get added to the fermentation tank, the tequila style is called a mixto.
What To Look For
When it comes to blanco tequilas, I like those that are flexible in function, says Master Mixologist Gates Outsuji. Outsuji feels that great blanco tequila should be as marvelous in a cocktail as it is on its own, right out of the bottle. I favor those that honor the flavor of the source material I look for warm notes of steamed agave, hints of vanilla and citrus, but not too much spice, he says. Additionally, Master Mixologist Anthony Baker considers paying attention to weight. Good blanco tequilas are determined by how rich they are, says Baker, noting that reposados and añejos are inherently rich because of the barrel-aging process, but blancos dont have that luxury. So their richness mainly hinges upon their distillation process, whereby richness can be achieved through pot-distillation, he explains.
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Best Tequilas For A Fun Filled Fiesta
If you want a fun-filled fiesta, you need to get your hands on the best tequila you can find. From the traditional Mexican flavours to the more American-ised attempts, tequila brands have amassed a wild reputation for delicious and dramatic drops. For most mezcal-sippers, there is almost too many to choose from, but luckily enough, weve done the heavy drinking lifting for you.
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