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.
Reserva De La Familia Jose Cuervo
It would be hard to find a better EA at this price, an approachable splurge to sip on special occasions and the perfect gift for a tequila collector. Jose Cuervo, the biggest tequila brand on the planet, located at the La Rojeña distillery in Tequila, uses only the hearts of select, mature blue agaves, aged between 10 and 12 years. The agave hearts are then baked in ovens at the La Rojeña distillery and aged in both French and American oak some charred with older batches blended in to maintain consistency. Theres a nice balance of smoke, vanilla, sweetness, and whiskey, while the process has preserved enough blue agave in the glass to remind you its a tequila.
What To Mix With Tequila
So you bought a bottle of tequila to make margaritas one time and now you’re left with half a bottle and no idea what to do with it. We’ve all been there and while margaritas are delicious, there are so many more tasty tequila drink combinations you might be missing out on. From cocktails involving other boozy elements to simple non-alcoholic mixers, these are the best things to combine with your tequila.
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Our Top Choice Is The Fuenteseca Cosecha 2018
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Liquor / Chloe Jeong
Every spirit has its “moment”sometimes more than onceand just like whiskey in the pre-prohibition era, rum in the midcentury tiki craze, and vodka in the swingin’ sixties and seventies, tequila is currently the darling of the spirits world. Nutrition consultants saddle it with various health claims , and it seems like every day that yet another celebrity is launching a new tequila brand. However, to longtime aficionados like Grover and Scarlet Sanschagrin, the Jalisco-based founders of the website Tequila Matchmaker, there’s something to be said for the old, artisan production methods and for the flavors they yield: herbs, spices, and the briny, bittersweet signature of agave.
Our top pick is cult favorite Fuenteseca Cosecha 2018 based on its ripe agave base, artisanal production methods, and rich concentration of flavors.
But the sheer volume of tequila brands currently competing for shelf space means that there’s truly a bottle out there for every consumer. The Consejo Regulador del Tequila, the spirits regulatory body, lists 1,754 tequilas currently in productionand these include bottles labeled blanco , reposado , añejo , and several other increasingly esoteric categories.
What Sets Aejo Tequila Apart
Añejo tequila is aged for a minimum of a year and can spend up to three years in oak barrels. These oak barrels must be of a certain type and, as VinePair explains, should hold no more than 600 liters of añejo tequila at a time.
Añejo tequila is created for sipping, and the longer the aging process, the smoother and more nuanced a bottle is. Añejo tequila can also be used in libations, but its not a 1:1 swap with blanco or even reposado varieties in most cases. Unlike tequila blanco, which is most commonly used in light, fruity cocktails, añejo tequila is most often utilized in libations where whiskey is the traditional base spirit.
Similar to whiskey, añejo tequila may showcase expressions of oak, vanilla, dried fruits, caramel, honey, and baking spices. Don Julio 1942 even boasts aromas of chocolate. However, consumers will still get to enjoy the flavors and characteristics of agave, making for a special sipping experience and a unique take on their favorite whiskey cocktails.
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What To Know About Buying Tequila
These tequilas recommended here are suggestions for widely available tequilas across many price ranges. Some good buying guidelines are:
- Avoid anything that is packaged in plastic or that costs less than $15 because these are signs of cheap tequila thatll burn down your throat.
- Buy only tequila that has 100% agave written on the bottle.
- Find smooth, flavorful tequila thats great for shots, cocktails, or sipping. A high price doesnt always mean high quality.
- If theres a worm or scorpion in the bottle, dont buy it.
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Does Tequila And Lemonade Taste Good
The combination of tequila and lemonade is so delicious that it practically tastes like a delicately flavored margarita! The zing of the citrus is evocative of lime juice, however it is not nearly as astringent as the lime juice itself is. However, we prefer the concept of utilizing store-bought lemonade as a tequila mixer rather than margarita mix, which may be too thick and sticky.
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The Production Process For Don Julio Tequila Is Very Labor
Unlike other liquors that can be mass-produced in factories, each batch of Don Julio tequila must be fermented and distilled by hand. This careful craftsmanship adds to the price tag of tequila.
The process of making Don Julio tequila involves very long fermentation periods and a high degree of labor. The distillation process, which turns the agave plant into tequila, involves a lot of manual labor. In fact, its one of the more difficult spirits to distill in existence.
Don Julio tequila is made from the blue agave plant, which grows in high-altitude regions like those in Jalisco, Mexico. It takes at least six years for an agave plant to mature enough to be harvested and turned into tequila. The plant produces thousands of tiny white flowers called piñas that must be picked by hand.
It also takes hundreds of hours for the distiller to select the best hands-on care for their plants. These workers are responsible for maintaining optimal conditions for their crops, including watering them regularly and ensuring that they have enough sunlight throughout the day.
Best Blanco: Don Fulano Blanco
Courtesy of Don Fulano
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Lemon peel, Lemongrass, Cooked agave
Theres a saying: Whiskey is aged in wood, and tequila is aged in the ground,’ says Hurley. Thats so true because agave takes six to eight years to mature, so you can detect the influence of the terroirthe soil, sun and shade of mountainsespecially in a blanco. He calls this one from the Altos region phenomenal.
Produced by Jaliscos famed Fonseca family using deep well water, Don Fulano Blanco offers green cooked agave notes, a little bit of pepper and minerality, and hints of lemon peel and lemongrass, Hurley says. Along with those complex layers of flavor, Hurley likes its mouthfeel. It has a nice body all the way through, so its one of the easiest drinking tequilas out there, he adds.
Blancos showcase the terroir and the agave, but they also show any imperfections. Look for spirits with a medium to full body, a bit of attitude, minerality and brightnessand not much ethanol burn. You can tell an impure spirit if you get that. Morgan Hurley, Marketing and Beverage Director, Mex 1 Coastal Cantina
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Which Is The Smoothest Don Julio
Ultima Reserva is the smoothest Don Julio but you have to be willing to pony up $500 USD to enjoy it. If you are not willing to go that high Don Julio 1942 is the second best and a better and more tasty tequila, in my opinion, although it has a bit of a bite at the end.
If you want to drink a smooth Don Julio on a budget then Reposado is the best choice. Its good, tasty, it does not burn and provides a rich vanilla and oaky note.
What Is Da De Los Muertos
Día de los Muertos, or Day of The Dead, is the day right after Halloween. Starting on November 1st and continuing to November 2nd, this holiday is about honoring the dead with the dead. Whats so special about this holiday is that it gives people a chance to celebrate life and death instead of mourning. There is no other holiday like Día de los Muertos, as November 1st-2nd have different times to celebrate different deceased loved ones.
When the clock strikes midnight on November 1st, its called Día de los Angelitos , the first specific time during Día de los Muertos to honor children. Many people decorate an altar and bring the childs favorite toys, snacks, music, and photos to help them reunite with their child for 24 hours.
At midnight on November 2nd, its called Día de los Difuntos, which honors the spirits of adults who have passed. While its similar to the night before, there are more adult themes for the night. Instead of their favorite toys, they take shots of tequila, pan de muetro, and mezcal. They laugh, tell stories, play games, and dance.
The holiday takes its grand finale at noon on November 2nd, Día de los Muertos. If youre unfamiliar with Dia De Los Muertos, youve probably seen this part of the celebration. There are big parties, and even parades with people dressed up with Calavera painted faces. This is the joy.
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That Teenager Was Don Julio
Just like there was a real Richard Hennessy, there was indeed a Don Julio . When Don Julio González began distilling tequila as a teenager, he didnt have big business plans. He was simply trying to supplement a weekly income of 9 pesos for his family. He also just so happened to care about tequila. So at a time when it was just a workhorse drink fiery, raw, and rough around the edges with more than enough kick to knock you head-first into sweet oblivion Don Julio staked his future on the idea that tequila might someday be savored, sipped, and described in as much loving detail as fine whiskey.
How Tequila Is Made
Although wheat, grapes, and corn can be harvested a few months to a few years before being processed and distilled into alcohol, the blue agave plants used to make tequila are different. They take about ten years to grow before theyre ready to be harvested for tequila.
The difficult harvesting process is carried out by hand by agave farmers called jimadores. Below are the main steps involved in turning agave into tequila:
Harvest the Agave:
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.
Next, 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.
The extracted juices are then fermented and twice-distilled, as shown by regulations. The distilled alcohol can then be bottled straight away or aged in wooden containers.
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Best Valley: Fortaleza Blanco Tequila
Courtesy of ReserveBar
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Olives, Earth, Orange
If you want to know what tequila tasted like 100 years ago, Fortaleza is your go-to, says Hurley. At his estate in the town of Tequila, master distiller Guillermo Sauza makes the spirit the way his great-great-grandfather made it, using an old stone tahona and brick ovens. Bottled straight from the copper pot still without dilution, this blanco has an alluring earthy, olivey quality, says Chasse, with plenty of bright citrus, too.
Its flavors and a super-long finish make it fascinating to drink, but it goes down surprisingly easy for such a powerful spirit. I would try a little on its own, breathing in and letting it open up in your mouth to get all those flavors, advises Chasse. But, she says, “eventually I would add a bit of water to open it up, so you can see how tequila evolves at different levels of alcohol.
The Distillery Was Built On Borrowed Money
Most worthwhile ventures higher education being the one soul-crushing exception start with a loan. When the just-barely-post-adolescent Don Julio decided he was going to introduce his exacting, persnickety standards to tequila production, his first stop was at the doorstep of a local businessman, asking for a sizable loan to start his distillery. The businessman agreed, agave hearts found their way to ovens, and Don Julios first tequilas were bottled.
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It Was Founded By A Teenager
Most of us at 17 are just beginning to dabble in angry poetry . But in 1942 in Jalisco, Mexico, one 17-year-old was not only supporting his entire family financially, he was laying the foundation for what would become the worlds first luxury tequila brand. And yes, that makes getting published in your high school lit mag a little less epic an achievement.
Hispanic Heritage Month Initiative
Raised in Atotonilco El Alto in the Highlands region of Jalisco, Don Julio González spent his life developing his craft of tequila making to achieve the highest quality standards. In 1942, he boldly approached a local businessman for a loan of 20,000 pesos to open his own distillery whats now known as La Primavera – where Tequila Don Julio continues to be made today. In honor of Don Julio Gonzálezs story and entrepreneurial spirit, The Tequila Don Julio Fund is paying it forward by celebrating Hispanic entrepreneurs who are paving their way as the next generation of Dons and Doñas. As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Hispanic entrepreneurs who have shown true devotion to their craft and believe that they embody the next generation of Dons and Doñas were able to apply for a $20,000 grant and business support, which includes networking opportunities and professional resources all awarded through The Tequila Don Julio Fund. Join us in congratulating the five grant recipients of The Tequila Don Julio Fund grant program.
Doña Maria Palacio
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Don Julio Is Made With 100% Blue Agave
For starters, the blue agave plant is notoriously difficult to grow. The price tag on Don Julio tequila is partly due to its hand-crafted nature and partly because it comes from a single estate. The hand-crafted nature of Don Julio tequila is what sets it apart from other mass-produced brands.
The agave takes years to mature, and only the heart of the plant can be used to make tequila. This means that every bottle of tequila requires several pounds of agave, making it a costly ingredient.
This type of tequila is usually more expensive than other types, but its worth it if you want to enjoy tequila that truly captures the essence of Mexico.
Is Tequila And Sprite Good Together
To make a margarita, its only logical to combine Sprite and tequila in an attempt to create a drink that resembles one. Despite the fact that Sprite is considerably more syrupy than the normal agave-infused margarita, it is tempered by the delicate undertones of lemon and lime and the fact that it is effervescent.
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What Alcohol Goes With Lemonade
The most commonly used liquors to mix with lemonade are gin, vodka, and bourbon.
Sprite: The Perfect Drink For Any Occasion
If youre looking for a refreshing drink that goes well with a variety of foods, Sprite is the drink to try. Sprite has something for everyone, whether you want to share a mixer with friends or sip on your own.
About the author
Cathy is one of blacktialnyc.com founders. As an owner of multiple bars in the last 17 years, Cathy brings her experience into her writings, to educate our tasty readers.
Tequila + Grapefruit Soda
Essentially a Paloma, this cocktail is one of the most popular ways to drink tequila in Mexico . Its bright, citrusy, subtly bitter and downright crushable. Depending on your preference, you can use a blanco or a reposado tequila for the base of the cocktail. A blanco tequila keeps the drink light and crisp, while a reposado tequila makes it richer and more decadent. For a garnish, we recommend a fat wedge of lime and a pinch of sea salt. Come summer, this Highball is essential drinking.
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Can You Use Orange Juice In A Tequila Cocktail
If you do use fresh orange juice, be careful to whip air into it with a whisk or a high-speed citrus juicer to ensure that it is as flavorful as possible. It will provide the drink a fluffy and almost creamy texture, which will go nicely with the vanilla notes in a reposado tequila, as well as the other ingredients.