Frequently Asked Questions Best Tequilas
Mezcal is the general term given to any agave spirits and they can be produced from up to 50 species of the plant. Tequila is a type of mezcal that is produced from just one species of agave that is the Weber blue agave.
The majority of Tequila comes from the state of Jalisco in Mexico. Agave-based spirits outside of this state are generally other types of Mezcals.
Seasoned Tequila drinkers tend to prefer Don Julio for its smoother and more complex taste, whereas Patron is better for use in cocktails.
Some of the other brands which didn’t make this list but deserve mention include Jose Cuervo and Casa Noble, but fairly reliable and well-respected in the Tequila business.
How Strong Is A Shot Of Tequila
Tequila is typically 35 to 50 percent ABV, or 76 to 100 proof. A standard tequila shot is 1.5 ounces and, since the only ingredient is tequila, your drink will be 75 to 100 proof. While shots are small and fun and easy to drink, be careful. They can quickly lead to extreme drunkenness or alcohol poisoning if youre not careful. Its wise to stick with one of these shots a night and enjoy a lighter drink before and after.
Q: What Is Tequila Exactly
The spirit can only be produced within the Mexican state of Jalisco and designated municipalities in Michoacan, Nayarit, Guanajuato, and Tamaulipas. Tequila must be made using only Blue Weber agave, says Ellenwood, a plant that takes between 7 to 10 years to mature. Once mature, she says, the leaves are stripped and the heartsknown as piñasare steamed, roasted, or baked before being pressed, mashed, or shredded to yield juice, which is then fermented. Agave liquid undergoes at least two distillations before becoming tequila. The different styles of tequila, says Estevez, are primarily defined by aging and time spent in oak, with the exception being Cristilano, a classification of tequila whereby tequila is filtered through charcoal to remove color and impurities.
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Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
If Casamigos is what you serve at your party, Clase Azul is what you break out for the select few invited to stick around after the crowd leaves. This may be one of the priciest options on our list, but this top-shelf tequila is worth the premium price. Clase Azuls tequila comes in this instantly recognizable bottle, which you see on the top shelf of high-end bars and restaurants. At over $100, this is a true premium spirit, with a bottle and flavor profile worthy of its price.
Made from blue agave plants in Mexico, Clase Azul Reposado Tequila features notes of spice, cream soda, apple cider, jasmine, cinnamon and honey. The bottles, meantime, are like a work of art, inspired by traditional Mexican colors and motifs. Each bottle is hand-crafted and hand-painted, so no two are alike, making Clase Azul a great gift idea as well.
El Rayo Plata Tequila
Legend has it that tequila was made when lightning struck the leaf of an agave plant and cooked it. El Rayo has taken this tale of folklore and run with it, illustrating the story on the front of every bottle.
Pretty packaging and pretty tasty contents too, this spirit is made inside 105 year old copper stills and bottled straight from it. The smooth notes and flavours of the blended tequila glide over the tongue sip this, it’s wasted as a shot.
For a sweeter and softer version, try the brand’s Reposado, £36.15. This too has been distilled inside the antique copper still and then left to mature in whisky casks for a further seven months. Delicious.
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Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila 70cl
A sustainably produced, high quality, accessibly priced tequila? Olmeca Altos Tequila nails it with their luxury spirit, which thankfully comes with a palatable price tag. Made in the highlands of central Mexico, it’s made with blue agave and processed using 500-year-old traditional distillery methods for a smooth taste that works neat or mixed into cocktails. Try it with tacos or quesadillas this winter.
Jose Cuervo Especial Reposado Tequila 70cl
Arguably one of the best known tequila brands around, you’ll find a bottle of Jose Cuervo on the shelves of good cocktail bars everywhere. Aged for up to six months in a oakwood barrels, try it in a Blood Orange Margarita.
Simply mix a measure of Jose Cuervo Especial with 25ml of freshly squeezed lime juice, 30ml of blood orange juice and a 15ml drizzle of Agave syrup. Shake the ingredients hard and strain into glass, before adding a splash of orange juice.
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How Healthy Is Tequila
Sadly, because agave is fermented in order to distill tequila, most of the healthful qualities are eliminated in the process. Even so, tequila experts and nutritionists do praise the spirit as being a “healthier” alcohol. “Tequila is one of the liquors I suggest to clients who like an occasional tipple but would rather not completely undo their overall wellness and nutrition efforts,” says Persak.
Tequila has about 97 calories per jigger and no carbohydrates, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, as do other spirits such as vodka, rum, and whiskey. This gives it an edge over wine, beer, and hard ciders, which contain more calories, carbohydrates, and sugar per serving. Tequila is also gluten-free, as are many distilled spirits yes, even those that are distilled from grains. And, since it’s a clear spirit, tequila is generally lower in congeners than darker liquors, according to the Mayo Clinic.
It’s worth noting that, when it comes to cocktails, the mixers are where extra calories and sugar can sneak in, so if you’re looking to keep your drink super healthy, opt for something such as sparkling water or a squeeze of fresh fruit juice, which are generally low in calories, sugar, and carbs, says Persak.
Best Aejo: Don Julio Aejo Tequila
It’s hard to find faults in the tequilas of Don Julio. They are readily available, super smooth, and richly flavored with the distinct tequila flavors that make the spirit special. The brand’s aged tequilas are particularly impressive and have a reputation that puts them among the best of the best.
Don Julio Añejo is one you wont want to miss. It instantly improves any cocktail it touches and really shines in a shaken margarita with fresh lime. If you are looking to mix up some of the best tequila drinks you can afford, its the tequila to keep in your bar. While its probably too pricey for a shot, its a very smooth sipper enjoyed by many tequila aficionados.
Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Toasted oak, caramel, baked yam | ABV: 40% | Region: Los Altos, Jalisco
Añejo Tequila is tequila that is aged in oak barrels for at least a year, but not over three years, says Brian Eadie, lead bartender at Geraldines Austin in Texas. It has a sweet, woody aroma with notes of smoke, burnt caramel, and dried fruitsdefinitely a sipping tequila. Añejo is great for making a tequila old-fashioned and substituting the whiskey for añejo tequila, orange bitters for Angostura bitters, and brown sugar for white sugar.
Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Sweet agave, anise, mineral | ABV: 40% | Region: Los Altos, Jalisco
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Is Tequila A Cheap Drink
Top quality blanco, reposado and añejo tequilas on a budget. Theres good news about good tequilait can be very affordable if you know what you are looking for. But overall, theres a good deal of high-quality tequila available to drink on its own or mixed into a Margarita that will cost you less than $50 per bottle.
Aejo Vs Reposado Vs Blanco
Different tequila types are categorized by how long they are aged. Añejo is aged the longest, followed by Reposado and then Blanco. Añejo is the darkest in color and is excellent for sipping on its own. Reposado will be tan in color and is great for tequila shots or mixing into heavier cocktails. Blanco is clear and is perfect for mixed drinks.
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Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila
Love it or hate it, Jose Cuervo is one of the most successful tequila brands worldwide, and this tequila is a staple go-toreadily available at any bottle shop for a quick mix-in for those taco-and-marg nights. The light peppery and citrus notes in this quintessential tequila blends well with the flavours of your classic margarita. Shop it here.
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The 10 Best Chasers For Tequila
If you decide upon one whiff of tequila that its going to singe your esophagus on the way down that you need a chaser, then you are going to need this list. The best chasers for tequila are ones that reduce the acid of the alcohol and dilute the essence of battery acid thats stuck on your tongue. And remember, not all tequilas are made for masochists.
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Whats The Most Expensive Tequila
The 10 Most Expensive Tequila Bottles in the World1800 Coleccion Tequila $1,800.Clase Azul Extra Anejo Tequila $1,700. Rey Sol Anejo Tequila $400. Tres-Quatro-Cinco Tequila $379. Casa Herradura Seleccion Suprema Tequila $360. Don Julio Real Tequila $350. Gran Patron $250. More items
Why Vodka Is The Healthiest Alcohol
This is good for your heart. Blood-flow, strokes, and heart disease can be prevented with vodka, since it can increase blood flow and circulation within the body. As well as lowering cholesterol, vodka reduces blood pressure. The low calorie nature of this alcohol is also an advantage for people watching their weight.
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Q: What Is A Good Tequila For Beginners
Who says you have to start with a blanco? If youre a beginner who plans to sip your tequila neat or on the rocks, treat yourself to the Siembra Azul Añejo, a fantastic spirit that starts with organically farmed agave roasted in clay ovens. Interestingly, the nectar is slow-fermented to the tunes of Mozart and Vivaldi in an effort to reduce environmental stress. If classical music is the secret to this añejo, then it surely works. Enjoy warm spice aromas that unroll into a palate of butterscotch and caramelized fruit.
El Tesoro Aejo Tequila
If you want to discover an authentic Mexican tequila with a bold yet traditional flavor, then order a bottle of El Tesoro. El Tesoro may be owned by Beam Suntory, the Japanese company responsible for Suntory Whisky, but this tequila is still made from traditional methods and local agave. In fact, the grandson of founder Don Felipe Camarena oversees production today. The Añejo variety is aged in American oak bourbon barrels for up to three years, which results in a nice blend of warm agave and oak flavors. If you try this tequila neat, youll notice notes of maple, vanilla and caramel, balanced with pepper and floral tones.
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Is Tequila Gold Or Silver Better
Including caramel or other additives also gives the tequila a smoother taste, which makes it optimal for shots. Sometimes, gold tequila is 100 percent agave, however. This is typically made by mixing a silver tequila with a top-shelf, aged tequila. People usually opt for gold tequila when it comes to margaritas.
Best Highlands: Tequila Chamucos Reposado
Courtesy of Total Wine
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: White flowers, Stone fruit, Sea salt
Though other expressions have since been added, Tequila Chamucos was founded in 1994 as a reposado-only, so you can be sure that its producers are dedicated to the style.
Made with organic, high-mountain agave cooked in a brick oven and distilled in a stainless steel alembic still, it is triple-filtered and then aged in both American and French oak barrels. All of that renders one smooth sip. Floral on the nose, it has the bittersweet fruitiness and briny undertones to keep you coming back for more.
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Does Tequila And Vodka Taste The Same
Tequila and vodka may be distilled spirits, but they are made from different plants: Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, whereas vodka is made from a plant that contains a lot of starch or sugar. The taste of tequila is varied, whereas that of vodka is not. There is a higher consumption of vodka in the U.S. Tequila is not as strong as vodka.
How To Drink Tequila According To A Texas Bartender
Tequila has inspired songs, cocktails, raucous evenings, and interminable mornings-after for the unfortunate among us. The Distilled Spirits Council reports that tequila volumes in the U.S have increased at an average rate of 5.8 percent per year, driven in part by the growing popularity of premium tequilas.
The agave spirit shows no sign of slowing down, either. According to Mexicos National Tequila Industry Chamber, global consumption of Mexican tequila is on the rise and is estimated to grow 3.2 percent annually by 2021.
Alba Huerta, co-owner of Houstons award-winning agave-centric bar The Pastry War, and owner of Julep, has personal and professional connections to tequila. She got her start at bartending at the ripe age of 19 in Houston. Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Huerta attributes some of the milestones in her career to H-town, her adopted hometown since the 80s.
I feel like theres a huge investment in the city that youre from and I love that. We can talk about spirits, bars, cocktails but its really about the people, Huerta says. Its always a pleasure to serve people in Houston. Theyre wonderful.
From where Huerta sits, there is no right or wrong way to drink tequila. Your tequila style is ultimately contingent on your craving, and whats in your glass. A blanco might be enjoyed differently from a reposado, for example, while beautifully aged anejos are best suited to slow sipping.
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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.
How To Choose The Best Tequila
There are two simple rules you can use when deciding which bottle of tequila to buy. The first tip always make sure it has 100% Blue Agave, or 100% Agave label on the bottle. The best sorts of tequila are made purely from agave plants. Secondly, try to drink the oldest tequila available to you, as you will discover a big difference in flavor with the younger sorts.
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Best Cheap: Sauza Silver Tequila
Budget tequilas are tricky, and it is very easy to get burned when you buy the wrong one. Sauza Silver is one that wont let you down or leave your mouth on fire. It may not be as smooth as top-shelf tequilas, but it is one of the best affordable options, and its in nearly every liquor store.
Sauza is distilled in the town of Tequila and right across the street from Jose Cuervo. While both brands are famous for their cheap gold tequilas, Sauzas 100 percent blue Weber agave silver tequila is a smoother option for tequila shots when you want to save money. It makes a nice margarita as well, particularly when blended with fruits like strawberry and pineapple.
Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Fresh agave, fiber, pepper | ABV: 40% | Region: Los Valles, Jalisco
Silver tequilas are unaged and the most affordable of any brands lineup. Tequila Herradura offers a brilliant example that should be almost anywhere you look. It is premium, but not priced out of reach for the average drinker, and it always produces a great tequila cocktail.
Bottle Size: 750 milliliters | Tasting Notes: Cooked agave, citrus, black pepper | ABV: 40% | Region: Tequila Valley, Jalisco
Drink The Oldest Tequila You Can Find
Like a fine whiskey, tequila is one of those drinks that improves with age. And, the longer tequila has been aged, the more mellow and, yes, the more drinkable, it will be.
The clear tequila that we most commonly slug back in bars is usually fresh out of the vat and as a result is pretty rough to drink even in Mexico. Hence the need to chase this baby brew with lime and salt.
However, drink a tequila that is even a little bit older and the taste and drinkability increases dramatically.
Tequila usually falls into these categories:
- Blanco completely unaged tequila that has spent less than 2 months in steel or neutral oak barrels
- Joven as above but is often gold coloured
- Reposado aged more than 2 months but less than 1 year in oak barrels
- Añejo aged 1-3 years in oak barrels
- Extra Añejo aged more than 3 years in oak barrels
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