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Everything You Need To Know About Tequila

Tequila is a social lubricant that has an unmatched ability to convince people they’re actually really good dancers. If we’re looking to get all technical here, it’s a distilled spirit made from the blue agave plant. Tequila originated in the city of Tequila, in the state of Jalisco, in the country of Mexico. In order for tequila to be considered a true tequila, it must be produced in the state of Jalisco or certain regions in the Mexican states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas.

Tequila is made from the core, a.ka. the piña, of the blue agave plant. After the piñas are harvested, they are baked and then mashed so that the agave juice can be extracted. The juice is then poured into stainless steel or wood vats to begin the fermentation process. Depending on the type of tequila, it is distilled at least two more times.

What is the difference between tequila and mezcal?

All tequilas are mezcals, but not all mezcals are tequilas. Wait, what?

In order to be classified as a proper tequila, it must be produced from blue agave. Mezcals, however, may be produced from different types of agave.

On top of that, to make mezcal, the piñas are cooked inside pits dug into the earth and lined with volcanic rock, charcoal, and wood. That’s where mezcal gets its distinctive smoky taste. Mezcal is then distilled in clay pots. It’s also produced mostly in Oaxaca, though other regions produce mezcal as well.

As far as taste goes, both tequila and mezcal showcase the flavors of the agave plant, but mezcal is defined by its smoky flavor, whereas tequila varies widely based on how it is aged.

What are the different types of tequila?

Tequila is essentially broken down into five different types, differentiated primarily by their age:

Blanco

Also known as silver tequila, blanco isn’t aged at all—it goes straight from distilling in stainless steel tanks to being poured into your margarita. Blanco offers bright, grassy, herbal, and citrus tasting notes; some consider blanco to be a bit harsh on its own, as it’s never smoothed and rounded out by aging in wood barrels. But its clean-slate profile also makes it a very good candidate for cocktails, hence its popularity in margaritas.

Reposado

Reposado is required to age in French or American oak barrels anywhere between two months and a year. While the time it spends aging on oak can mellow the tequila out some and draw out new complexity, the limited timeframe also means it doesn’t lose its youthful spirit.

Añejo

Like reposado, añejo is also aged in French or American oak barrels, but it spends at least a year in there, but no more than three. Añejo takes on additional complexity and smoothness as it ages; sip it neat to enjoy all that luscious barrel time that imparts carmelly, sweet goodness.

Extra Añejo

Añejo, but extremely mat-oor (that’s how fancy people pronounce “mature”). Aged for three-plus years, extra añejo offers such a rich iteration of tequila that it sometimes is cut with water to ensure it meets standard proof requirements. Rich in every sense of the word, that extra aging can fetch top dollar.

Joven

Joven is a blend of blanco and aged tequila—think of it like a blended scotch. Plays well with cocktails, but can also lean on its aged aspects as a stand-alone sipper.

How should I drink tequila?

It depends! Blanco serves as a lovely backbone for tequila cocktails such as margaritas or palomas, though some consider it a bit too in-your-face to be sipped neat.

As for aged tequilas, the whole lick-the-salt-off-your-hand thing is kind of an American thing. Traditionally, an aged tequila is sipped and savored. A nice reposado can be sipped neat, but if you’re a tequila lover, try swapping it out as the base liquor in cocktails that traditionally use whiskey.

What are the best brands of tequila?

Life is too short to not treat yourself to a bottle of Don Julio. Whether it’s blanco, reposado, añ ejo, or their coveted 1942 tequila, you’re in for a treat.

If you’re looking for an amazing tequila for an incredible margarita, then we can’t recommend Casamigos enough.

Does Saucey do tequila delivery?

Yes! Pursue our robust selection of tequilas and figure out which one tickles your fancy. We’ll have it on your doorstep ASAP.