No party is complete without tequila. Whether you prefer a simple tequila or a Margarita, it is a spirit that can be enjoyed on every occasion. Tequila has slowly but surely become a staple across the globe. According to Mexican law, tequila can only be made in the state of Jalisco. If you are new to tequila or just want to learn everything about it, you have come to the right place. Read on to learn more.
Different Types of Tequila and How They Are Produced
Every type of tequila comes from the sugars of the blue agave plant. However, it does not mean that all tequila tastes the same. Learning the difference between each type of tequila and how they are produced will help you know what goodness you are drinking.
Tequila Blanco is also called silver tequila. It hails from one of the five western states of Mexico. To identify a Tequila Blanco, you have to look for a bottle that is labelled “100% blue agave”. It tends to be unaged most of the time. But, it can also be lightly rested in oak for about 60 days. If you shop for a lightly aged Blanco Tequila, it might offer a slight green tinge. Generally, Blanco Tequilas are used for making Margaritas.
A Tequila Joven is a Blanco Tequila that has been blended with some aged Tequilas. Although it is not rested in wood, it has a caramel color and has sugar syrup added to it to make it appear as if it has been rested.
Unlike the above, a Tequila Reposado is aged in European or American oak barrels for a minimum of 60 days and up to a year. A great thing about this Tequila is that it makes for more flavorful and dynamic Margaritas.
A Tequila Añejo is also aged in European or American oak barrels. However, it is aged for at least an entire year up to 3 years. There are some producers that also use other barrels during the blending and aging process. Generally, this tequila is perfect for sipping neat. But, it can also be used as an alternative base spirit for cooking a variety of foods that otherwise use brown spirits such as whiskey.
Lastly, there is also Extra Añejo that is aged for a minimum of 3 years. It is not as common as other types of tequilas. You will find it to have an amber color which indicates its age. It is quite strong. Hence, it should not be consumed on an empty stomach.
Top Tequila Brands
When it comes to tequila, there are many amazing brands that you need to know about. Knowing the names of the top tequila brands will make things easier for you the next time you shop. The following are some of the best tequila brands.
Patrón is loved by just about everyone because of its versatility. It can be mixed into a cocktail, sipped neat, or with some ice. Its citrusy aroma has a light pepper finish to it which makes it instantly recognizable. Its serving suggestions include Mojitos, Bloody Marys, and Mules.
The Casamigos Blanco is another top tequila that you need to get your hands on. Besides, chances are that you have heard of Casamigos Tequila as it is the brainchild of Rande Gerber and George Clooney. It is a bottle that will make you seem refined and extra classy without trying too hard. When it comes to taste, it is possibly the smoothest tequila out there.
Considered to be one of the most expensive tequila brands in the world, Don Julio is the most luxurious option. Since it sports a steep price, it is the perfect option for a special occasion such as a wedding, bachelorette, or promotion. It is aged for at least 2 and half years in American white oak barrels. Tequila connoisseurs cannot go wrong with it. A notable fact about the brand is that it is loved by the Kardashians.
A premium tequila brand that you have to try at least once in a lifetime is Clase Azul. Its gorgeous bottles are renowned as they are hand-painted and handmade. Both the taste of the tequila and the bottle are a work of art. The tequila is aged for eight months and distilled twice.
5. Lalo Tequila
Eduardo “Lalo” Gonzalez has developed the ultimate Blanco Tequila and markets them under the brand “Lalo Tequila”. His grandfather was Don Julio, whose tequilas are loved by the Kardashians. This tequila offers a taste of cooked agave, cinnamon, sweet potato, and a bit of dulce de leche.
Best Tequila for $20 Shots
If you are searching for tequilas for shots, the following budget tequilas have got you covered.
Considered to be an amazing tequila for preparing a Margarita, the Sauza Hacienda Silver is a great option for those wanting a tequila for $20. Sauza has been offering tequila since 1873 and continues to provide amazing tequila. You will find the Sauza Hacienda Silver to have a green apple base with a nice citrusy finish.
A great tequila to sip neat is Lunazul. It is just the budget tequila that you need for sipping. Offering a peppery front with an awesome wash of fruits, it is light and not very aggressive. Hence, you can sip on it regularly.
El Charro Silver
Tequila lovers enjoy drinking ranch water with great passion. They will find El Charro Silver to be just the tequila for preparing ranch water. The reason why you should consider getting it is that it offers the perfect mix between lime juice and seltzer water. Besides, its true agave flavor makes it a must-try.
Best Tequila for $30 Shots
If you are willing to spend up to $30 on tequila for shots, you can shop for even more amazing options as mentioned below.
The Cazadores Tequila Reposado was developed back in 1922 by the Mexican community. It translates to resting and is made using 100% blue agave. The tequila is aged in American oak barrels for up to a year which provides it with its signature taste. When you sip on this tequila, you will get to experience fresh agave flavors with woody and vanilla notes.
2. Tequila Corralejo Silver
The Tequila Corralejo Silver is another amazing tequila that can be purchased for under $30. It is produced in Guanajuato using unique projection methods that use only the best agave. This tequila showcases the true beauty of the agave. It is velvety and smooth on the palate with a hint of peppercorn, honey, and fruit that shine through. You have to sip it chilled for the best time.
Cimmaron Reposado Tequila
The Cimmaron Reposado Tequila is a 100% agave tequila that delivers subtle flavors of vanilla and caramel. It has a light amber color and is aged for 6 months in oak barrels. If you want to whip up a cocktail, the dryness and smoothness of the spirit will allow you to control the sweetness level of the drink. This means that you can make a fruit-forward tequila sunrise or a boozy fresh tequila tonic at the same time.
Tequila Mixed Drinks/Cocktails
Now that you have an idea about tequilas and which ones to order, here are some of the mixed drinks/cocktails that you can prepare.
Casa Ginger Mint Paloma
The Casa Ginger Mint Paloma requires an ounce of fresh lime juice, 1.5 ounces of grapefruit juice, 0.5 ounce of simple syrup, 8 to 10 mint leaves, and 2 ounces of Tequila Reposado. It tastes absolutely delicious and is easy to make. All you have to do is combine the ingredients in a tin shaker, add some ice, and shake for 8 to 10 seconds. Then, you just have to fine strain it into a highball glass and add some more ice. Lastly, make sure to garnish it with grapefruit.