When it comes to Tequila, there are few people who don’t turn up their nose and get a shiver down their spine. The truth is, good Tequila can be enjoyed just like a fine wine or whiskey! Here are a few facts about Tequila and what to look for when shopping for Tequila.
-The name Tequila is a reference to the geographic area in west-central Mexico. In order to put “Tequila” on the label, it must be made in the Tequila region.
-Tequila is distilled from the Blue Agave Plant. The Blue Agave is NOT a cactus; it is actually a member of the Lily family.
-There are four main types of Agave Tequila:
–SILVER/BLANCO is un-aged Tequila.
–REPOSADO is aged 3 to 9 months in wood barrels.
–ANEJO is aged a minimum of 12 months.
–EXTRA ANEJO is usually aged more than 36 months.
As Tequila is aged, the flavor becomes richer, smoother and it will develop a light golden color. Good Tequila can have flavors of citrus, spice, oak and a nice touch of sweetness.
Gold Tequila or Silver Tequila without the “100% Agave” designation is typically un-aged Tequila. Gold Tequila is Silver Tequila that has had flavor and/or color added to the spirit. This type of tequila is called Mixto.
What about the worm? The worm is often found in a product called Mezcal, which is very similar to Tequila, but has a much more smoky flavor compared to traditional Tequila. This flavor comes from the agave being cooked in ovens with wood charcoal before the distillation process. The worm is actually the larva from a moth that lives on Agave plants. The worm is safe to consume and myth has it that eating the worm will bring you good luck!
If you are making margaritas in the blender with fruit or mix, using gold or white Tequila is perfectly fine. If you are making margaritas “on the rocks” we recommend using a 100% Agave Tequila. With margaritas “on the rocks” always use Grand Marnier or Cointreau instead of Triple Sec!
Anejo and Extra Anejo Tequilas are made to be sipped like a fine cognac or bourbon. Try them either straight up or chilled with a twist of lime.