Tequila

Tequila is one of the fastest-growing spirits in the U.S., with America consuming even more than they do in its homeland of Mexico. The biggest growth is in the premium and super-premium categories, as drinkers discover the pleasure of sipping rather than slamming good tequila. Tequila is in fact a type of mezcal, but one that has a specific “domain of origin” status and which must be made from a single species of agave, the blue agave. Tequila must be made in certain designated areas in Mexico, the biggest being the state of Jalisco, where the town of Tequila is located. Rack “tequila” must contain at least 51% blue agave sugars, and the remainder can be just about anything, including corn syrup. However, quality tequila will state on the bottle that it is made from 100% blue agave. Anything less than this (think Cuervo Gold) is called a mixto. Within Mexico, tequila can be bottled at anything from 62 to 110 proof, but within the U.S. it must be at least 80 proof. Blanco (silver or white) tequila is sold unaged, reposado tequila must be aged at least two months in white oak barrels, and añejo (aged) tequila are aged for twelve months minimum. Finally, extra añejo must be aged for at least three years. A new variety of tequila, generally called cristalino, is aged tequila that has been filtered to remove color, giving it the appearance of a blanco but the flavor of an añejo.

Top Tequila Posts:

Understanding the Different Styles of Tequila
A Visit to Casa Herradura
A Visit to the Don Julio Tequila Distillery

Review: Jose Cuervo Platino Tequila

By Christopher Null | February 1, 2008 |

From the biggest name in the tequila business comes an ultra-premium bottling, Jose Cuervo Platino, a silver tequila that’s priced to the skies. Made using the innermost part of the agave, the piña, the tequila is meant to evoke agave in the extreme. And it certainly does. While it’s impressively smooth, it packs quite the…

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Review: Tonala Tequila Añejo

By Christopher Null | January 20, 2008 |

Patron enthusiasts, you’re on notice: There’s better stuff out there… but yes, it will cost you. Tonala is a pottery town in the state of Jalisco… and they also turn out a mighty fine tequila, too. Tonala’s Añejo is a subtle, not-overly-oaky golden amber sipper, as smooth a tequila as I can remember. With just…

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Recipe: The Joost Sparkler

By Christopher Null | December 11, 2007 |

Here’s the official cocktail for my 2007 holiday party, inspired by the La Real at Solstice in San Francisco. The Joost Sparkler 1 oz. silver tequila 3/4 oz. pomegranate liqueur 3/4 oz. lychee liqueur 1/2 oz. triple sec Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice, strain into a champagne flute. Fill remainder with Champagne. I’m…

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Review: Tequila Partida, Complete Lineup (2007)

By Christopher Null | December 9, 2007 |

Finally got to sample Partida’s new, full line of tequilas today. Color me impressed. No, seriously. Here’s how they shake out. Tequila Partida Blanco (2007) – This is a peppery but very clean silver tequila, perfect for mixing and even for sipping straight in a pinch. Among the best tequilas I’ve tried. A- / $40  [BUY…

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Review: Hornitos Plata, Reposado, and Anejo Tequila (2007)

By Christopher Null | October 19, 2007 |

Hornitos is known for its trademark Reposado tequila with the bright green label. But now Hornitos expands in a natural direction: With both a Plata (aka Blanco or silver) tequila and an aged Anejo, to round out the line with one of each of the three traditional tequila varieties. I tried them all side by…

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