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: 4 Copas Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | June 15, 2008 |

Organic tequila? Why not? Tequila (real, good tequila, anyway) is made entirely out of one plant, the agave, so if you can raise it organically, you’re pretty much making organic tequila. (Making an organic gin, say, with its myriad botanical ingredients, would be considerably more difficult.) 4 Copas (translation: “4 cups,” from a saying that…

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Original Recipe: Catalina Coffee

By Christopher Null | June 12, 2008 |

Don’t like coffee drinks? Don’t think tequila will work in one? Give this recipe a try (inspired by south-of-the-border spirits) and I absolutely guarantee your satisfaction. Catalina Coffee 1 oz. premium silver (blanco) tequila 1/2 oz. Licor 43 1/4 oz. Damiana liqueur 1 sugar cube Add above ingredients to a coffee mug, fill mostly with…

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Review: Tequila 7 Leguas (2008)

By Christopher Null | June 1, 2008 |

7 Leguas or Siete Leguas (“Seven Leagues”) was the name of Pancho Villa’s horse. How does such a moniker bode for the tequila named after him? Well, I guess I’d rather drink tequila named after a horse than something named after Pancho Villa himself. (Really, think about it…) 7 Leguas offers the three traditional (all…

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Review: Corazon Tequila, Complete Lineup (2008)

By Christopher Null | May 20, 2008 |

I find that tequila creates the strongest difference of opinion of any straight spirit. While people tend to agree on what makes a good gin, a good vodka, or even a good bourbon, when it comes to tequila, opinions on a given bottle tend to fall all over the map. One case in point is…

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Review: 1800 Select Silver Tequila

By Christopher Null | May 17, 2008 |

Good lord, has anyone needed more of a kick out of their tequila? If good old 80 proof doesn’t cut it for you, run, don’t walk, to grab a flask of 1800 Select Silver. At 100 proof, it’s got a bonus kick to it, while still being true to the spirit of blanco tequilas. 1800…

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Review: Don Julio Tequila Añejo (2008)

By Christopher Null | May 4, 2008 |

Cinco de Mayo is holiday time… oh, wait, we’ve covered that already. Let’s get right to the review, then. Don Julio’s Añejo tequila is top shelf stuff. This aged spirit has an immediate kick of vanilla, butterscotch, and Christmas spices, with a good, mellowed agave flavor that seeps into all of it. The wood is…

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Review: El Mayor Tequila Blanco (2008)

By Christopher Null | May 4, 2008 |

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo. And Cinco de Mayo is holiday time. Holiday time in Mexico. While we celebrate Mexico’s victory against Napoleon’s invading force in 1862, we are encouraged to do so with quality tequila. Here’s the first of two reviews of premium tequilas, both of which are excellent choices for your May 5…

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Review: Reserva del Señor Almendrado

By Christopher Null | May 1, 2008 |

Mexico’s answer to Amaretto (and no, I didn’t know there was a challenge that needed answering either) is Almendrado, a tequila-based liqueur flavored strongly with almonds and bottled at 60 proof. If you’re the type of person who can handle Amaretto on the rocks after dinner, you’ll have no trouble with Reserva del Señor Almendrado.…

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Review: Tequila Herradura Silver (2008)

By Christopher Null | April 26, 2008 |

Only about a week until Cinco de Mayo… time to get some tequila coverage out of the way, no? Herradura is one of the bigger tequila brands, and for good reason. Nothing at all wrong with this smooth sipper with the horseshoe on the label. This tequila is a pale pale yellow, aged 45 days…

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Review: Tenoch Tequila Reposado

By Christopher Null | April 3, 2008 |

As far as I can tell, Tenoch makes only one type of tequila, this reposado bottling that’s lightly golden, aged in oak, and bottled in a stoneware jug designed to look like an agave plant is enveloping it. Tasty stuff, it’s lightly peppery and sweet like caramel, with herbal notes dancing around your mouth. For…

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