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: El Mayor Tequila Extra Anejo – Bourbon Barrel Aged

By Christopher Null | November 27, 2023 |

Each year we have the treat of seeing a special edition from the tequila pros at El Mayor. This year is no exception, and it’s even more special since the company is celebrating its 25th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the company has dropped another Extra Anejo bottling, aged for 39 months in surprisingly traditional…

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Drinkhacker’s 2023 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 23, 2023 |

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some festivities in the form of holiday revelry. Naturally, the holidays mean gift-giving time is nigh, and you’re going to want recommendations for what to wrap up and stash under the tree. As always, this year we want your gift-giving to make a statement, but we…

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The Top 10 Tequilas and Mezcals of 2023

By Christopher Null | November 13, 2023 |

Our fifth year producing a top 10 tequilas and mezcals list has a little twist on it: We didn’t pick any of the mezcals we tried this year for inclusion on the list. While we liked plenty of them, none made quite enough of an impact to earn a spot here. That said, we’ve got…

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Review: El Cristiano Tequila, Silver and Reposado

By Jonathan Glover | November 12, 2023 |

It’s really easy to get really cynical really quickly about a tequila brand founded by a self-described “serial entrepreneur and angel investor.” Because what venture capitalist hasn’t lifted themselves up by the bootstraps to eventually found their very own vanity tequila brand? Admittedly, founder Karan Khanna’s involvement is obfuscated by the roles of founding consultant…

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Quintaliza Reposado

Review: Quintaliza Tequila Reposado

By David Tao | November 10, 2023 |

As agave spirits continue their march toward becoming the most-sold liquor category in America, we’re seeing more market differentiators than ever. One of the latest is Quintaliza’s Reposado Tequila, which according to the brand is both additive-free and certified organic. And here’s where things get interesting: the product is “finished in oak barrels that previously…

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Review: La Pulga Tequila – Blanco and Reposado

By Drew Beard | October 27, 2023 |

Tequila continues to take the country by storm but perhaps nowhere more so than in Texas. Three Ft. Worth-based entrepreneurs are getting in on the action with another addition to the growing La Pulga, a tequila distilled and bottled in Jalisco, Mexico but proudly born in “Cowtown.” Or so goes the press release. The name…

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Review: Convite Mezcal Una’

By Christopher Null | October 9, 2023 |

Convite makes a range of high-grade mezcals, but with Una’ — yes, with an apostrophe at the end; the term means “woman” in Zapotec — it’s on to something with a twist. It’s produced with espadin agave but colored a light shade of pink (with cochineal tint) in order to give it a thematic alignment…

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Review: Cenote Green Orange Liqueur

By Christopher Null | October 5, 2023 |

If the name of this product alone doesn’t confuse you into oblivion, the description of it just might. Apologies in advance. While colloquially billed as a tequila, it’s officially a liqueur, but one made with 100% blue agave tequila. It’s green in color, but flavored with oranges. Or rather, green oranges (or rather, natural green…

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Review: Tequila Don Ramon Tamarindo

By Christopher Null | September 29, 2023 |

Tequila Don Ramon makes high-end tequilas so fancy that Pierce Brosnan is a spokesman for them. It also makes this: A 100% agave blanco that is artificially flavored with tamarind flavor. It smells nice enough — sweet, with clear tamarind notes, both spicy and earthy — but the flavor is another animal. Charitably, it is…

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Review: Santo Tequila Anejo

By Robert Lublin | September 24, 2023 |

Santo Tequila is fronted by Sammy Hagar of Van Halen fame and food show celebrity Guy Fieri. We first tried the brand in 2017, when they released their unusual Mezquila, and just a few months ago we tried Santo’s younger tequila offerings: blanco, reposado, and a bold, flavorful 110 proof blanco. Today we finally finish…

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