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: Karma Tequila Silver

By Christopher Null | May 9, 2010 |

This new Highland tequila is made with no additives, a blend of double- and triple-distilled spirit and mixed with well water from the estate on which the agave is grown. Available only in blanco/silver form for now (reposado and anejo are aging now), Karma has a mild nose and a medium body. The initial rush…

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Review: Tequila Ocho Plata Rancho Los Corrales 2010

By Christopher Null | May 5, 2010 |

Tequila Ocho continues its quest to turn in single estate, vintage-dated tequilas, and recently it has launched the first of its 2010 line, this one from Rancho Los Corrales. This is a distinctly subdued tequila. Compared to the 2009 Rancho Las Pomez, which is also still available, it’s a quiet, brooding beast. On the nose,…

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Review: Arta Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | May 3, 2010 |

Recently I was chastised for spending too much ink on product packaging. But Arta Tequila, a new brand, has “art” right in the name and its slogan is “The Art of Tequila,” so how can I not talk about these bottles? With their unique triangle base, Arta fits on the shelf like no other tequila…

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Review: Milagro Tequila Select Barrel Reserve Silver (2010)

By Christopher Null | May 2, 2010 |

60 bucks is a lot to pay for a silver tequila, so it better be good, right? Well, even if it’s not, it helps if it’s a work of art. Milagro’s Select Barrel Reserve line come in some of the most gorgeous bottles I’ve ever seen, amazingly crafted with a glass rendition of an agave…

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Review: PaQui Silvera Tequila Blanco

By Christopher Null | April 16, 2010 |

Cinco de Mayo is nearly upon us, and that means Drinkhacker HQ is now flooded with tequila, so we’re now getting crackin’ on the stuff. Let’s start with a simple, and pretty good, one, a new tequila brand called PaQui. Fans of smooth tequilas will immediately dig PaQui’s body, at least once they get the…

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Review: Tequila Semental, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | March 30, 2010 |

These simple tequilas are crafted from 100% agave and weigh in at a standard 80 proof. Tequila Semental Silver – Unaged and crystal clear. Strong agave character, if a little rough on the palate and in the finish. A bit smoky on the nose — but not of wood, more of a brush fire, probably…

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Review: Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Tequila 2010 Edition

By Christopher Null | March 25, 2010 |

Each year our friends at Cuervo release a special edition tequila called Reserva de la Familia. We missed out on a review in 2009 but still have a bit of 2008 left for sharing with special guests which we guard like Gollum watches over his Precious. Well, 2010’s Reserva just arrived and it’s a real…

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Review: Yeyo Tequila Silver (2010)

By Christopher Null | March 8, 2010 |

Yeyo! It’s fun to say. Pretty fun to drink. But more fun to say. Yeyo! Yeyo is a new brand, a straight-up silver tequila. 100% agave. No aged versions. Hailing from Beaverton, Oregon (by way of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, of course), it’s only now arriving in small pockets of the Pacific Northwest. Easygoing…

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Original Recipe: The Magnificent Bastard

By Christopher Null | January 30, 2010 |

Our friends at Magnificent Bastard announced a contest to create a namesake cocktail for them late last year. After giving it much thought, here’s what I came up with and submitted. I wanted to create something that’s very easy to make, uses relatively common ingredients, and, in keeping with the name of the website, is…

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Review: 1921 Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | January 24, 2010 |

From the Jalisco highlands, 1921 is a line of 100 percent agave tequilas… plus a tequila liqueur. I tasted them all while trying to figure out what the symbolism of “1921” was… and failed. The line is unusual in that the agave undergoes a double fermentation process, said to offer more smoothness and a wider…

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