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: Tres Generaciones Plata and Reposado Tequila

By Christopher Null | February 7, 2009 |

Part of the Sauza mini-empire (along with Hornitos), Tres Generaciones is the company’s newest and most premium tequila, 100 percent agave, of course. We tried the plata (silver) and reposado bottlings (but, alas, the anejo wasn’t available). Both are 80 proof. Tres Generaciones Plata Tequila – This is a very respectable blanco tequila, extremely smooth,…

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Review: Tequila Herradura, Complete Lineup (2008)

By Christopher Null | December 5, 2008 |

Finally got my mitts on the full line of standard Herradura tequilas (all except the Seleccion Suprema). Here are some thoughts on all three expressions. All are 80 proof. Tequila Herradura Silver (2008) – (original report here) – This blanco has grown on me since I originally reviewed it in April. My overall tasting notes are…

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Drinkhacker’s 2008 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 28, 2008 |

What better gift is there than a bottle of booze? Not only will your giftee think you’re incredibly sophisticated, chances are he’ll let you drink a good amount of it before he realizes his terrible mistake. What’s the best booze to put under the tree this Christmas season? Of course you want to offer something…

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Review: Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Tequila 2008 Edition

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2008 |

One of the rarest and most expensive tequilas reasonably available on the market, this is Cuervo’s top of the line. It is produced once a year (each with a unique wooden box to contain it), blended from old tequilas that have been in oak for an average of three years and, in some cases, up…

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1800 Tequila Releases Essential Artists Series Bottlings

By Christopher Null | November 20, 2008 |

The cool cats at 1800 are taking their tequila to new heights: By adding to the artistry of what’s in the bottle through a series of prints that adhere to the bottle itself. For its first round, 1800 has commissioned nine artists to produce original works which are then recreated on the back of the…

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Tequila Tips from Herradura

By Christopher Null | November 14, 2008 |

Nothing saddens me more than watching someone order a top-shelf tequila, then suck it down in one gulp with salt and lime. Herradura offers some tips on how to drink tequila the right way, whether you’re having a light silver or a deep anejo: – Before tasting, hold the glass up to a light. Swirl…

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This Will Do Nothing Good for Tequila Prices

By Christopher Null | November 13, 2008 |

Unhappy with merely drinking their expensive spirit, meddling scientists have found a way to turn tequila into diamonds. The final diamond film was hard and heat-resistant – properties that could make the diamond useful as coatings for cutting tools, high-power semiconductors, radiation detectors and optical-electronic devices, the scientists explained. They plan to begin industrial-scale applications…

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Review: Tequilas of Don Julio – Blanco, Reposado, 1942, and Real (2008)

By Christopher Null | October 7, 2008 |

Having previously expressed my love for Don Julio’s Anejo tequila, I finally got my mitts on the other four bottles in Don Julio’s line. Some additional thoughts on the products from one of the most reliable, high-quality tequila producers in operation. All are 80 proof. Don Julio Tequila Blanco – A fresh and creamy taste,…

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Review: Tabasco Spicy Tequila

By Christopher Null | September 16, 2008 |

Today is Mexican Independence Day. (Independence from Spain in 1810, Einstein.) That means you should be drinking tequila right now. Or at least a Pacifico. Alas, I’ve but one bottle of tequila in the Drinkhacker review queue, and it’s not exactly something you’re going to want to suck down til dawn. Sorry. Anyway, you read…

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Review: Agavero Liqueur

By Christopher Null | September 13, 2008 |

Somewhere between Drambuie and Almendrado lies Agavero, the curious tequila liqueur in the distinctive bottle. Agavero is a blend of 100% agave tequilas (both reposado and anejo) to which Damiana flower essence is added. (If that sounds familiar it’s because Damiana is also the namesake of the eponymous herbal Damiana liqueur, something I use liberally…

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