This is a quick and dirty primer on Tequila’s. We are not, nor do we aspire to be tequila experts. However, there are some fundamentals that even the casual tequila drinker can benefit from. Tequila is made from the blue agave plant. The lesser quality green agave is used to make mescal, which actually isn’t a bad drink either. So the first thing to look for on a label is 100% blue agave. You only have to use 51% blue agave to legally call it tequila. Ok, after you determine quality of the ingredients, the next issue is the process.
Three Types of Tequila
There are three legal designations. To be called tequila, it is aged 1 to 2 months.. This basic tequilas are good for mixing in things like margaritas. It tends to be a bit harsh for sipping. Another way to make good use of cheaper tequila is to mix it with amaretto and make almond tequila. We find we 3 parts tequila and 1 part amaretto to be a good ratio.
Reposada literally means rested. For this designation, tequila has to be aged betwen 2 months and one year. Aging mellows the tequila and I find reposada quite “sippable”. It also starts taking on some color from the barrel.
There is a supposed to be a squiggly line over the “e” indicating the pronounciation is Ahn-Yay-ho. This is the best and most expensive of Tequila’s. It has to be aged at least 1 year and may be aged up to 3 years and has a golden color with a mellow complex taste to match. Don’t be fooled. Some well known brands (we won’t mention the name, but it rhymes with nosay barevo) is neither 100% blue agave nor aged. The brown coloring must come from something other than aging barrels (sly grin).
Your taste buds are what matters. I have had expensive tequilas that just don’t taste good to me. Taste before you spend the big bucks on a fine bottle of anejo tequila. Then ENJOY !! Oh wait, I almost forgot. Follow this link for our Perfect Margarita Recipe.