Tequila has become one of the most popular types of liquor in the United States. Some people drink it as a shot while others enjoy sipping it straight. Perhaps one of the most common drinks that has made tequila famous is the margarita. Almost every bar and restaurant serves them and they come in a wide variety of flavors from classic lime to strawberry, mango, banana and more. No matter how you enjoy drinking it, we aim to give you a nice background on tequila so that you can be the most knowledgeable person in the room the next time you and your friends raise your Dos Sueños glasses for a toast.
What Is Tequila and Where’s It Made?
Tequila is derived from blue agave plants. It comes to life by distilling the fermentation of the sugars found in the blue agave plants after they have been cooked. The alcohol content of the tequila is influenced by the fermentation process. The things that can impact the level of alcohol include the agave plant’s age (an older plant produces more alcohol), temperature that it is cooked at, differing types of yeast strains, and the ratio of carbon to nitrogen. The specific yeast strain and ratio of carbon to nitrogen have the largest impact creating higher alcohols.
While the origins of tequila date back over 1,000 years to the Aztecs, current Mexican law states that only tequila that is made in Tequila, Mexico can be advertised as tequila. It is there, in the city of Tequila, where jimadors harvest blue agave plants and begin the process of producing the liquor that so many of us have come to love. The jimadors heat the heart of the blue agave with steam until aguamiel (a type of juice) is released. This juice is combined with sugar cane and yeast before being fermented for a couple of days. After this, the aguamiel is distilled two times and reaches 90-proof (45% alcohol) or more!
If a spirit does not contain at least 51% blue agave distillate, then it cannot be known as a tequila.
Different Types of Tequila
- Blanco - This tequila is considered to be the pure flavor of the blue agave plant. Following distillation, this tequila is bottled right away. There are some blanco tequilas that are aged for a very short period of time before being bottled but this is rare.
- Reposado - This refers to tequilas that have been “rested.” Rather than being bottled, immediately following the distillation process, these tequilas are aged for 2-12 months inside oak barrels of any size. The color of these tequilas tends to be yellowish (somewhere between the Blanco clear and much darker añejo.
- Añejo - Aged inside oak barrels for 1-3 years before being bottled. These tequilas are typically darker in color compared to reposados and have a higher profile taste thanks to the barrels they are aged in.
- Extra Añejo - Aged inside oak barrels for 3 years or more. Even darker in color and more full flavored.
This is where no one’s opinion will be better than your own. While Tequila Blanco delivers a pure and authentic taste of the blue agave plant, others can bring about some great characteristics indicative of the type of barrel and length of time aged. Some tequilas are even aged inside bourbon barrels which tones down the sharp bite by introducing sugars and spices to the spirit.
Enjoy with Dos Sueños Glassware