Tequila is a spirit produced from the blue agave plant. Unlike other major spirit categories, tequila can only be made in a few designated areas in Mexico. It can be aged in oak barrels or bottled straight from the still, allowing for a wide variety of styles and flavour profiles. Tequila is most often blended together with other tequila distillate creating a 100% agave product, or mixed with grain spirit resulting in what is called a “mixto." Origin: Believed to have originated around the town of Tequila, in the State of Jalisco in the 16th century. The highly fermentable sugars from the agave plant were fermented into a low alcohol juice called pulque before Spanish settlers distilled it into a spirit.
WHITE OR BLANCO
Blanco tequila can be bottled right after distillation, often blending with water to reduce the alcohol proof. It can be either 100% agave or blended with grain to create a mixto.
Reposado is tequila that is “rested” for at least two months in oak vats or barrels. Most reposados are 100% agave, but can be made as a mixto.
Añejo is the Spanish word for “aged.” Añejo tequila must be aged in oak barrels for at least one year. Most añejos are 100% agave but can be made as a mixto.
Extra añejo tequila must be aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years. This is a new classification, introduced in 2006. Most extra añejos are 100% agave, but can be made as a mixto.
Usually labeled gold tequila, due to the addition of caramel colouring to darken the liquid. The only difference between gold and silver tequila is the colour from the caramel.
Mezcal, which means “oven-cooked agave,” is the parent to tequila and can be produced with a wide variety of agave plants. This is the main differentiator from tequila. Production begins with the traditional method of cooking the agave in earth covered pits. This method gives mescal an earthier, smoky flavour profile.