October 16, 2005

Tequila Tasting 101

A wise man once said, "One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor." Or maybe we read it on a t-shirt. Either way, we've rounded up information on various tequila types so your next purchase is an informed one.

Multiple Tequila BottlesDo you know someone who lives in abject fear of tequila? You mention the word and they go pale, shake their head frantically and stammer out that no, they're not interested because of a bad experience with it. That's because the American idea of tequila (and its bastard cousin, Mezcal) seems to be that it is only good for mixing up batches of margaritas, or for doing shots.

Not that there's anything wrong with licking, slamming or sucking, but not all tequila should be consumed so abundantly. Like wine and single-malt scotch, tequila tastes different depending on who makes it, the process used, and the growing environment of the Blue Agave (tequila's defining ingredient). We've rounded up information about the drink's history, as well as how to buy and taste it, plus we made some recommendations for bottles we like, in a variety of price ranges.

Types of Tequila: Mixto, Silver, Gold, Reposado, Anejo, plus flavored brands and mezcal...it's enough to make your head spin before you even have a sip. Learn more about different tequila types at CocktailTimes.

Tequila FAQ: Should there be a worm in the bottle? Are different types of tequila really all that different? How regulated is the production? Get answers to tequila questions from expert Ian Chadwick.

Stemmed Tequila GlassTequila Tasting Tips: What kind of glass should you use in your tequila tasting? How do you set up a tasting of your own? Learn how to drink tequila, plus find out the Six Commandments of a Tequila Tasting.

Tequila Cocktail Recipes: When you mix tequila drinks it's generally better to use the lower-end stuff, though not so bottom shelf it's overwhelming. Save the expensive stuff for sipping. We found some good drink recipes including the Tequila Sour at iTequila, the Bloody Maria at About.com and the Rude Cosmopolitan from Cocktail Times.

Our Favorite Brands: We consulted with our staff and came up with a list of favorite brands to take you beyond Cuervo Gold. Prices are for 750 ml bottles, unless otherwise noted, and we've included each tequila's website when we could find one.

Under $20: Pepe Lopez (Gold or Silver, 80 proof); San Matias Reposado (80 proof); Sauza Blanco (Silver, 80 proof)

$20-$40: Don Julio Blanco (Silver, 80 proof); Don Eduardo Blanco (Silver; 80 proof); Amate Blanco (Silver, 80 proof); Don Amado Reposado Mezcal (80 proof); 1800 Reserva Antigua Anejo (80 proof)

$40-$60: Don Eduardo Anejo (80 proof); Don Eduardo Reposado (80 proof); Cabo Wabo Reposado (80 proof); Don Alvaro Anejo (80 proof); Sol Dios Anejo (80 proof); Sauza Tres Generaciones Anejo (80 proof)

$60-$100: Penca Azul Reposado (80 proof); Los Arango AƱejo (80 proof); Corazon Anejo (80 proof)

Over $100: Cuervo Reserva La Familia Anejo (80 proof); El Tesoro de Don Felipe Paradiso Anejo (80 proof)

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at October 16, 2005 12:00 PM


Recent Comments

your website has misleading information...you list mezcal as a tequila.. this is incorrect. rule of thumb, all tequila is mezcal, no mezcal is tequila. according to the Mexican government, anything produced outside the narrowly defined geographical region known as tequila is NOT tequila

Posted by: Darin Westcott at May 7, 2009 4:17 PM

Hussongs Resposado is agreat tequila. It is my third favorite after Cabo Wabo Blue, followed by Fina Estampa.


Posted by: msfanni at November 4, 2006 11:47 AM
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