The ABCDE’s of Tequila


Do you – like us – know an embarrassingly small amount about Tequila? Is your knowledge limited to asking for a tequila shot mere moments before Last Calls?

Fear not, because we’ve got an LGBT guide to the ABCDE’s of Tequila, courtesy of hospitality superstar Joey Chisholm (and, by extension, Patrón Tequila).

A IS FOR AGAVE

All tequila comes from the piñas of the Blue Webber Agave plant. Native to the arid highlands of Mexico, blue agave is a fleshy succulent that is grown commercially in Mexico as the base ingredient for tequila.

If it ain’t agave, it ain’t tequila.

B IS FOR BLANCO

Also known as silver tequila, blanco is the unaged expression of tequila distilled from the blue Weber agave. Perfect for margaritas, blanco tequilas are labelled “100% blue agave.”

The other type of tequila you might hear about is “reposado” : this is tequila that is aged in American or European oak barrels for at least two months to a year. Reposado tequilas make for more dynamic, flavourful Margaritas.

C IS FOR COCKTAILS TO MAKE WITH TEQUILA

What types of drinks can you make with tequila? Plenty!

There’s the classic Tequila sunrise (tequila, orange juice, and grenadine), the Paloma (grapefruit-flavored soda (or fresh grapefruit juice, and soda) and tequila), and the most well-known, Margarita (tequila, Cointreau/Orange Liqueur and lime juice).

D IS FOR DESTINATION OF ORIGIN

Tequila is recognized as a Mexican designation of origin product in more than 40 countries. To be real tequila,  it must be made in one of five states in Mexico and, by definition, must be made from blue agave (Agave tequilana).

If it doesn’t meet these criteria, it may not be genuine Tequila. It could, however, be mezcal – a spirit made from other varieties of agave.

E IS FOR EXTRA ANEJO

A new Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) (Mexican trade law) for tequila was issued in 2006, and among other changes, introduced extra añejo. Extra añejo or “ultra-aged” is a style of aged tequila. Extra añejo means the spirit must be aged for more than three years, typically in oak barrels. Most distillers use a variety of wood barrels to age extra añejo tequila, but the most popular are American and French oak.

For more recipes and premium tequila info, visit Patrón’s website.

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