Tequila, the national alcoholic drink of Mexico hails from the areas surrounding the town of Tequila, 65 km northwest of Guadalajara and the highlands of Los Altos from the western state of Jalisco. The area’s volcanic soil is ideal for growing the agave plant. The plant has thick, long and spiky leaves. It needs to grow for 8 to 12 years before it can be harvested.
Join bartender classes in London and learn all about Tequila!!
Pure tequila is distilled from the fermented juices of the blue agave plant and can be produced; inspected and sold only from Mexico. It has to have at least 51% agave. Tequila produced elsewhere is called mixto and it is distilled with water and sugar. Tequila is an extremely potent drink and can be classified into four types.
- Silver or Blanco Tequila: This white coloured alcohol can be 100% pure agave tequila or mixto. It is aged for a maximum of 60 days in stainless steel containers. It is primarily used for mixing fruit based drinks. Popular brands are Siembra Azul Blanco, Don Lunas Silva, Tezon Blanco
- Gold or Joven Tequila: These are Silver Tequila flavoured with caramel. These mixtos are sweet and smooth and ideal for shots and Frozen Margaritas. Popular brands are Margaritaville Gold, Zaffarancho Gold, Los Ajulejos
- Reposado Tequila: These are aged in wooden casks for a minimum of 2 months. The more superior quality Reposado is matured for 3 to 9 months. This robust alcohol is the most popular in Mexico and can be 100% agave or a mixto. Popular brands include Siembra Azul Reposado, Casa Noble Reposado, Tezon Reposado
- Anejo Tequila: This is tequila aged in oak casks for a minimum of one year, resulting in a dark, robust spirit. The best mixto Anejos are aged for 18 months to 3 years while 100% agave tequila is aged for 4 years. Popular brands include Siembra Azul Anejo, Don Julio Anejo, Don Julio Extra Anejo
- Mezcal: A country cousin of the tequila, mezcal is distilled from other varieties of agave and not the blue agave. The process of manufacture of this spirit is similar to that of tequila. Many bottles contain a pickled, preserved worm which is apparently put in to prove the proof of the spirit. Popular brands include Monte Alban, Talepa Reposado, Scorpion Anejo 7 year.
If you wish to purchase tequila there are a few things to look out for apart from the cost, although you have to keep in mind that the more expensive the tequila, the better its quality.
- First you have to decide whether you would like 100% pure agave or a mixto
- Then the type or ‘tipos’ of tequila.
Typically tequila is ad as a shooter with lemon and salt. But it lends itself very well to cocktails and mixed drinks as well. A few famous tequila based cocktails are the Tequila Sunrise, Brave Bull and of course the various types of Margaritas.
Bartending classes in London will give you a very good insight into all you wish to know about tequila and its cocktails.