Classic Tequila drinks

Tequila bottlesTequila, one of the best, or worst, liquers in existence. Likely to cause hangovers and passionate embraces equally.

The liquer is made from the Blue Agave plant, mainly around the city of Tequila, and in the Los Altos highlands of Mexico's Jalisco state. The name tequila is protected, and the drink can only be produced in a few areas of these Mexican states: Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Tequila was first produced in the 16th century near Tequila by the Aztec people, but only 80 years later it begun being mass produced by Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle near Jalisco. Later on, the first actual licence granted to produce tequila was given to the Cuervo family.

However, these tequilas weren't like those today, as the production method for modern tequila was perfected in the early 19th century in Guadalajara. Tequila was first exported in the late 1800s, and then to the United States.



Interesting tequila fact: In 2009, Mexican scientists discovered a method to produce tiny, nanometric size, synthetic diamonds from 80-proof (40% alcohol) tequila. This process involves heating the tequila to over 800 degrees C (1,400 degrees F) to break its molecular structure and be vaporised.

Tequila recipes

  • All The King's Men
    A lovely smooth summer tequila cocktail with ginger beer and ruby port for flavor.
  • Classic Margarita
    Deservedly one of the most famous cocktails of all time, the Classic Margarita goes down smooth.
  • Frozen Fruit Margarita
    If you'd like your Margarita fruitier, add some tasty fruit to the tequila drink.
  • Tequila Sunrise
    Tequila Sunrise is one of those drinks that can knock you out quickly. This combination of tequila and orange juice packs a real punch.
  • Long Island Iced Tea
    Big daddy of long drinks, the Long Island Ice Tea tastes sweet and will get the party started.
  • Tequila Poppers
    A favourite. This tequila shot is quick and dirty.
  • La Cucharacha
    If you'd rather mix your tequila up and set it on fire, the cockroach is for you.

Types of tequila

The spirit is available in two basic types: mixtos and 100% agave. Mixtos use no less than 51% agave, with other fructose and glucose sugars making up the remainder.

With 100% agave tequila, blanco or plata is harsher with the bold flavors of the distilled agave up front. Reposado and añejo bottlings are smoother, subtler, and more complex. Like other cask-aged spirits, the cask wood imparts the tequila with its flavors and mellows the harshness of the alcohol. The major flavor distinction with 100% agave tequila is the base ingredient, which is more vegetal than grain spirits and often more complex.

Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories:

  • Blanco ("white") or plata ("silver"): white spirit, un-aged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels;
  • Joven ("young") or oro ("gold"): a mixture of blanco tequila and reposado tequila;
  • Reposado ("rested"): aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size;
  • Añejo ("aged" or "vintage"): aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in small oak barrels;
  • Extra Añejo ("extra aged" or "ultra aged"): aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels. This category was established in March 2006.

Photo by CC Chapman on flickr

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