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Tequila 101

Tequila 101

Tequila is Mexico’s most prominent distilled spirit and a synonym for good times. People associate Tequila with Mexican-style heavy drinking, but the spirit is as complex and sophisticated as any other in the world. In fact, its uniqueness sets it apart; few other spirits are based in agave, a spiny cactus.

Tequila is a protected beverage, meaning there are strict rules to make it, and it all starts in the fields in well-defined regions in Mexico. Here, Producers grow blue agave, the only cactus allowed for the production of Tequila. It takes between seven and eight years for a plant to be ready for harvest, and once it’s cut down, its cycle ends.

To make Tequila, the cactus leaves are chopped down to reveal the agave’s core, fondly called pineapple, for its shape. These agave cores contain a sweet sap, that when oven-cooked and mashed, become a syrupy must perfect for fermentation and distillation.

You’ll find un-aged white Tequila (Blanco or silver), Reposado, aged between two months and a year, Añejo, aged between one and three years, and finally, the newer Extra-Añejo aged for over three years. No style is better than others. White Tequila is fresh and lively, while Extra-Añejos are proper sipping spirits on par with the rarest whiskeys.

The finest tequilas can have exorbitant prices, and Tequila houses have large fan bases nationally and abroad. Sip a nice tequila, enjoy a Margarita or knock back a shot once in a while. You can’t go wrong with Tequila.

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