What is Tequila?
“If you want to make some memories, pour some tequila.” Tequila does not necessarily cause one to be intoxicated unless it is taken excessively.
One of the most interesting facts about tequila is that it is produced in licensed states only in Mexico. The history of tequila can be traced back to the 16th century. It was manufactured near the city of Tequila in Mexico.
Tequila is the most popular of all the Mexican alcoholic drinks, and one of the most popular all around the world. In this tequila guide, we have researched all the basic information you need, to get you acquainted with tequila. Enjoy reading!
When it comes to tequila ingredients, the main ingredient in tequila is the weber blue agave plant or agave tequilana, which is native to Mexico. Although there are other types of agave plants, blue agave is the only agave allowed in tequila. Flavors can be added at the end of the distillation process to achieve different tequila varieties.
How Is Tequila Made?
The following are the steps followed in making tequila:
- Baking the agave: After the agave is harvested, the fruit is carried to the distillery and baked in rock-lined pits or ovens. The agave spends two to three days in the oven until they become dark brown, much like sweet, mushy honeycomb.
- Extracting the agave alcohol: There are many ways of extracting the juice from the baked agave. While some tequila distillation processes employ mechanical shredders to extract juice, others employ the old way of doing it by using tahona in crushing and extracting the juice.
- Fermenting the juice: After the juice must have been extracted from the baked agave, water and yeast are added to it and left for two to five days for the fermentation to take place. The fermented juice is sometimes called wash.
- Distillation of the tequila: Just like other spirits, for the tequila distillation process to be complete, there is a need for the juice to go through the distillation process. The fermented juice is heated up and the vapor collected to form a purer version of the processed tequila. The collection process is very much the same as the other spirit drinks. The first 35% of the collected liquor is called the foreshot and should not be part of the finished product because it is toxic and dangerous for consumption. The next 30% is called the heart, the part that holds the best liquor. The tail is the last 35% of the collected liquid and should also not be used in the final product of the tequila. The tequila distillation can be done more than once to get all the good parts of the liquor.
- Aging the Tequila: Like rum, tequila can also be aged in barrels of oaks and sherry casks. The barrels add different tequila flavors and colors to the stored tequila which is why the tequila color varies.
Types of Tequila
Several tequila types exist based on their color, flavor, and agedness. Some of them are listed below for you:
- Silver or Blanco or white tequila: It is the youngest among the types of tequila that there are. The tequila is made from only the blue agave and ages only more than a few weeks. Since the tequila does not spend a lot of time in the aging process, its color is silverish and the taste is not much different from the freshly distilled tequila.
- Joven tequila: Also called Dorado, gold or oro which means gold, Joven tequila gets its golden color after flavoring agents like caramel or other additives are added to it. Joven means Young in Spanish. The tequila is made from a mixture of the reposado tequila, silver tequila, and sometimes, the añejo.
- Reposado tequila: Reposado means rested. Tequilas classified under reposado spend from two to 12 months in the barrels where they are stored to age. Because of the time spent in the barrel, the reposado tequila has a natural golden color and gives a hint of vanilla, coffee, and nuts taste. Reposado can be used in cocktails or taken neat.
- Añejo Tequila: As the name implies, añejo spends the most time in the aging process. Because of the amount of time spent in the barrels or casks, the tequila loses its natural agave taste and takes on the barrel flavor. The tequila color also turns into an amber shade and becomes smooth, rich, with a caramel-like tequila taste.
Apart from the widely adored tequila taste, it offers a lot of health benefits too. The key to enjoying the benefits is to take according to prescription, or drink responsibly – as consuming too much alcohol is bad for your health.
We hope this article helped you in your quest to gather knowledge about tequila. To learn more about the drinks you take, do not pass by our best reviews. It is easy to become an expert in Alco drinking.
Is tequila strong?
Of course, tequila is strong! Tequila ABV starts from 40% and maxes out at 60%. Even the tequila with the least alcohol by volume percentage is more than strong enough to get a person intoxicated.
What does tequila do to you?
Like other spirit drinks, the effect tequila would have on you is dependent on your tolerance level and how much you have consumed. This is why it is always advisable to drink responsibly. From another angle, tequila has health benefits and if consumed as medicine according to prescription, it can improve your body system.
How to serve tequila?
Tequila is served based on preference and taste. It can be served at room temperature or a low temperature chilled. Tequila can also be taken with some lime and salt to enjoy it better.