Tequila is an alcohol that has withstood the challenges of time, fashion and gastronomy, turning every moment into a memorable flavor, but how do you know which tequila is the best? It is a protected designation of origin drink, which means that tequila can only be produced in agave plantations in certain regions of Mexico, including Jalisco, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, Nayarit and Guanajuato. There are more than 1377 registered tequila brands from Mexico as of 2022.

🍸 Agave & Tequila: Guide to the Best Tequilas

Vue d'un champs d'Agave au Mexique

Selecting the best tequila can be a daunting task, there are many characteristics (humidity, flower, altitude, species) to consider when it comes to choosing the appropriate bottle for each occasion, each case and each taste.

In this article, you will find a selection of the best tequilas from Mexico with the best value for money, which are supposed to be excellent purchases, the best affordable tequilas, the best tequilas from Mexico in our opinion. And if you want to get the best tequilas from Mexico, go to our online grocery store of products from Mexico or to our grocery store specialized in products from Latin America Tienda Alma Latina


The best tequila brands in 2022, our opinion and their prices

Defining a list of the best tequila brands you should buy is not an easy task as there are many high quality brands with different characteristics and prices.

In general, the best tequilas in the world are, without a doubt, the Mexican ones and more specifically those made in Jalisco, a city located northwest of Mexico City. This famous Mexican liquor has different price ranges depending on several variables such as: The name of the brand, the years in the barrel where they are aged, the artisanal process performed, the main ingredients, the barrels in which they are aged, the filtering process and a long etc.

Our list of the best brands of tequilas can be the following, although it will depend on the particular characteristics and your taste: Gran Patrón, Casamigos, Jose Cuervo, Herradura, Casa Dragones, El Jimador, Sauza or Tres Generaciones (the top line of Sauza) or Don Julio.

Our opinion on the Don Julio brand

Perfect for any occasion, as a gift for example, Don Julio is more expensive than other brands, but it is a sure value. If you’re thinking of giving gifts to your loved ones during your trip to Mexico, this is a great option. The taste will certainly bring back happy memories shared over a drink during your stay.

The varieties of the Don Julio brand

Don Julio Blanco

Using the finest blue agave plant and a centuries-old distillation process, Don Julio Blanco Tequila is tequila in its truest form. It is the basis for all other variants of the brand. Commonly referred to as “silver” tequila, its crisp agave flavor and citrus notes make it an essential component of a variety of innovative drinks, including margaritas.


Don Julio Reposado

Aged for eight months in American white oak barrels, Don Julio Reposado tequila is golden amber in color and has a rich, sweet aftertaste, the essence of the perfect tequila left to rest in barrels.


Don Julio Añejo

 Rich, characteristic and wonderfully complex, its flavor achieves the perfect balance between agave, wood and vanilla notes. To be enjoyed neat in a sip or simply on the rocks.


Don Julio 70th Anniversary Añejo

Don Julio 70 tequila brings together the sweetness of a Blanco tequila and the complexity of an Añejo tequila for a totally unique tequila experience. Aged eighteen months in American white oak barrels, then carefully filtered to bring out its crisp agave flavor.


Don Julio 1942

Praised in cocktail bars, restaurants and nightclubs, Don Julio 1942 tequila is the choice of gourmets around the world. The brand creates only small quantities and leaves it to rest for a minimum of two and a half years. Don Julio 1942 tequila is made by hand in honor of the year in which Don Julio González began his tequila-making journey.


Don Julio Real

The pinnacle of Mexican highland agave, skillfully aged for three to five years in American white oak barrels, Don Julio Real Tequila is the crown jewel of the Don Julio brand. Don Julio Real is one of the few Extra-Añejo tequilas available on the market. Its rich aromas and flavor make this unique tequila the perfect choice for celebrations.


Don Julio Reposado Double Cask

Don Julio Reposado Double Cask Tequila is finished in casks used in the making of Buchanan’s blended Scotch whisky, resulting in a remarkable depth of flavor with honeyed agave notes and hints of tropical fruits and spices, with light peat and chocolate malt notes.


Don Julio Reposado Private Cask

Don Julio Reposado Private Cask Tequila has been aged for 10 months in a single barrel, hand selected by our master distiller. The Private Cask edition has a nuanced flavor that varies from barrel to barrel. This tequila is bottled at 85.4 proof, for those who sip it responsibly.


Don Julio Reposado Double Cask Lagavulin Edition

This innovative limited edition tequila is inspired by the creative spirit of Don Julio to take the art of tequila making to new heights. This Don Julio Reposado Double Cask Tequila is a unique expression of the traditional Reposado version finished in casks that previously contained Lagavulin Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky.


Our opinion on the brand Herradura

With nearly 150 years of experience in the distillation of tequila, this company was bought in 2006 by the house of Brown-Forman and the brand is now distributed worldwide. It has nevertheless kept its original quality and flavor. Bonus if you go to Mexico, you can visit the factory and gardens of origin, located in the city of Amatitán, on the Herradura Express.

The varieties of the Herradura brand

Herradura Silver

Herradura Silver has a sweet agave and subtle oak notes. The extended aging process creates a light straw color with a unique and robust aroma of baked agave, vanilla and wood that leaves a smooth and fresh mouth feel.


Herradura Reposado

Herradura Tequila introduced the Reposado to the world in 1974. Left to rest for 11 months, Reposado has notes of cooked agave, vanilla and butter. This extra time spent resting in American white oak barrels creates a smooth, soft finish with a slight spice flavor.


Herradura Añejo

Blending modern and traditional distillation techniques, Herradura Añejo rests in American white oak barrels for 25 months – 13 months beyond industry standards. The result is a remarkably smooth, amber-colored liquid that melts on the tongue leaving notes of baked agave, toasted oak and dried fruit.


Herradura Ultra Añejo

The Ultra Añejo has subtle notes of baked agave, caramel and honey with roasted almonds and a smoother finish.


Herradura Directo Del Alembique

Here, the barrel aging process is dispensed with to preserve the true flavor of the tequila. Bottling directly from the still gives the liquid a crystal clear color. The end result is a smooth, complex tequila with a lasting, subtly sweet aftertaste with notes of sweet agave, green pepper, citrus and a hint of herbs and spices.


Herradura Double Barrel Reposado

Herradura Double Barrel Reposado is the product of a new two-step aging process. The first involves letting the tequila rest in white oak barrels for 11 months. It is then transferred to new barrels for an additional 30 days. This creates a liquid with notes of cooked agave, vanilla, allspice, clove and oak.


Herradura Selección Suprema

Aged for an incredible 49 months in American white oak barrels, Herradura Selección Suprema is our most premium ultra-refined tequila. The additional aging creates an extremely rich dark amber colored tequila with notes of baked agave, spice and flowers. Exceptionally smooth and complex, Selección Surprema has a long-lasting, subtly sweet aftertaste.


Our opinion on the brand José Cuervo Tradicional

The story of this Mexican tequila begins in 1758, when José Antonio de Cuervo received permission from the King of Spain to plant Mexican blue agave on his land and produce tequila. Even before Mexican independence, he was already a tequila legend. The company established a distillery in 1812 and is now the oldest active distillery in Latin America.  Since then, they have made millions of barrels of quality tequila at this distillery, and you can taste the centuries-old tradition in every drop.

Our pick: Arnaud is particularly fond of the Margarita cocktail, and the José Cuervo Especial Gold is his favorite for this cocktail.

The varieties of the brand José Cuervo Tradicional

José Cuervo Tradicional Plata

The José Cuervo Tradicional Plata was born to create a new tradition. Product of an exceptional artisanal process, which has awarded it the “Best Silver” prize at the Diosa Mayahuel Awards for 2 consecutive years. Jose Cuervo Plata is the ideal tequila for preparing incredible recipes, as it stands out for its clarity and flavor of citrus spices and the characteristic tones of natural agave.


José Cuervo Tradicional Reposado

Jose Cuervo Reposado celebrates the legacy of the first tequila producers who made history since 1795. Considered one of Mexico’s finest tequilas, this reposado spends an average of 6 months in white oak barrels and has an aroma of cooked agave, fruit and herbal notes, with hints of olive.


José Cuervo Tradicional Añejo

Tradicional Añejo is aged in charred American oak for at least a year, then finished in single malt Irish whiskey barrels for a rich, complex flavor and a remarkably smooth finish.


José Cuervo Tradicional Especial Silver

La Rojeña’s master distillers have crafted this blend, Tradicional Especial Silver, unique and balanced to bring out the tones of agave, caramel and fresh herbs in its flavor profile.


José Cuervo Tradicional Especial Gold

Legend has it that Cuervo Gold was used to make the very first Margarita. Cuervo Gold is a blend of Reposado and young Tequilas. The result is a well-balanced, smooth tequila that makes the perfect margarita, frozen or on the rocks.


José Cuervo Tradicional Reserva de la Familia

This tequila is among the elite of the Cuervo family’s private collection. Each bottle is made using only blue agave harvested at its peak maturity after seven to twelve years of cultivation in the field, and aged in French and American oak barrels for a minimum of three years.


José Cuervo Tradicional Aniversario

An ultra-aged, 100% blue agave tequila created from a perfect selection of raw materials to commemorate the tradition and history of Jose Cuervo. The agaves used to produce it are harvested at full maturity and come from a single growing field. The tequila is aged in French and American oak barrels. 


Our opinion on the Patrón brand

The varieties of the Patrón brand

Patrón Silver

Patrón Silver is the perfect ultra-premium spirit. Using only the finest 100% Weber blue agave, it is handcrafted in small batches to be smooth, soft and easily blended. This crystal clear tequila with fresh agave flavors and citrus notes is a favorite of tequila connoisseurs around the world.


Patrón Reposado

This is a nice change for tequila connoisseurs who want a little more complexity and sweetness of flavor. Aged in barrels for over two months, it combines the fresh, clean taste of the Silver version with the woody flavor of the Añejo. It’s great sipped on its own or in a high-end cocktail. Like its brand counterparts, the bottles are made of recycled glass and hand-numbered.


Patrón Añejo

It is a delicate blend of uniquely aged tequilas. The spirit is aged in small white barrels for at least 12 months. Similar to winemaking, each vintage is carefully blended to produce a smooth, distinctive flavor. 


Roca Patrón Silver

This is an ultra-premium handcrafted version created in small batches entirely from the centuries-old tahona mill process. This sophisticated spirit is specifically finished at 90 proof to create a crisp, robust flavor with complex notes of sweet agave.


Roca Patrón Reposado

This drink is also available through the tahona process. After distillation, the drink is aged for five months in American bourbon barrels and specifically finished at 84 degrees to create complex and balanced notes with a flavor of oak and sweet agave.


Roca Patrón Añejo

Still an ultra-premium handcrafted beverage, also produced in small batches. After distillation via the tahona mill process, it is aged for fourteen months in American bourbon barrels and specifically finished at 88 proof to create complex and balanced notes with a sweet and slightly earthy flavor.


Gran Patrón Smoky

It honors traditional production methods dating back hundreds of years. To create this typically smoky flavor, the heart of the agave, the piña, is roasted in underground stone pits at the distillery. The cooked agave is then slowly ground with a volcanic stone tahona wheel before the juice and agave fibers are placed together in pine wood fermenters and distilled in small capacity copper stills.


Gran Patrón Platinum

Like all of the brand’s drinks, it is made from the highest quality Weber Blue Agave plants grown in the highlands of Jalisco. The agaves in this distinctive drink are hand selected for their high sugar content. The liquid is distilled three times and then rested in vats, making it extraordinarily smooth and full-bodied. It has citrus notes and a light oak finish.


Gran Patrón Piedra

This extraordinary extra añejo is made entirely from the Tahona process. After distillation, it is meticulously aged for over three years in new American and French casks for a deep mahogany color and a sweet, subtle aroma of fruit, fresh mushroom, light citrus and toasted oak.


Gran Patrón Burdeos

This handcrafted luxury añejo is made from the finest 100% Weber blue agave from Jalisco. It is produced in a combination of new American and French barrels and aged for a minimum of 12 months. It is then distilled again before being plunged into vintage Bordeaux barrels from the finest French chateaux (Burdeos means Bordeaux in Spanish). The taste offers notes of oak, light agave, vanilla and raisins. 


Patrón Xo Cafe

Xo Cafe is an extraordinary blend of ultra premium Silver Tequila and the pure, natural essence of fine coffee. The taste is dry, not sweet like most low water content coffee liqueurs. Xo Cafe is excellent for sipping, as a premium cocktail ingredient or as a unique and delicious dessert topping.


Patrón Citrónge Mango

Citrónge Mango is an extra fine premium reserve mango liqueur. No artificial flavors or chemical enhancers are ever added. Citrónge is excellent on its own or as an addition to a premium cocktail. It also adds a unique flavor to gourmet recipes. Citrónge makes the finest, most authentic, smoothest and most delicious margaritas.


Patrón Citrónge Orange

Like Citrónge Mango, Citrónge Orange is a liqueur, but this time of extra fine orange of premium reserve. 


Patrón Citrónge Lime

Citrónge Lime is an ultra-premium liqueur made from the highest quality Persian lemons grown in Mexico. Citrónge Lime is crisp and smooth, with the well-balanced, juicy and sweet flavor of premium lime, and a refreshing finish. It is excellent mixed in a wide variety of cocktails, or as a delicious addition to sauces and desserts.


Patrón Añejo 7 Años

This exquisite tequila was aged in French casks for seven years, producing limited quantities of an incredibly rare spirit. To commemorate this exclusive release, it is presented in a replica of the very first mouth-blown glass bottle and stopper.


Patrón Añejo 5 Años

Same principle as for the Añejo 7 Años, except that the Añejo 5 Años is aged in French casks for five years.


Our opinion on the Centenario brand

This tequila has been made in Jalisco for over 150 years. The creator of the company was Lázaro Gallardo, the first Mexican Tequilero master.

The varieties of the Centenario brand

Centenario Plata

Same principle as the Añejo 7 Años, except that the Añejo 5 Años is aged in French casks for five years.


Centenario Reposado

This exquisite tequila was aged in French casks for seven years, producing limited quantities of an incredibly rare spirit. To commemorate this exclusive release, it is presented in a replica of the very first hand-blown glass bottle and stopper.


Centenario Añejo

Same principle as for the Añejo 7 Años, except that the Añejo 5 Años is aged in French casks for five years.


Our opinion on the brand 1800

It has a simple, straightforward flavor and taste, as well as a fragrance and smoky, herbal notes that only the real blue agave plant from Mexico can give. It is perfect for preparing spectacular cocktails, such as the famous margarita.

The varieties of the brand 1800

1800 Plata

Made from 100% Weber Blue Agave – aged for 8-12 years and harvested at its peak. The liquid is double distilled and a special selection of white tequilas are blended for added complexity and character. The result is a premium tequila with a sweeter and more interesting flavor than most others on the market. The clean, balanced taste with notes of sweet fruit and pepper is perfect for sipping neat, on the rocks, in shots or in cocktails


1800 Coconut

Infused with a natural ripe coconut flavor. With its slightly sweet, medium-bodied tropical flavor, this versatile spirit is delicious on the rocks and also tastes great mixed with pineapple juice.


1800 Reposado

Made from 100% Weber blue agave aged 8 to 12 years and is aged in American and French barrels for no less than six months. This rich liquid has notes of butterscotch, sweet spices and a touch of smoke, which is imparted by the finishing process. Perfect mixed in a cocktail or on the rocks.


1800 Añejo

Using 100% Weber Blue Agave, picked at its peak – 8 to 12 years old – Añejo is aged in French oak barrels for at least 14 months. Its finish is described as spicy and well rounded with flavors of toasted oak, vanilla and butterscotch. This deep, luxurious tequila is ideal for sipping.


1800 Cristalino

A crystal clear drink with deceptive depth, presented in a stunning crystal clear bottle. Since the release of the first tequila añejo on the market in 1800 Añejo, 1800 continues to drive innovation with this beautiful contradiction of a spirit. 1800 Cristalino is aged in American and French oak barrels for 16 months, after which the liquid is married and finished in port wine barrels for an additional 6 months.


1800 Milenio

After a long and delicate aging process, the extra aged tequila is aged for a short period of time in French Cognac oak barrels creating a balanced, smooth and unique flavor with notes of vanilla, red fruits and cinnamon. A perfect expression of the land that nurtures the Weber Blue Agave and the hands that make its final liquid, Milenio is considered the best representation of the roots of 1800.


1800 Colección 

Only produced and marketed during the best years of production, Colección is one of the rarest tequilas in the world. Each edition of this additional anejo tequila is paired with a custom designed decanter by a renowned artist. Multidisciplinary artist, Gary Baseman, provided the vision for the most recent edition.


Our opinion on the brand Sieste Leguas

With over 60 years of experience in tequila production, it’s easy to see why this company is loved and trusted by local experts. They produce five types of tequila.

The varieties of the brand Sieste Leguas

Siete Leguas Blanco

After a long and delicate aging process, the extra aged tequila is aged for a short period of time in French Cognac oak barrels creating a balanced, smooth and unique flavor with notes of vanilla, red fruits and cinnamon. A perfect expression of the land that nurtures the Weber Blue Agave and the hands that make its final liquid, Milenio is considered the best representation of the roots of 1800®.


Siete Leguas Reposado

In the foreground, aromas of cooked and raw agave, light herbal and citrus notes and with the freshness of ripe fruit, similar to the aromas present in white tequila


Siete Leguas Añejo

Sweet aromas of vanilla, light aromas of nuts, raisins, prunes, quince, orange, peach and red fruits.


Siete Léguas Single Barrel

Aromas of apple, quince, cherry, peach, walnut, almond, macadamia nut and dried fruits such as prune, blueberry and raisin.


Siete Leguas Antaño o Extra Añejo

Aromas of apple, quince, cherry, orange, peach, red fruits and seeds like walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts and dried fruits like prunes and raisins.


10 things to know about tequila

  1. According to the Tequila Regulatory Council, tequila is a liquor made by distilling the fermented juice of the blue agave plant.
  2. The popularity of the drink increased after Mexico’s independence, when Spanish spirits did not easily reach the country.
  3. Since 1974, the drink has been protected by the Denomination of Origin, which means that only those that meet all the requirements established in the official standard can be called tequila, whether they are made by authorized producers and in certain municipalities of the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato; Michoacán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas.
  4. The great stars of Mexican cinema, such as Pedro Infante or Jorge Negrete, made it part of their stories in the movies, although they enjoyed the drink in a shot, when it is advisable to first take a small sip and let it flow in your mouth to accustom your palate to the drink, and then continue with another glass. Lemon and salt have become popular as a way to make the taste less strong for foreigners. Experts suggest drinking dry. 
  5. According to the Mexican norm that governs the drink, it can be marketed in five presentations, either by national or foreign bottlers: White, Young, Rested (which must be aged for at least two months in oak barrels), Aged (one year of aging in barrels of up to 600 liters) or Extra-Old (three years in barrels of up to 600 liters).
  6. There are two types of tequila, those made with 51% agave tequilana Weber and the rest of the sugars come from the piloncillo or sugar cane, or those of superior quality made with 100% tequilana Weber.
  7. There is a tequila discovery circuit around Penjamo, Guanajuato, where there is also a designation of origin.
  8. In 2006, UNESCO declared the agave landscape and the old industrial facilities of Tequila, a World Heritage Site.
  9. While in Mexico, if you are in Mexico City, visit the Tequila and Mezcal Museum, located in Plaza Garibaldi in Colonia Centro. There you can learn more about the drink and even taste it.
  10. In Guadalajara, take the Jose Cuervo Express Train to the town of Tequila where you will see the process of making Mundo Cuervo. On the way, enjoy tequila-based snacks and drinks (cost per person starts at $1350 pesos, or about 50€).

How to order tequila like in Mexico?

Tequila has maintained its worldwide reputation as a festive drink to be enjoyed with lime and salt, or in a smooth cocktail, such as Tequila Sunrise.  But there are other ways to order tequila! We tell you how to order tequila when you’re in Mexico!

In Mexico, there are more popular and sophisticated ways to drink tequila. Tequila is a member of the Mexican agave family of spirits, just like mezcal, raicilla, bacanora and many other spirits! It is a protected denomination since 1974, and interestingly, its production is limited to five regions of the country, the main one being Jalisco. Tequila is made exclusively from a single variety of agave, the Tequilana Weber, or Mexican blue agave.


Ordering tequila, or a derecho as it is called in Mexico, is still the most popular way to order this drink, even in Mexico. Nevertheless, before choosing and ordering tequila, it is important to have a clear idea of what you are looking for beforehand. Just as there are single malt scotch whiskies and blended whiskies, there are also different types of tequilas. As a general rule, premium tequila is made from 100% agave, while less refined tequilas are made from 51% agave mixed with sugar cane juice.

Four different ages

The aging process of tequila also creates different types of alcohol, and tastes. 

Blanco or Plata Tequila

Blanco or plata (white or silver) tequila is the unaged or barely aged spirit before being bottled. This harder and bolder tequila is best paired with olives or Oaxacan cheese at an aperitif.


The Reposado, or rested tequila, is aged in barrels for at least two months, which tends to give it a fruitier note. It is an ideal tequila to drink with or after a plate of seafood. 


The Añejo (vintage tequila) is aged for at least a year and has complex, nutty or cherry aromas. 

Extra Añejo

Extra Añejo (extra aged) tequila is one that has been aged for a minimum of three years in barrels. This category captures the flavors and aromas of the wood, while the alcohol softens gently. Tequila lovers often like to pair this premium grade with a dessert such as chocolate mousse or honey caramelized apricot.


Tequila should never be chilled but always stored at room temperature. The best spirits can be enjoyed on their own, although a spoonful of mineral water can enhance the experience.

¿Cómo beber tequila como un mexicano?

El tequila sigue conservando su reputación internacional como bebida de fiesta, pero los mexicanos llevan mucho tiempo disfrutando de una forma más relajante y refrescante de beber su bebida nacional: en una gran olla de barro. Los tarros de cantarito suelen estar llenos de un potente cóctel de tequila y zumo de frutas, y son especialmente populares en el estado de Jalisco, donde se fabrica la mayoría de los tequilas.

La bebida está disponible en los bares de la mayor parte del estado e incluso se vende en los puestos de los vendedores ambulantes que viajan a los pueblos tradicionales productores de tequila en Jalisco. Los visitantes del pintoresco pueblo mexicano de Amatitán, en el corazón del país del tequila, suelen darse el gusto de comer cantaritos durante su viaje, y la vasija de barro vacía es un recuerdo apropiado de su visita.

Desde 1997, el bar El Guero de Amatitán sirve la tradicional bebida a los turistas sedientos. Con vistas a las onduladas colinas alineadas con innumerables hileras de espigados agaves azules, el bar al aire libre se encuentra en un lugar ideal para disfrutar de un tequila al estilo mexicano. El cóctel se prepara llenando la jarra con hielo, zumo de lima y pomelo, un refresco de pomelo espumoso llamado Squirt y una generosa dosis de tequila. La mezcla efervescente se remueve con un cuchillo y se añade un toque de sal para compensar la acidez.

En el bar El Guero, los clientes pueden comprar cantaritos de diferentes tamaños. La más pequeña tiene capacidad para medio litro de la bebida, mientras que la jarra extragrande requiere que los clientes la agarren con las dos manos para llevarla a su mesa.

Algunos visitantes beben directamente de los recipientes pequeños, pero para los más grandes es imprescindible una pajita. El local ofrece una amplia gama de tequilas, desde las variedades más duras de blanco hasta los extra añejos que han pasado al menos tres años en barricas.

Sin embargo, aunque los tequilas de lujo han crecido en popularidad, tanto en México como en el extranjero, la mayoría de los clientes optan por las alternativas baratas y alegres.

De hecho, el uso de marcas de alta gama parece un poco fuera de lugar con el cóctel. El objetivo de un verdadero cantarito no debe ser disfrutar de lujosos sabores, sino compartir experiencias memorables. Es realmente una bebida para tomar con un grupo de sus amigos más cercanos.

Mexican Cocktails

Visitors to Mexico should avoid ordering tequila Sunrises, or even margaritas. The most interesting and delicious tequila cocktail (in our opinion!) is the Blood Red Vampiro, a mixture of tequila, grapefruit soda and sangrita – a spicy blend of orange juice, red chile, salt and lemon. The drink comes from the village of San Luis Soyatlán, in the western state of Jalisco. Every weekend, tequila lovers come from far and wide to enjoy the town’s iconic cocktail. Another popular way to order tequila is in a large clay pot. These cantarito jars, normally used in kitchens, are filled with a potent mixture of tequila, lemon and sparkling grapefruit soda.

18 things you didn’t know about tequila

As an iconic drink and one of Mexico’s biggest exports, tequila is ubiquitous in bars (and homes) across the country and the world. However, despite its fame and glory, here are probably 20 things you probably didn’t know about this authentic Mexican drink.

  1. Tequila can be mixed to make other drinks than the classic margarita that everyone knows. A popular Mexican combination is tequila and a grapefruit-flavored fizzy drink, which is known interchangeably as tequila or paloma. If you’re more of a Coca-Cola person, then order a charro negro – tequila and Coca-Cola.
  2. If you prefer tequila shots, you should be careful in Mexico. Tequila has a reputation in other countries for being a shot alcohol, but that’s really not the case; good tequila should be sipped and savored.
  3. Also, don’t ask for salt and lime. You can if you really want to, but it’s not a typical request in Mexico.
  4. For tequila to be considered a tequila, it must be produced in the Jalisco city of the same name, Tequila. If you buy tequila that is not from the state of Jalisco, it must be legally marketed as “agave spirit”.
  5. Speaking of agave, this is the plant from which tequila is made. Specifically, tequila can only be made from the blue agave plant. You probably recognize the blue agave plant by its spiky appearance, but did you also know that tequila is made from – not the leaves – but the heart of the plant, otherwise known as the piña?
  6. However, tequila does not have to be 100% blue agave to be classified as tequila. Instead, the limit between tequila and, of course, not tequila, is 51%. A blue agave content of less than 51% does not qualify as tequila. Purists insist that only a 100% blue agave tequila will do, while the average layperson probably couldn’t even tell you the difference between that and the mixto versions (those with 51%-99% blue agave).
  7. A jimador is the person who harvests, by hand, the agave piña. You might think that the word jimador sounds unusually familiar – well, that’s because there is a brand of tequila called Jimador.
  8. However, Jose Cuervo remains the most famous and important brand of tequila in the world. A real person, Jose Antonio Cuervo, was the first man to get a license to sell tequila and his business quickly expanded; in the 19th century he sold 10,000 barrels in Guadalajara alone.
  9. There are many varieties of tequila. Blanco or Plata, which is the least aged version; Reposado, aged for 2 to 12 months; Añejo, which is left to rest in barrels for 1 to 3 years; Extra Añejo, which is left to rest for 3 to 5 years. The longer the tequila has been aged, the darker it usually becomes, as it takes on the color of the barrels. But before aging can even begin, it takes at least eight years for the agave plant to reach full harvest maturity. This means that problems with the growth of agave plants can cause tequila shortages much later, especially because these plants are very particular about the conditions in which they grow.
  10. After opening a bottle of tequila, you should drink it within two months. If you leave it open any longer, the agave may lose its distinctive flavor profile.
  11. The word tequila is said to come from a Nahuatl word. It is said to mean “the place where plants are harvested”.
  12. Surprisingly, drinking tequila has health benefits. It can help reduce cholesterol levels, stress levels (for obvious reasons) and can apparently help stimulate insulin production. In addition, it is useful for colds and stomach problems.
  13. Tequila is a huge symbol of Mexican national pride. Tequila sales are said to explode around the time of Mexico’s Independence Day in mid-September. Yet, despite this, the majority of tequila is exported and sold in the United States. Primarily consumed in the states of Florida, California and Texas, it is estimated that approximately 24 million Americans drank tequila at some point in 2015.
  14. Bing Crosby is said to be responsible for introducing Herradura tequila to the American market. Apparently, he liked the brand so much that he helped import it north of the border.
  15. Perhaps that taste in tequila explains why the most expensive bottle ever sold cost $225,000. The six-year-old tequila in the platinum and white gold bottle was supposedly worth only $2,500.
  16. Tequila can be turned into artificial diamonds. Researchers at UNAM have discovered that tequila can be turned into diamonds, which can then be used not for your next diamond necklace, but in the computer industry.
  17. The Aztecs reportedly discovered the predecessor to what we know today as tequila when lightning struck an agave plant. The piña was then cooked and they discovered the sweet, fermented juice it contained. It is said that this is where tequila was eventually developed, although it is anyone’s guess how true this story is.
  18. Finally, National Tequila Day (in the United States, at least) is July 24! Have a shot or two of tequila in the name of Mexico.

Do you have questions about tequila and agave from Mexico? Planning a trip to Chiapas? Send us a message!

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