Tequila is probably one of the spirits that is synonymous with the country Mexico. Little did you know, there is still so much more to learn about this popular Mexican drink than the debilitating hangover that it could cause you. Known as Mexico’s National Drink, the famous spirit was born in the town of Tequila, located on the outskirts of the western state of Jalisco.
Tequila’s can only be made in the city of Tequila as well as the surrounding areas such as the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. And, there are five types of tequila: Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo.
Also known as Silver, Plata, or White, is the youngest of all types of Tequila and in its purest form — made of 100% blue agave. Some would let the spirit age for a couple of weeks in a tank, while some have it bottled and packaged right after distillation. Because of its raw and bold taste, it is best used in cocktails. If you are looking for the truest essence of tequila, then Blanco is the right spirit for you.
Often called Gold or Oro, Joven is another type of tequila with a golden or rich brown color. Joven is a mixture of sugar, caramel colorings, flavorings, oak extracts, and some would even add some scotch before bottling the spirit. Joven may not be as popular as Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo, still it is a favorite by many especially when mixed with margaritas because of its less expensive price.
Reposado is translated as “aged” in Spanish; thus, its other names as “Rested” or “Aged”. It is the type of tequila that is left in wood barrels for 2 months to a year to age. As this spirit ages, it changes into a gold or brownish color. And because of this, if you are not that expert in tequila, you may mistake Reposado as mixto or Joven. When it comes to the aging process, Reposado is somewhere between Jove, and Añejo; with this, it has this unique flavor aging but it is not losing the original agave notes that you get from Joven.
Añejo is a Spanish term which means “Old”. This type of tequila is left to age in oak barrels for about a year to three years. The barrel size where Añejo is left to age is 600 liters in maximum, this way the spirit could interact fully with the container. The amount of time that Añejo is left to age gives it a more intense color and flavor than Reposado with a richer and smoother taste.
If you are looking for a more mature Añejo, then the Extra Añejo will give you what you are looking for. Otherwise known as “Ultra Aged”, Extra Añejo is left in the barrel for over three years. Cut with water, Extra Añejo has this smoother and more extensive flavor than the “old” tequila. However, you can dilute the spirit with water once the aging process is done.
So, now that you already know the different types of tequila, which one is for you? If you love your tequila to be mixed with margarita, then you might like to go for Blanco or Reposado. However, if you want to leisurely sip the smoothest tequila in Mexico, then Añejo and Extra Añejo are highly recommended.