Tequila, the official spirit of Mexico, isn’t so delicious by happenstance. A true luxury tequila must be 100 percent blue agave, while a mixto includes sugar. Similar to cognac or champagne, agave, the plant from which tequila is produced, must be grown within one of the five designated states in Mexico.
THE TEQUILA TRIAD
The 3 basic styles
1.Silver Tequila Also known as blanco or plata, this white, clear tequila is unaged or bottled at distillation— or aged less than two months in steel or oak barrels. Silver tequilas make for great shots and are perfect for margaritas and mixed cocktail.
Standouts include Milagro’s Select Barrel Reserve, Don Julio Añejo Claro, and Casa Dragones (pictured, 1), which is bottled in a handcrafted crystal bottle and packaged in a Tiffany-esque blue box.
2. Reposado Tequila Reposado or “rested” tequilas are aged from two months to a year, allowing them to take on color and flavors from oak barrels. Perfect for sipping, for shots, and in cocktails.
Try: DeLeon Reposado (pictured, 2) and Corzo Tequila
3. Añejo Tequila Añejo tequilas, known for smoothness and complexity, are aged and blended for one to three years. The newest category, Extra Añejo are aged a minimum of three years, usually in oak barrels.
Enjoy Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia (pictured, 3), with its sultry bouquet of deep vanilla, cinnamon, and cognac flavors.