An Overview and Shopping Guide for the Different Types of Tequila

Tequila is a bartender’s staple that appears in some of the most popular mixed drinks, and lends itself well to taking shots. Recent years have seen a boom in tequila’s popularity as a wider variety of flavored tequilas are making their way to the consumer market with big success. There’s never been a better time to get to know tequila. There are four types of tequila: blanco, reposado, anejo, and joven abocado. Each of these tequilas has their own unique character that suits different uses. Read on for a guide to these different tequilas, how to use them, and how to buy the best tequila for your budget.

Blanco Tequila

Blanco tequila is unaged, which makes it the sharpest form of tequila. Because of its bite, blanco is best when mixed with another strong flavor, like lime or lemon, which will help to balance the taste. Blanco tequila is the most common type for mixed drinks like marguerites and mojitos, in part because it is usually the most affordable. All tequilas start as blanco tequila, and are then aged to a mellow taste or are balanced with added flavoring for greater complexity. However, there are plenty of blanco connoisseurs who are devoted to this raw, robust spirit. Blanco’s brightness makes it ideal for fruity, sweet mixed drinks.

Reposado Tequila

Resposado tequila is a young tequila that has been aged for at least three months, and up to a year. During this time, the flavor begins to mellow, gaining smoothness and complexity. Reposado tequila is often slightly darker than pure blanco, giving it an attractive golden hue. If you are interested in trying a sipping tequila for the first time, reposado tequila is a great choice because it is gentler than blanco but not as expensive as anejo tequila. If you want to branch out from the traditional margarita but don’t want to skip right ahead to a neat, unmixed spirit, try a reposado tequila on the rocks with a twist of lime.

Anejo Tequila

Anejo tequila is tequila that has been aged for between one and three years. When tequila has spent this amount of time curing in a cask, it attains a mellow, almost buttery tone that makes it ideal for sipping neat, undiluted by ice or any mixers. Anejo tequila is generally considered to be the finest tequila, and often has a high price tag to match its prestige.

Joven Abocado Tequila

Joven Abocado tequila is unaged, blanco tequila that has added flavoring or coloring. Often, these extra ingredients are meant to create a drink that mimics the look and taste of aged tequila at a lower price, but recent years have seen a dramatic rise in the variety of joven abocado tequila styles on the market. Exotic tequila tastes like orange, cinnamon, and even coffee-infused spirits have attracted consumers who usually opt for flavored vodkas to the tequila market. If you enjoy other flavored spirits, or are looking to add an unusual twist to a classic mixed drink, a joven abocado tequila in an exciting flavor can make your beverage stand out.

Shopping For Tequila

Although some anejo tequilas can run hundreds of dollars a bottle, there are plenty of warm, bright tequilas available for much less. This handy tip will help you get the best spirit for your money. When shopping for anejo tequila or any other tequila, pay attention to the percentage of agave used to make the liquor. The Mexican government requires that all tequila must be at least 51% agave, but the percentages vary widely from brand to brand. The higher the percentage of agave, the better the quality of the tequila will be. Although everyone has their own preference, most expert tequila drinkers feel that it is better to splurge on a pure agave blanco tequila than to drink an anejo tequila that isn’t 100% agave. Choosing an affordable form of tequila with a high percentage of agave is an ideal way for the budget shopper to get a taste of this bold spirit at its best.

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