Those who don’t know any better may think that all tequilas are the same. They are mistaken, and they may be missing out on the full flavor and enjoyment of their tequila as a result. While some tequilas are made for mixing, producing beautiful margaritas, others are made to be savored and enjoyed on their own. The type of tequila you are buying or tasting can tell you a lot about how you should consume it to best enjoy what it has to offer.
Silver or Blanco Tequilas Are Made for Mixing
Tequila at its most basic is often called a “blanco” or silver tequila. Though it’s sometimes bottled almost immediately after its final distillation, blanco tequila is held in stainless steel, oak or other kinds of containers for less than 60 days. Some distillers call blanco “the essence of tequila.” Typically, blanco or silver tequilas are clear in color. They are most typically made solely from the blue agave plant. Because they are the most basic form, they are also the least expensive of tequilas, which makes them ideal for mixed drinks, such as margaritas.
Reposado Tequilas Have Been Aged
Reposado literally translates to mean restful, or in this case, rested. That is exactly the difference between Reposado tequilas and blanco or silver tequilas. Reposado tequilas have been aged for at least two months, but perhaps as long as a full year, in oak barrels. This allows the flavor to mellow, taking on hints of oak, and turns the tequila to a soft golden color. Reposado tequilas are often used in premium mixed drinks and are also popular for those taking shots of tequila. Usually in American oak barrels. Many favor reposado tequilas over anejos, arguing that this category’s shorter barrel-aging mellows the tequila without overwhelming the distinctive aroma and flavor of agave.
Añejo Tequilas Are Aged for Over a Year
Aging from one to three years in American or other oak barrels (occasionally, ones that are recycled after aging bourbons), Añejo tequilas have complex flavors. Aficionados who appreciate the mellow temperament consider anejos the true “sipping” tequila. This makes them a great choice for tasting or sipping tequilas, meant to be drunk on their own. The longer aging imparts complex oak flavors and a color that varies between deep gold and soft brown. Añejo tequilas are prized for their layers of flavor and drinkability.