Tequila is one of the oldest Spirits with its history dating as far back as the 16th century when it was first introduced near the location of the city of Tequila in Mexico, which was not formally established until 1666. This is proof that tequila has long been a great drink for people who love liquor. The love for the wonderful Mexican drink among experts and spirit enthusiasts alike has resulted to several brands expanding into the drink. Despite the various expansions, liquor is only regarded as tequila when it is produced in the area around the city of tequila such as Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, Jalisco, and Tamaulipas.
5 Types Of Tequila
There are five types of tequila namely; Blanco or Silver, Gold or Joven, Reposado (aged or rested) Anejo (extra aged) and extra Anejo (ultra-aged, which became widely known in 2006). However, the most common or popular types are Anejo, Reposado, and Blanco. Apart from these types of tequila, the liquor is categorized into two; purely (100 percent de agave) and Mixto. Though quite pricey, the best types of tequila are made from 100 percent blue agave while the cheap ones are usually brewed using mixtos, which is usually 51 percent agave and 49 percent of added flavours, sweeteners as well as other undertones.
How to Differentiate Among The 5 Types Of Tequila
Tequila is differentiated by the level of time they are aged. We have listed each type of tequila and how long it takes to brew them for a better understanding of how to differentiate the drinks.
Reposado tequila also known as “rested” or “aged”, is a good tequila though it seems not to be the first choice of tequila for many tequila drinkers especially for being basically renowned in Mexico where it is regulated by the government. This type of tequila is aged in white oak or French barrels for at least two months and a maximum of 12 months after it is distilled. It appears to be somewhat in the middle ground, offering a hint of Blanco tequila (which does not go through the barrel ageing) without the bite or snappy feel, and like Anejo (which is aged for longer than a year), only that it has a distinctive flavour. In other words, Reposado is neither too young nor too old.
Since it is not so immature like Blanco, the taste of Reposado feels more integrated and gives you a push or shove rather than a snap. Another thing that is noticeably different, Reposado is the briniest of the tequila categories and when it comes to tequila, brine is a fantastic thing. The liquor’s uniqueness is also in its flavour, which is mostly from resins and tannins or other spirits including cognac, whiskey, wine bourbon, that have been aged in the same barrel used for it. In addition, reposado offers a thrilling feel and less of the boisterous things you get from Blanco.
Recognized as a stark opposite of Blanco tequila, Anejo tequila is a well-aged kind of tequila which is why it is also called Anejo, meaning old in Spanish. For a spirit to be called Anejo, it should be brewed in a big oak barrel where it gets aged for a minimum of one year and less than three years. According to the Mexican government, this kind of tequila can only be allowed to settle or rest in oak barrels with a maximum capacity of 600 litres. The liquor is usually aged in French oak casks, cognac barrels, whiskey or wine barrels and tastes far from young. Meant to be sipped and enjoyed to the full, the amber-coloured spirit boasts a super smooth taste and seems smoother in flavour when set by side with Reposado. Apart from having a darker colour, the liquor also differs from “rested Tequila” for being briny richer and more rounded than it is when it comes to taste.
Extra Anejo Tequila:
Extra Anejo tequila is made with blue agave tequila that has been aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years. In general, this kind of spirit shares a lot in common with Anejo tequila in terms of ageing and brewing process. It also goes into a barrel that isn’t more than 600 litres. However, the extra time during brewing is where the difference comes in. Also, extra Anejo tequila offers a darker colour than Anejo tequila, coming in a stunning hazel shade. Extra Anejo became known in 2006 and was named by the Mexican government. The tequila offers a not-so balanced profile that’s both smooth and interesting. It may be the most expensive kind of tequila spirits but it is known to be the smoothest and a great complement for other drinks.
Blanco or Silver Tequila
Also known as silver or Plata tequila, this type of tequila tends to be clear white and is a white spirit that lends its name silver tequila. The drink hides behind being too young or immature mostly because the process of producing the drink stops at the distilling stage. What brewers do is simply distil and bottle. This nonetheless makes it offer agave in its fineness and purest form. Blanco is commonly regarded as the essence of tequila by many liquor brewers for promising the best of the natural sweetness of a blue agave plant from which the drink is derived.
While some distillers leave the spirit to settle and finish for a few days or weeks in the tanks and then bottle, some bottle once it is distilled. Given its period of ageing, Blanco tequila emerges as an immature and angry liquor with a snap or bite like most spirits. This is what makes it slap you across the face when taken. Blanco also offers the best flavours of the agave plant, as it is not subjected to the ageing process even when in barrels.
Gold or Joven Tequila:
This category of tequila comes in a golden or rich light brown colour thanks to its flavouring agents including caramel colouring, oak tree extracts, sugar, and glycerin. This colour lends the liquor its popular name” gold tequila”. Also, the liquor which has long been the favourite of many liquor lovers can be a perfect mix of Blanco young tequila and aged or extra-aged tequila. Joven is not such a popular tequila when compared to varieties such as Reposado, Anejo, and Blanco. In contrast, Joven works better when mixed with other types of tequila than independently, and it usually goes well in mixed drinks including margaritas. Good enough, it is not very expensive and comes in as one of the cheapest tequilas out there.
Is Tequila The Healthiest Alcohol?
While health researchers can’t stop emphasizing the need to stay off alcoholic drinks, some tequila lovers have excused the liquor as the healthiest alcohol, but how true is this assertion? Well, the tequila may not be entirely healthy since it has alcohol, but there are certain qualities that make tequila a healthy choice. According to some research by Mexican researchers, the best tequila – those made with Agavins, which contain naturally occurring sugar in agave plant – can help lower blood sugar. They act as dietary fibre as they’re non-digestible and aid the growth of healthy microbes in the mouth and intestine. More so, the plant consists of a certain substance that helps the absorption of calcium and magnesium in the body. This is important for healthy bone. Beyond this benefit, the liquor is also connected to weight loss, which makes it a perfect drink for fitness enthusiasts.