Wine is on vacation and since I am in Mexico, Tequila will be making an appearance instead!
Our first night here found us at a local restaurant, an excruciating day of travel (read: worst ever!), put us in need of a drink. A stiff drink. I’m not a hard alcohol type of gal, preferring wine above all else, however; this night was different, so we ordered margaritas and they were delicious!
Our waiter immediately spotted our naiveté with the Tequila list and took it upon himself to enlighten us. Without even asking there were tastes of two different tequilas in front of us, Tres Generaciones & Herradura, he explained that both were 100% Blue Agave, considered the best for Tequila, and aged a minimum of 6 years in barrel. We ordered one of each for our second, and final drink, but I was intrigued and happily went to bed vowing to learn more about Tequila.
Today is my fifth day in Mexico and I have been hard at work studyingTequila. This is what I have learned: Tequila is distilled from the fermented juice of the Blue Agave plant and is named after the town of Tequila, which is in the Jalisco region. 100% Agave Tequilas are premium, if it does not say 100% Agave on the label then the Tequila is a mix of Agave plus sugarcane or corn, but must be a minimum of 51% Agave.
There are five styles of tequila: oro, which is gold in color from caramel additives, young and not aged; blanco is an unaged, white spirit; reposado is aged at least 2 months but less than a year in oak barrels; añejo: aged at least 1 year but less than 3 years in oak barrels & extra añejo: which is aged at least 3 years in oak barrels.
I’ve been lucky enough to try them all and must admit that from now on I will always get a Reposado or Añejo, they are generally much nicer. Both the Oro and the Blanco had a superficial sweetness and a bitterness that I did not like, whereas all the Reposados I’ve tried have been smooth, clean and refined. Local legend also has it that Reposados & Añejos will not give you a headache in the morning, so far that’s been true.