Have you ever stopped to think about what Tequila is and where it originated? Tequila is made from the distillation of the juice from the blue agave plant. The main two types of Tequila are split into two categories, Pure Tequila, made solely from 100% Blue Agave, and Tequila Mixto that is mixed with sugar or molasses before fermentation begins.
With over a thousand Tequila brands to choose from, it helps to know the different types of Tequila and the special categories they fall into.
- Silver Tequila
Silver Tequila, sometimes referred to as Blanco, Platinum, or White is rarely aged more than a couple of weeks, making it the purest form of Tequila. It can be bottled directly after distillation or stored in stainless steel tanks to settle for up to 4 weeks. It is often considered the best type of Tequila to use in mixed drinks and is commonly seen in margaritas.
- Gold Tequila
Gold Tequila is typically a Mixto, that gets its color from caramel coloring added to the Tequila before fermentation. If the brand doesn’t state “100% agave”, it added coloring and sugar to obtain the gold color. Gold Tequilas are not typically aged, and usually contains only about 51% agave Tequila. Sometimes 100% agave gold Tequila is made by combining silver Tequila and an aged Tequila, such as Reposado or Añejo. Since quality aged Tequila has a gold hue, the addition of the coloring was a marketing tactic to improve one’s perspective of cheaper brands.
- Tequila Reposado
Reposado means “rested” in Spanish, and reposados rest anywhere from two months to a year before they are bottled. Reposados take on the gold hue from the barrels in which they are aged. They are typically aged in oak or white oak barrels, and the type of barrel changes the flavor of each distillery’s tequila.
- Tequila Anejo
Añejo tequilas are aged from one to three years and are considered the best type of tequila for sipping because of their smoother flavor. Añejo means “vintage,” and they are darker than reposado tequilas.
- Tequila Extra Anejo
Extra or ultra Añejo tequilas are aged for over three years. This is a relatively new type of tequila, which got its official classification in 2005. This type of tequila is the most expensive, not only because the flavor is improved with age, but also because distilleries will only allow their best spirits to age for so long. Extra Añejo tequila should be enjoyed, not shot or mixed.
Find the Perfect Tequila at Juan Tequila – Tequila Bar in San Diego
Unlike aged whiskeys or wines, tequilas that are older aren’t necessarily better. And while aging can certainly mask a lesser tequila, any great Blanco can make for a beautiful reposado and Añejo. The right style of Tequila is a matter of personal preference.
At Juan Tequila, Gaslamp’s innovative Cocktail and Mexican Cuisine, our cocktail program includes a refreshing splash of tiki-inspired drinks based on tropical fruit and Mexican ingredients along with aperitif artist-crafted cocktails, utilizing a carefully chosen assortment of old-world tequila, Mezcal, and other agave spirits. We’re also focused on craft beer and wine! Come on il; we have something for everyone!