Tequila

Drinking Tequila in Singapore

Tequila is a regionally specific distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the central western Mexican state of Jalisco. Tequila is a type of mezcal (and the regions of production of the two drinks are overlapping). Tequila must use only blue agave plants rather than any type of agave.

Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories:

  • Blanco("white") or plata("silver"): white spirit, unaged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels
  • Joven ("young") or oro ("gold"): unaged silver tequila that may be flavored with caramel coloring, oak extract, glycerin, or sugar-based syrup. Could also be the result of blending silver tequila with aged or extra-aged tequila.
  • Reposado ("rested"): aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size
  • Añejo ("aged" or "vintage"): aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in small oak barrels
  • Extra Añejo ("extra aged" or "ultra aged"): aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels, this is a relatively new category, established in 2006.

With 100% agave tequila, blanco or plata is harsher with the bold flavors of the distilled agave up front, while reposado and añejo are smoother, subtler, and more complex. As with other spirits aged in casks, tequila takes on the flavors of the wood, while the harshness of the alcohol mellows. The major flavor distinction with 100% agave tequila is the base ingredient, which is more vegetal than grain spirits (and often more complex).

The most traditional way to drink tequila is neat, without lime and salt. It is popular in some regions to drink fine tequila with a side of sangrita (a sweet, sour, and spicy drink typically made from orange juice, grenadine (or tomato juice), and hot chilli).