Tequila is an alcoholic beverage native to Mexico and is made specifically from the blue agave, a plant that grows mainly in the Tequila region of the state of Jalisco and some adjacent areas.
How is tequila made?
The tequila production process involves several steps. First, the tough, spiky leaves of the agave are cut away to reveal the heart, or "piña," which is the part used to make tequila. The pineapple is then cooked in special ovens to convert the starches into fermentable sugars.
After cooking, the pineapple is crushed, and the sweet juice is extracted and fermented to convert the sugars into alcohol. Fermentation can last several days, depending on the producer and the type of tequila you want to produce.
Once fermented, the resulting liquid is distilled in stills to obtain a purer and more concentrated alcohol. Freshly distilled tequila, known as "ordinario" or "blanco", can be bottled directly or aged in oak barrels to obtain different types of tequila.
What flavor does tequila have?
The taste of tequila can vary depending on the type of tequila and the specific brand. However, there are some common flavor profiles associated with tequila.
In general, white, or ordinary tequila that has not been aged in oak barrels tends to taste fresh, crisp, and with herbal notes. You can pick up distinctive agavado flavors, which can be herbaceous, citrusy, and slightly spicy. It can also have hints of white pepper and a slightly sweet flavor from the agave.
Aged in oak barrels for at least two months, reposado tequila develops smoother, more complex flavors. You can acquire notes of vanilla, caramel, wood, and subtle spices. Although it still retains the flavors of the agave, these are combined with the influences of the wood, which brings greater depth and smoothness to the flavor.
Aged tequila, aged from one to three years in oak barrels, presents richer and more complex flavors. You can expect more pronounced notes of vanilla, caramel, chocolate, dried fruit, and an overall smoother, more rounded character. Prolonged barrel aging brings greater complexity and sophistication to the flavor of tequila.
As for the extra añejo tequila, which has an aging period of more than three years, the flavor tends to be exceptionally smooth, with an intense presence of wood, spice, and ripe fruit flavors. It is the most sophisticated and refined type of tequila in terms of flavor.
It is important to note that each brand and each distillery may have their own interpretation and style of tequila, which may influence the specific flavors. Additionally, production methods, the agave used, and other factors can affect the taste of tequila. Therefore, the best way to discover the taste of tequila is to try different brands and types to find those that suit your personal preferences.
How to taste tequila?
To taste tequila and appreciate all its flavors and nuances, it is recommended to follow a few simple steps. First, pour a small amount of tequila into a suitable tasting glass, preferably a clear glass. Observe its color and viscosity, appreciating the reflections and the consistency of the liquid.
Then bring the glass up to your nose and breathe gently to capture the aromas of the tequila. You may notice herbal, citrus, spicy, or sweet notes, depending on the type and age of the tequila. Take a moment to explore the different scents and appreciate their complexity.
Then take a small sip and allow the tequila to spread throughout your mouth. Hold it on your tongue for a few seconds, letting the flavors develop. You may notice agave, pepper, vanilla, caramel, fruit, or spice flavors, depending on the type of tequila. Pay attention to the texture in your mouth, whether it is smooth, creamy, or spicy.
Continue to savor the tequila, letting it sweep over your palate and exploring the nuances and layers of flavor that are revealed. Watch how it evolves as it mixes with your saliva.
Finally, gently exhale and notice the flavors that linger in your mouth. Take note of the final sensations and flavors that remain after drinking the tequila.
Remember that tequila tasting is a personal and subjective experience. Each person can perceive and appreciate different flavors and nuances. Feel free to experiment with different types of tequila and brands to discover your preferences and enjoy this iconic Mexican drink to the fullest. Health!
What types of tequila are there?
There are several types of tequila that are classified according to their production process and aging time. The most common types of tequila are mentioned below:
Blanco Tequila (Silver or Silver): Also known as silver tequila, white or ordinary tequila, it is tequila without aging or with a brief period of rest in oak barrels. It is transparent and has a fresh and invigorating flavor, highlighting the pure and natural flavors of the agave.
Reposado Tequila: Rested tequila is aged in oak barrels for a minimum period of two months, but no more than one year. During this time, it turns a light golden color and develops smoother, more complex flavors. It usually has notes of vanilla, caramel and wood, combined with the distinctive flavors of agave.
Añejo Tequila: Añejo tequila is aged in oak barrels for a minimum period of one year, but not more than three years. It acquires a dark amber color and develops deeper and more complex flavors. Barrel aging gives it intense notes of vanilla, caramel, wood and spices, with greater softness and roundness.
Extra Añejo Tequila: This type of tequila is the oldest and is aged in oak barrels for more than three years. It is the smoothest, most refined and sophisticated tequila in terms of flavor. It has a deep amber coloration and offers complex, rich and well-balanced flavours. May have prominent notes of wood, ripe fruit, spices, and other flavors derived from prolonged aging.
It is important to note that these are the types of tequila officially recognized by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) in Mexico. However, other variants and styles of tequila also exist, such as joven tequila (a blend of blanco and reposado tequila), gold tequila (a blend of blanco and añejo tequila), as well as limited edition tequilas or premium tequilas that may be processed. special production.
Each type of tequila offers a unique taste experience, so it is advisable to try different types and brands to find out which one is best suited for your personal preferences.