Tequila is a distilled spirit that is made from the blue agave plant, which is primarily grown in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Tequila is divided into two main categories: 100% agave tequila and mixto tequila.
100% agave tequila is made solely from the blue agave plant and is considered to be the purest form of tequila. It is made using traditional production methods that involve roasting the agave hearts, or piñas, in large ovens and then crushing them to extract the juice. The juice is then fermented, distilled, and aged in oak barrels. 100% agave tequilas are typically more expensive than mixto tequilas and are often considered to be of higher quality.
Mixto tequila, on the other hand, is made from a combination of blue agave and other sugars, such as cane sugar or corn syrup. The use of other sugars allows for a less expensive production process, but it also means that mixto tequilas are not as pure as 100% agave tequilas. Mixto tequilas are also required to contain at least 51% blue agave, with the remaining 49% consisting of other sugars.
Tequila is further categorized by its aging process. Blanco, or silver, tequila is unaged and has a clear color. Reposado tequila is aged for a minimum of two months but less than a year in oak barrels, which gives it a light golden color and a smooth, mellow flavor. Añejo tequila is aged for a minimum of one year but less than three years in oak barrels, which gives it a darker color and a complex, rich flavor. Extra Añejo tequila is aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels, which gives it a deep amber color and a full-bodied, nuanced flavor.
Overall, tequila is a versatile spirit that can be enjoyed on its own or mixed into a variety of cocktails. Whether you prefer a smooth and mellow blanco tequila or a complex and rich añejo tequila, there is a tequila out there to suit your taste.