The Types of tequila Main are white, young, rested, aged and extra-aged. Tequila is one of the most popular liqueurs, not only in Mexico but also around the world.
It is a distillate whose origin is located in the municipality of Tequila, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. This alcoholic beverage is made from the fermentation and distillation of the juice extracted from the agave, particularly the blue agave.
The agave is a plant characteristic of Mexico that has thick, fleshy and sharp leaves. Like cacti, this plant accumulates water inside. It is so versatile that throughout history it has been used to extract paper, fiber, sweets, vinegar, honey and sugar from it.
Of the agave not only the tequila is extracted, but also two types of liquors more: the mezcal and the pulque. There are more than 200 species of agave plants, which are differentiated by specific characteristics such as size, shape and color.
The tequila is legally protected, so it has been known as Denomination of Origin since 1974. This is a regulation that indicates that can only be called"tequila"distillate that is harvested in five states of Mexico, specifically In Michoacan (30 municipalities), Guanajuato (seven municipalities), Nayarit (eight municipalities) and Tamaulipas (eleven municipalities). But the main state is Jalisco, since there can be produced in its 125 municipalities.
Tequila has two categories according to the Official Mexican Standard. The first one is the 100% agave tequila. This is the liquor made entirely by agave, that is, from the distillation of the pineapples of the plant. This means that the resulting product is not mixed with other sugars other than those obtained from the blue variety called Agave tequilana Weber.
This must be cultivated within the territories that have the Denomination of Origin and so that the liquor can have the denomination"Tequila 100% agave"must have been bottled in a plant that controls the authorized producer.
The second category is called tequila alone. Until recently the rule allowed tequilas to have at least 51% of agave and 49% of other sugars derived at most. However, it is now required that the agave ratio be not less than 60%.
Tequilas within this category are also known as mixed, since in these cases the product (agave) is mixed with other sugars such as sugar cane or with corn syrup. Unlike 100% agave tequila, the liquor that falls into this category may be packaged in plants outside an authorized producer. However, the packers must comply with the established conditions.
Types of tequilas
Tequila, unlike other liqueurs like wine, does not have as many varieties. However, this still occurs in different ways and this depends on the characteristics acquired during the distillation process and especially the aging time. These details give it a flavor and even a different texture.
It is worth noting that the standard indicates that tequila must have at least 35 degrees of alcohol. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out double distillation for the production. In the first process 28 degrees are achieved, while in the second, 55 degrees are obtained.
These are the five types of tequila that exist
This is the purest variety that exists of tequila. It is basically the starting point for the elaboration of the other varieties of liquor. This type of tequila does not require aging, so it is only in oak barrels a few hours or at most a few months. It is packed once it has been distilled.
White tequila is transparent and clear, but not necessarily colorless. After the second distillation, the product is passed through tanks for the addition of water molecules to obtain the required alcoholic strength. This must be at least 38ºGL and at most 46ºGL.
This variety has a sweet taste, a characteristic obtained by agave cooked, because it contains sweet honey. White tequila is the one that best preserves the natural qualities of agave.
This type of tequila also does not require ripening and is only rested for a couple of weeks or months in the wooden barrels. Unlike white tequila, this is characterized by its golden or amber color.
This variety is softened with flavors and dyes such as caramel, oak extract, sugar and glycerin. But because these ingredients are not contained naturally with the raw material, in the beverage can come to feel an artificial taste.
This variety is a mixture between white tequila and tequila reposado and / or aged to which flavorings are added before being bottled. They usually have more affordable prices, but despite these conditions may still have the denomination of 100% agave. This liqueur also has sweet tones, in addition to a slight oak aroma. In this case the graduation starts at 38ºGL and can reach 40ºGL.
It is a white tequila that has been aged from 6 to 9 months in oak barrels. But it is worth noting that this time should not exceed 12 months. This reposado helps to maintain the original flavor of the blue agave and the wooden barrels give the liqueur its soft flavor, besides a light golden color and a delicious aroma, yet its flavor is stronger and more spicy than the white.
This is the variety that occupies nearly 70% of the Mexican market. Its processing is very similar to white. However, in this case the difference is in its maturation time. After the aging time has elapsed, it is filtered and packaged. The commercial alcoholic content of this type of tequila is adjusted with water of dilution and its graduation is of 38ºGL.
What characterizes this product is its maturation process. For a tequila to be aged must be matured in barrels for at least 12 months. These barrels are usually of white oak or oak. And they have a maximum capacity of 600 liters.
The process of elaboration does not vary much with respect to the previous ones. But it is the aging time that makes the difference. At that time the liquor acquires notes of wood and vanilla, this flavor is usually more intense than the rest.
The color of this tequila can be strong golden or a dark amber. And thanks to the time that remains in the wooden barrels, the flavor of this is impregnated in the liquor. This variety can be aged for up to 10 years. Its alcoholic graduation starts at 38ºGL until reaching 40ºGL.
This is one of the most elegant and fine versions. It is also one of the most recent versions that has been established (2005). This tequila differs from the aged by the time it passes in the oak barrels. This variety must have a minimum of three years of aging. And this is what makes your taste more powerful. That extra time gives you more sweetness, more spicy tones and therefore more flavor to wood.
Uses of different types of tequila
Like rum or vodka, tequila is a drink that can be consumed alone or in cocktails. Usually used in combination with other products are white tequila and young. White is often used for cocktails like Bloody Mary, Cosmopolitan and Margaritas to give them a bigger body. The young man, on the other hand, is usually used in combination with soft drinks or juices.
The tequila rest is the most common and therefore the most consumed. This is the liqueur that is usually served in frosty shots with salt and accompanied by lemon. And in the case of old tequila and extra-old, they are usually taken in tequila glasses, without ice and without mixing with anything so that it does not change its flavor and can perceive each element that composes.
Tequila is one of the strongest liquors in existence. But taking one or the other variety can depend a lot on how accustomed the person is to taking mature distillates. For those who usually drink this type of drinks, the recommendation is to opt for a tequila reposado. It is also the most recommended variety for those who have never had contact with this type of liquor.
After you have tried it, you can opt for a white one. This is not recommended for a first contact as this variety represents the strength of tequila at its best.
On the other hand, although this distillate is not recommended for consumption during the meal, it is ideal for after it, as a kind of digestive. In this case the best option will be a rest or stale. Also, the most recommended are those that are labeled as 100% agave.