What are the different types of Tequila?
When discussing different types of Tequila, people are more than often enough, talking about the age of the spirit - of which there are 5 categories.
The aging process requires the Tequila to be left to mature in Oak casks or Pipones for a period of time. During these varying times, the process softens the finish by removing tannins and imparts barrel notes and colour in to the spirit.
The longer the time, the more of this process that occurs and the darker the spirit at the end. Aging itself isn't a traditional Mexican process, and this is why most Mezcals in particular, don't see the inside of the barrel.
So what are the different types of Tequila?
A Blanco Tequila, also known as Plata or Silver, are most commonly left to rest in stainless steel containers or occasionally neutral oak barrels for a short space of time - the maximum permitted time to age or rest blancos is up to 2 months. The resulting liquid is transparent and has a crisp, sharp finish; making it perfect for cocktails such as a Mirror Margarita, classic Margarita or Paloma.
The term Reposado means "rested" and these Tequilas often sit in a barrel for between 2-12 months. Widely popular and consumed in Mexico, this style has all the flavours of blue agave with slight barrel notes and the finish is a lot more palatable than a blanco. Reposado tequilas can often be swapped for blancos in many cocktail recipes, as they present a smoother drink with warmer flavour notes.
Añejo, which translates as "old" is the Tequila that is the neat sipper of the gang. It's aged between 1-3 years in an oak barrel - typically ex-American whiskey and French oak barrels are used for this. As a result, Añejos are left with a lot of vanilla & brown sugar flavours that are normally associated with bourbon.
Expect the strongest aromas and the richest amber colour in an Extra Añejo as it spends more time in contact with the wood of the barrels. Aged for a minimum of three years, and can possibly rest in more than one type of barrel before bottling, this type is considered to be ultra-premium and the prices typically reflect that. Due to its complexity in flavours, it shares similarities with aged whiskey and cognac.
The new kid on the classification block. Aged tequila is filtered through charcoal to remove tannins and the colour. The spirit produced has a softened mouthfeel and is completely transparent.
So what is the right Tequila for you?
Well, that depends on your tastebuds entirely. Each one presents a unique flavour profile and different mouthfeel. For Mirror Margarita, we use Patron Silver as it produces the clean, crisp and citrus laced base that we desired for a truly unique Margarita - one that is light, delicate and will always leave you wanting another.