If you're used to just ordering "tequila" with your drinks, you may be surprised at all the options that you have.
Some types of tequila are better for sipping, while others are best for mixing. Check out this quick guide to make the most out of your happy hour.
What are the Types of Tequila
There are three main types of tequila: Añejo tequila, Reposado tequila, and Blanco tequila.
"Technically," they're all tequila, but they're all distilled differently, which yields different colors, flavor profiles, and of course, taste!
All three types are made from the agave plant, but they're processed and distilled in very different ways.
Añejo tequila is oftentimes referred to as "aged tequila" because it sits to "age" in a barrel made out of oak for up to 4 years of time. The longer it ages, the more of the oak flavoring that you're going to taste.
Añejo tequila is the best choice for sipping tequila or enjoying it on the rocks because it has an incredibly smooth flavor and taste.
Those who are fans of tequila say that Añejo tequila has a warmth to it with hints of oak, cinnamon, and sometimes even vanilla.
Read More: What is Añejo Tequila
Reposado means "rested," which translates to a tequila that has sat in the oak barrel anywhere from 2 months but not longer than 12 months.
Reposado tequila is also a smooth sipper or a great mixer for light cocktails.
Since it's lightly aged in an oak barrel, you'll find some hints of cinnamon, oak, and vanilla but not quite as present in the flavor profile as Añejo tequila.
Related: What is Reposado Tequila
This is the youngest of all tequilas from the time it's made to the time it's bottled and served. Since it's never been stored in an oak barrel, it does not have hints of flavors like the aged tequilas.
Blanco is the color white in Spanish, which is why the tequila you find inside the bottles is clear. Some people say it has a "peppery" aftertaste, not because it comes into contact with peppers but because you can most definitely taste the alcohol in this drink.
While you can sip Blanco tequila, this is mostly used in cocktail recipes as well as mixed with fruit juices and in frozen recipes.
Related: What is Blanco Tequila
What Type of Tequila is Best
For tequila that will be enjoyed by itself, either over ice (on the rocks) or sipped out of a glass (neat), Reposado Tequila, Añejo Tequila, and Extra Añejo Tequila, are the top choices since they have a smoother taste and hints of flavor.
For all cocktail drinks that have some type of sweetener, fruit juice, or blended with ice, the classic Blanco Tequila is recommended.
Brands of Tequila
Different brands of tequila indeed make their tequila with different qualities, or even organic tequila. Some of the tequila brands to keep your eye out for are:
- Espolon Blanco
- Don Julio
- Jose Cuervo
Some are high-end, while others are more budget-friendly. Read the labels and do your research to find out what brand you like best.
For frozen drinks, you can get away with a $15 bottle, for mixing clean with minimal sweeteners, about $35, and for sipping, you're looking at $40 and up.
Best Tequila for Different Cocktails
My go-to tequila to have on hand to mix with different cocktails is Patron Silver and Espolon Blanco. They're available in most liquor aisles, and they don't taste like diesel fuel.
Patrón also offers a Reposado and an Añejo Tequila varieties if you're just starting your tequila-sipping journey.