What is Tequila?

Tequila is made in Mexico from the blue agave plant, which has a high proportion of fructose. This makes it particularly useful for producing alcoholic beverages. The juice of the agave is then placed in vats for fermentation and distilled once to produce “ordinario” tequila or twice to produce “silver” tequila.

It may also be aged in wooden barrels thereby taking on a golden or amber colour. Tequila can either be 100% agave or a mixture of 51% agave and other sugars. It comes in five different types:

1. Blanco or “white” which is not aged or aged for below two months;
2. Joven or “young” which is a mix of blanco and “reposado”;
3. Reposado or “rested” which is aged for more than two months but less than a year in oak barrels;
4. Anejo or “aged” which is aged for at least one year (but less than three years) in small oak barrels;
5. Extra anejo or “extra aged” which is aged for at least three years.

The aging process mellows the flavour of tequila, making it smoother and more complex because it takes on the flavours of the barrel. The Mexican government has laws that restrict the production of Tequila (which can only come from Mexico) to a few areas, in particular Jalisco.

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