Tequila Blanco, Reposado or Añejo?
Tequila is an alcoholic drink made by the distillation and fermentation of agave juices. These agave-based drinks gained popularity from the mid-1700s, while the origin lies with the ancient Aztec drinks. As per the Mexican laws, a spirited drink can be tequila only from 5 Mexican regions- Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Read on to know more about the different types of tequila and how they originated.
Be it a margarita or the shots; tequila is a go-to liquor for every occasion. This blue agave-based alcoholic drink is famous all around the world. However, unlike the common belief- all tequilas have a very distinct flavour and taste. Some impart the best flavours when mixed to make margaritas, while others are the best fit for enjoying themselves. The difference in taste and use is due to the ageing process, which refers to the time duration of tequila inside the oak barrels before bottling up.
100% blue agave tequila is of three kinds – Blanco tequila, Reposado tequila and Añejo tequila.
Usually termed as “the essence of tequila”, Blanco is the most basic form of tequila. It is left in barrels for 60 days or less and is sometimes even bottled after the distillation process. As it does not remain in the barrel for much longer, the taste it acquires is of pure agave. It is also known as silver, Plata or white tequila for its transparency. It is perfect for on the rock or shots with lime. It is a must-have tequila for an ideal tequila bar. Its purest expression of agave makes it the best fit as the mixer for margaritas to be sipped nicely in a beautifully shaped margarita glass.
Reposado translates to “restful” in English and derives its name from the process of resting in barrels from 2 months to a year. The flavour imparted from the oak barrel maintains a quintessential balance with agave. This resting period sets the beautiful, soft golden colour attained from the wood tannins of the barrel. It is a perfect balance between Blanco and añejo tequila, as it maintains a subtle equilibrium of agave and other warm flavours. It has been wondrous in cocktails, adding the savoury notes. Many enthusiasts prefer fewer mixers with it because of its own absolute sophisticated taste.
Añejo, translated to English, means “old” or “vintage”, resembling the duration of ageing. It is left in the barrel for a duration of one to four years. This ageing phase is responsible for the colour ranging from deep golden to soft brown and extra flavours imparted from the oak barrels. Its impeccable and flavorful taste gives meaning to the phrase – with age comes distinction.
The barrels used for the ageing process can be the recycled ones from bourbon ageing. This enhances the nuance of taste it offers. Aficionados appreciate the mellow layers of flavours and often regard it as the true “sipping tequila”. It is a perfect substitute for whiskey in several cocktails. The barrels’ golden hue colour and its excellent amalgamation of vanilla, caramel, butterscotch flavours make it fit for sipping neat. It is often referred to as premium tequila due to the richly blended flavours it offers. Añejos offer a richer taste than its younger versions. No bar is complete without the inclusion of Añejos.