First, a little about Tequila. This alcohol is made from the agave plants of Mexico. There are two categories of Tequila – 100% Blue Agave and Tequila Mixto (which is 51% agave and 49% added sugars). The 100% Blue Agave Tequilas are labeled “Tequila 100% de agave” or “Tequila 100% puro de agave”, where as the Mixtos are simply “Tequila”. These two categories are then grouped into five types:
Tequila Silver (Blanco/Plata/White/Platinum): This is the purest form of Tequila and is usually un-aged. It can be bottled right after distillation or stored in stainless steel tanks for up to four weeks.
Tequila Gold (Oro/Joven): Tequila Gold is usually a Mixto and is often found in bars and restaurants to be used in mixed drinks. It is typically the less expensive kind of Tequila.
Tequila Reposado: This Tequila is in the first stage of aging. It is stored in wood barrels for 2-11 months, and takes on a golden color.
Tequila Anejo: Tequila Anejo has to be aged for at least one year. After which, it takes on a darkened, amber hue with a much smoother and richer flavor.
Tequila Extra Anejo: This is aged for over three years and is the darkest and smoothest Tequila.
Now that you know what Tequila labels mean, what brand should you pick out? That’s up to you and how much money you are willing to spend. You can go for some impressive, expensive kinds that would be better appreciated sipped on rocks surrounded by talk of stocks and politics. Or you can go the cheaper route and get a brand that is perfectly suitable for shots, beer-goggles, and a morning-after hangover. Either way, here are some of the best of every budget. *Prices range depending on location.
$40 and up
Trago: ($50-$70) Available in silver, reposado, and anejo.
Don Julio: ($40-$48) Available in silver, reposado, and anejo.
Cabo Wabo: ($50)
Don Eduardo: ($45-$50)
Rio de Plata: ($43)
$30 – $60
Patron: ($50-$55) Available in silver and reposado.
El Jimador: ($26-$30) Available in silver and reposado.
Suaza Hornitos: ($27-$30) Available in reposado.
$18 – $30
Jose Cuervo: ($18-$20) Available in silver and gold.
Margaritaville: ($16-$17) Available in silver and gold.
1800: ($25-$35) Available is reposado and anejo.
$13 – $20
Pancho Villa: ($13-$14) Available in silver and gold.
Pepe Lopez: ($17)
Arandas: ($14-$17) Available in silver and gold.
Here are a few top Tequila drinks.
Margarita: Salt the rim and mix Tequila, lime juice, and Triple Sec. If you want to be creative, use Cointreau instead of Triple Sec.
Long Island Ice Tea: This contain much more than Tequila. You need Gin, Tequila, Vodka, Rum, Triple Sec, Lemon Juice, Syrup, and Cola. This is a quick get-you-drunk drink, so be careful!
Mexican Car Bomb: You need imported beer (such as Corona) and Tequila. Fill a mug with the beer and drop in a shot glass of Tequila. Consume quickly.
Tequila Sunrise: Layer Tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup.