Tequila is an agave-centric distilled liquor produced only in specific regions of Mexico. These regions are Jalisco (where 99% is made. It is the home town of Tequila), Guanajuato, Michoacan, Tamaulipas and Nayarit – these are known as the Denomination of Origin Tequila (DOT). These regions are perfect for the growth of agave plants due to their silicate-rich, red volcanic soils. Tequila was popularly known as salt-lined shots. However, today tequila is a trendy top-shelf premium beverage to sip neat and in classic mixed drinks.

Which liquor can be labelled as Tequila?

For the spirit to be called tequila, it must follow the laid down stringent rules that regulate it. These regulations spell out what can be labelled as tequila, the style, where and how it should be made. These regulations are overseen by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CTR). These rules state that, for a spirit called tequila it must;

  • Be only produced, bottled, and inspected within the state of Jalisco (where the majority is produced) and municipalities in the states of Nayarit, Michoacan, Guanajuato, and Tamaulipas.
  • Be made from a minimum of 51% Blue Agave. Premium Tequilas are made from 100% blue agave and cannot include additives. Other tequilas, called ‘mixtos’, contain 51% agave blended with neutral spirits made of corn syrup, molasses, or other sugars.
  • Be aged for at least two weeks.
  • Be distilled twice.
  • Be bottled between 35% and 55% ABV (70 and 110 U.S. proof).

Main types of Tequila

There are five main types of tequila; Blanco, Joven, reposando, Anajo and extra anejo. The distinctions in these styles of tequila are based on the finishing process.

Blanco / silver / plata – Blanco is a clear spirit and is usually bottled shortly after distillation. However, this type of tequila can be rested in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels for no more than 60 days if they are aged. Blanco tequilas are quite affordable. They have a bold taste and are excellent for mixed drinks and tequila shots.

Joven (young) or Oro (gold) Tequila – Joven tequila is a blend of unaged and aged tequilas. Joven tequilas are quite impressive. They get the golden hue from the addition of colouring and additives.

Reposado (rested) Tequila – Reposado tequilas are aged in oak barrels for at least two months but no more than twelve months. The barrel ageing imparts Reposado tequila's soft oakiness and light straw colour. This type of tequila is best to sip straight and to mix in high-end cocktails.

Añejo (old) – Añejo tequila is a robust spirit aged in an oak barrel for at least twelve months but not more than three years.

Extra-Añejo Tequila: this tequila style was created in 2006 following changes in the tequila market. It is aged for over three years in oak barrels and has more of a smoky flavour, similar to old whiskies.

Each type of tequila maturation is dramatically affected by the type of wood used, ageing temperature and humidity. The distillers are free to use new casks or previously used casks. The law requires all containers to remain closed for the duration of the maturation process and has paper seals applied. This seal is removed only by the Compliance Assessment Agency (CAA) at the designated time.

How to enjoy your favourite Tequila brand

The best way to enjoy this renowned Mexican spirit is the best way you like it. You know your taste, you like it, that is the way to drink it. But if you are not sure how to drink it, here are some general guidelines on how to enjoy it.

Tequila being a versatile spirit, it can drunk in many ways, straight, on the rocks or mixed. Aged tequilas are perfect to sip neat or on the rock, while Blanco and Reposado tequilas are excellent in mixed drinks. 100% Blue Weber Agave tequilas are excellent to sip straight.

For something spicy, here are some impressive tequila cocktails to try, Margarita, sunrise, Paloma, Martini and Spicy Blood Orange Margarita. Whether you prefer tequila neat, shot with a lime, or mixed in a classic cocktail, this popular Mexican, agave-centric spirit does not disappoint. For a wide range collection of the best tequilas brands, from expensive and premium tequila brands to the most affordable tequilas, Liquor Stream got you covered. Visit our website and pick your best tequila brand at the most competitive tequila price in Kenya.