Tequila, like Port and Champagne, is a regionally specific and internationally regulated name for a particular type of alcohol. It is a potent spirit made from blue agave plants, which were first distilled by the Spanish conquistadores when they ran out of the Brandy they’d brought with them from home. The city of Tequila is in the Mexican state of Jalisco, where all of this liquor is produced.
Clear Tequila is called “silver” and has undergone the least aging. “Gold” Tequila is often just Silver with a bit of caramel colour, so you need to have a good look at the label. The “Gold” you want is a blend of Silver and Resposado, Tequila that has been aged in wooden barrels for anywhere from three months to three years. The longer a Tequila ages, the darker its colour.
And sorry, there’s no worm at the bottom of a Tequila bottle. Those were introduced as a marketing gimmick in bottles of Mezcal, which is similar to Tequila but can be made from any agave plant (not just blue), anywhere in Mexico. The worms are actually the larvae of moths that live on the blue agave.
Tequila is drunk neat in Mexico, but seems to be taken just about everywhere else in the world with a lick of salt and a wedge of lime or lemon. If you’ve had that before and got turned off, try the following recipe which is sometimes called a “Mexicola”.
A good Tequila deserves another chance.
- 45ml Tequila
- 125ml Coke
- Two wedges of lime
- Fill a tall glass with ice.
- Add the Tequila.
- Top up with Coke.
- Squeeze one lime wedge into the drink.
- Garnish with the second wedge of lime.
- Tall glass.