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If everything you know about tequila can be summed up by that one time in college when you blacked out after drinking one to many shots down in Cabo for spring break then get ready to have your eyes opened. Relax, pour a sangrita and prepare to belly up to the bar in style – the tequila guide is here.

First and foremost tequila is a a product of the agave plant and comes in a three major varieties. Like cognac or champagne tequila can only come for Tequila, Mexico and is guaranteed to put more hair on your chest then a skin graft from Sean Connery and a bottle of rogaine.

The most basic and most popular is silver tequila. This blanco tequila is either immediately bottled after distillation or left to age in an oak barrel for no more then 3 months. The most popular is Patron Silver and also one of the worst. Its fine and awesome if Lil john wants to keep it all up in his cup, but be a discerning adult and go for something with some style, like the new and excellent Jose Cuervo Platino.

Now, usually in the tequila world , Jose Cuervo is a four letter word, but this new to the market tequila is really making strides to distance itself from its bad reputation and like Tracy Lords is hoping to go straight and break into the mainstream.

Good tequila never needs lime and salt to cover its burn, in the biz we call them training wheels and they are for amateurs. Instead show you know what you’re doing and order a sangrita back. It’s basically spicy tomato juice or bloody mary mix and compliments the heat of the booze with its own sanguine succulence. Silver is the best to either mix or shoot. If margaritas are becoming a bore you can spice it up with a Paloma which is tequila and grapefruit soda.

Next up on the list we have Reposado tequila, the literal translation is “Rested” and if you have a few of these, you will be too. Repo tequila has been aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months. Its got a golden hue and a slightly more smoky taste to it. Repo is different then gold tequila because gold tequila is a trick played stupid gringos from the midwest to get them to buy silver tequila with carmel additives and is totally and completely an evil joke. You’re an adult with access to the Internets, now you can drink like one too. Once a tequila goes from a blanco to a Repo it also goes from a shooter to a sipper. The good one cost more, a favorite being Chamucos which means boogie man, as in I’m drinking stuff even the boogie mans afraid of. This level of tequila is best enjoyed room temp and in either a cordial or rocks glass but never alone. If the idea of straight tequila scares you, try a Sarah, its reposado tequila with gingerale and a lime.

Then there is Anejo, the seor and most venerated amongst tequilas. Aged for a minimum of one year this dark brown tequila sits more in the single malt scotch or cognac category then the shoddy silver stuff that you drank senior year when you forgot the video cameras were recording. Another one to taste and not shoot, enjoy a glass of El Tesoro Anejo in a snifter. The trick with good tequila is that when you’re smelling it don’t put your nose straight in the glass or you’ll just get a hit of pure alcohol. Instead sway the glass side to side so you can really get a nice whiff of the essence.

If silver tequila is what you’d get a girl to just get her plastered, a nice maduro is what you’d give her father to secure the dowry.These are super anejo’s that have been aged at least 5 years. A favorite being El Tesoro 70th Anniversary and this is a monster. It retails for somewhere in the ballpark of $20 to $25 a shot and with hints of vanilla it’ll brake you bank account faster then you can say, Adios Mio. This is a sippers, sipper tequila and the answer to all those people who had a hard time with the distilled agave in high school. This tequila is so good it needs nothing but a glass and an a good alibi to compliment it.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says that there is no shame in being poor, but there is shame in doing something poorly. Next time your out and about in the bar, show your friends and your liver a wonderful time by ordering the good stuff. Sure it may cost a little more but the better the tequila the better the next morning is – so don’t shame yourself with the crappy stuff when clearly you now know better. If all else fails, you can always blame it on the glassware.

Source:

  1. Thinking Drinkers: a beginner's guide to tequila – Telegraph
  2. BPA Canned Food Plastics
  3. A Gentleman's Introduction to Tequila | Primer

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