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Associated with hot holidays, beautiful multi – coloured cocktails and sticky shots, Tequila is a powerful spirit and a fantastic accompaniment to wild summer parties.

Made and sold only from Tequila, Mexico, this exotic liquor is made simply from the blue agave plant, grown in red volcanic soil, which is then fermented and distilled and is what gives Tequila its own, very distinctive flavour.

Although it is similar in flavour to Mescal – and technically an offshoot of this Mexican spirit which is also made using agave plants – they do have a notably different flavour.

As opposed to Mescal which can be made from any of the twenty-eight Agave plant varietals, Tequila production is highly specialised and uses only the agave tequilana – most commonly known as the blue agave plant.

When it comes to taste, Mescal has a smokier and a sweeter palette than Tequila.

The gap, however, recently this has closed, as because of Tequila’s popularity and large export rates worldwide, Mescal producers have seen fit to lean towards using similar production techniques as Tequila, so their flavour profiles have become closer than when they were both traditionally produced.

Traditional Tequila Production

Since the 19th Century, Tequila has been made by firstly roasting the head of the blue agave plant in an over ground clay oven.

Some Tequila producers do add depth of flavour by heating this again after fermentation in a dugout, stone lined, pit where the blue agave is cooked for several days with its fibres placed on top of the oven.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Tequila Blanco

White Tequila, or Tequila Blanco is the lightest and most refreshing varieties of Tequila. After fermentation, white Tequila remains largely un-aged, so without the maturation, its colour remains unaltered and clear.

Tequila Blanco is also known by a number of other names, such as silver, platinum or plata, however, this all simply refers to the spirit being bottled and sold in its purest form.

Blanco has a flavour intensity and sweetness owing to it being bottled within four weeks of fermentation. ‘Suave’ white Tequila is sometimes aged for eight weeks in clear tanks which keeps the flavour as smooth and pure as possible.

Tasting notes from Tequila Blanco include lightness and refreshing zest, which is not found in other Tequila varietals, and is partly due to the agave plant having a naturally sweetened taste, so it is most prevalent in white Tequila.

Try sipping this type of Tequila as it suits a more delicate tasting experience.

Gold Tequila

Arguably the most popular variety, gold Tequila is widely exported throughout the world, although its quality is actually lower than the white, or blanco variety.

The blue agave plant is mixed with sugars and then additional flavourings are added prior to fermentation.

The result is known as a Mixto and is what creates the golden colour and distinctive flavour, slightly sweet, heady taste, which is more than a little bit sour.

Used mainly in mixed drinks, gold Tequila adds a distinctive kick to summer cocktails and shooters.

Gold Tequila can also refer to the maturation process used after Tequila is fermented, as the spirit is then aged and matured in oak barrels which have previously been used to mature whiskey.

Depending on the price, it is easy to spot the difference in these two methods, as although this variety of gold Tequila is smokier and has greater depth of flavour than its ‘Mixto’ counterpart, it will also come in at over twice the price per bottle.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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