Tequila is this one drink that definitely stands out among the rest! Which other drink would go well with salt and lime anyway? Also, there are different types of tequila that will take your palate to a world of flavors and variety. This article not only gives you a list of best brands of tequila, but also helps you understand more about the drink itself.
Did You Know?
The most expensive tequila bottle was sold by the company Tequila Ley .925 for a whooping $225,000 in Jalisco, Mexico. This one-liter bottle was made of platinum and gold, thereby making this limited-edition premium tequila to be the most expensive spirit bottle ever sold.
Tequila is extracted from the heart (piña) of the Agave plant grown in the states of Mexico. There is an old legend behind the creation of tequila. Actually, tequila is believed to be a refined form of another drink made from the Agave plant―Mezcal. Legend states that Mezcal came into existence when the people of Mexico witnessed a bolt of lighting strike on an Agave plant. This caused the liquid inside the plant to boil. After it cooled down, the tribesmen tasted the nectar from the piña. They loved the taste of the liquid and quickly duplicated the process. They boiled and fermented the plant, and the cooked piñas were pressed for the liquid. This process still continues since the pre-Hispanic ages.
The first tequila was produced in the 16th century near the city of Tequila. It became popular after the arrival of Spanish conquerors who started distilling the agave drink after they ran out of brandy. Then, after about 80 years, the first brand of tequila came into existence. Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira, set up the first factory on a land which today is known as Jalisco. The Mexican laws state that tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco, and in some regions of the states of Guanjuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. The exclusive international copyrights of the word ‘tequila’ are held by Mexico. Anyone who breaches this copyright will have to face a legal action.
Types of Bottled Tequila
Tequila is broadly classified into two types: Mixtos and 100% agave. However, many brands bottle and label their tequila in five different categories. These are explained as under:
Blanco is also known as ‘White’, ‘Plata’ or ‘Silver’ tequila. It is the basic form of this drink and isn’t aged after the distillation process. Even if it is aged, not exceeding 60 days, the container used for the purpose is made of stainless steel or neutral oak barrels. The lack of aging is what gives blanco a transparent white color.
Also known as ‘Young’, ‘Oro’ or ‘Gold’ tequila, here, the blanco is colored and flavored using additional elements including caramel, oak extract, sugar-based syrup, or extra-aged tequila.
This tequila is given quite a descent amount of rest post distillation. What we’re trying to say is that the reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels of a minimum of two months, but bottled before one year.
Synonymous with being ‘Aged’ or ‘Vintage’, the Añejo variant of tequila is aged in small oak barrels for a minimum of one year, but less than three years. This extra aging is what gives this drink some complex flavor and a dark rich color.
This is a fairly new category in the tequila manufacturing world, established only in March 2006. The extra extra-añejo tequila is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years, giving the añejo an extra punch!
List of Some of the Finest Tequila Brands
It wouldn’t be wrong if we call tequila the spirit of Mexico (pun intended), after all, this drink comes with such great history! Even though only produced in Mexico, there are over 1500 brands of this beverage, including both that are bottled within and outside Mexico. But, you don’t have to get intimated by these numbers. The following list consists of ‘the’ brands you must try, so as to get the best that this blue-agave drink can offer your taste buds. Note that the list below isn’t an all-inclusive one, and the names mentioned have been chosen only because they are trending, preferred, bought, and/or award-winning in the spirit society.
A to C
|Bambarria||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|Calle 23||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|Campo Azul||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|Centinela||Los Altos de Jalisco|
D to F
|DeLeón||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|Dulce Vida||Los Altos|
|El Agave Artesanal||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|El Cartel||Jesus Maria|
|El Capo||Los Altos|
G to M
|Hotel California||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|Maestro Dobel Tequila||Jalisco|
|Mi Casa||Highlands of Michoacan|
|Milagro||Tepatitlán de Morelos|
N to Z
|Olmeca||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|Pueblo Viejo||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|Pura Vida||Highlands of Jalisco|
|Qui||Atotonilco El Alto|
|Riazul||Highlands of Jalisco|
|Rey Sol||Highlands of Jalisco|
|Siete Leguas||Los Altos|
|Señor Río||Lowlands of Jalisco|
|Suerte||Highlands of Jalisco|
|Talero||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|Toro de Lidia||Amatitán|
|Titanium||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|Tapatio||Los Altos de Jalisco|
|Voodo Tiki||Corazón de Los Altos|
|X X X||Jalisco|
|123 Organic Tequila||Jalisco|
The entries in the ‘Agave Region’ column in the list above have been sourced from the official website of these brands, hence, they vary from state names in some cases to city names in the other.
We might have missed on your favorite brand, or maybe we’ve not; however, if you are new to the tequila world and want to get the best experience of this Mexican concoction that is created by the carefully-harvested blue agaves and packed in some of the best handcrafted bottles that are no less than collectibles, then this list will give you the best picks in the market. Cheers!