How to Choose the Best Tequila? Everything is in The Label

How to Choose the Best Tequila?

The Answer is Easy — Everything is in The Label

Tequila has a long and intriguing story. If you are not familiar with it, we’d recommend reading about its history here, as in this article we’re going to talk about how to choose tequila.

When you’re browsing an online store to find the best tequila bottle, or you’re visiting a local liquor store for the same reason, you might be baffled by the variety of this Mexican drink. But fear not, we’ll help you decide on the best tequila and our tips here are quite simple — read the label and we will explain what you need to look for.

So, prepare a pinch of salt, lime, and your good mood to enjoy the drink that has become a symbol of crazy parties, rejoice, and tremendous fun.

Tequila has a long and intriguing story. If you are not familiar with it, we’d recommend reading about its history here, as in this article we’re going to talk about how to choose tequila.

The Real Tequila Only Comes from Mexico: Truth or Myth?


“[Tequila] is impossible to do in any other part of the world than Mexico — not in South Africa, not in Europe, not in the United States.”

These words belong to Ramon Gonzalez, director-general of the Tequila Regulatory Council . It was his response to creating such a drink as Temequila, which was produced by John B. Wagoner from Temecula, CA, United States. This American beverage was made of the blue agave and shared similar qualities as the true tequila. Since Mexico has the legal rights to the name “tequila”, the businessman used wordplay to save the situation.

Perhaps, you can produce tequila in any other region of the world using the same ingredients and production techniques. But given that the Mexican government officially proclaimed the name of the drink the intellectual property of the country in 1974, it is illegal to make this awesome beverage in any other country. Thus, Mexico and several of its regions, especially the city Tequila of Jalisco, became the only places where you could produce and age the drink.

So, the answer to this question is that the real and best tequila comes from Mexico.

Real and best tequila | MER

How to Choose Good-Quality Tequila?

Although the best tequila comes from Mexico, there are lots of different types and brands of tequila, which make it difficult to choose the right bottle from a wide range of them. To get the best tequila, you should also pay attention to its two categories and their classes, which include the period of aging, additives, and color.

Made from agave tequilana Weber blue variety, the drink must be produced in the following way:

  1. Harvest (or jima) by using a sharp knife, mostly a machete, to sheer off the thorns from agave leaves.
  2. Hydrolysis (or cooking) is the next step at which the plant is fermented into sugar.
  3. Extraction is the step of extracting sugar from the agave. Tequila makers use special grinders to go through the process.
  4. Formulation and Fermentation is the next important step when the sugar is transformed into alcohol with the help of stainless steel vessels or tanks.
  5. Distillation is the process of separating ferments by the means of steam pressure and heat.
  6. Aging is carried out with the help of wood barrels where the drink is kept to reach a certain age. Usually, the timeframe for this process varies from two months to more than three years.
  7. Bottling. Once the aging process is finished, it’s time to bottle tequila.

What Are the Main Categories and Classes of Tequila?

1. 100% Agave Tequila 

This class of tequila is only produced, fermented, and distilled from the Agave tequilana Weber blue variety of the plant and bottled in Mexico.

2. Tequila

And this class of the beverage is made of the Agave tequilana Weber blue variety and contains at least 51% of its sugars. The rest 49% are sugars from other sources.

Classes of 100% Agave Tequila and Tequila

1. Silver (also known as blanco, plata or white)

Aged between 0 to 60 days

Such tequila is a colorless and transparent beverage which is mostly unaged, but sometimes it can be kept in stainless steel tanks for the process of oxidizing or in oak barrels up to 60 days.


Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila, Don Julio Blanco, Milagro Silver Tequila, Patrón Silver Tequila

Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila

2.Gold (also known as joven, oro or young)

Gold tequila is a blend of aged and unaged tequilas

Still, this class of tequila is mostly unaged and is made in the same way as silver, but it’s got the golden color due to adding some amount of aged tequila and certain additives.

To buy a good bottle of gold tequila, pay attention to the information about added aged tequila on its label.


Casa Noble Joven, Casa Dragones Joven Tequila, Libélula Joven Tequila

Brands of tequila - Casa Noble Joven | MER

3. Aged (also known as reposado)

Aged between 60 and more days

Reposado when translated from Spanish means literally “rested” and it’s considered to be aged tequila. The beverage mostly is kept in oak barrels from 2 to 12 months.


Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Reposado, Chinaco Tequila Reposado, Siembra Valles Reposado Tequila

Chinaco Tequila | MER

4. Extra-aged (also known as añejo)

Aged between one year and three years

Extra-aged tequila is kept in oak barrels for at least one year. To provide the drink with its yellowish color and interesting taste, caramel, and some other flavours can be added to it.


Clase Azul Añejo, Tequila Avión Añejo, Partida Tequila Añejo, Milagro Añejo, Pasote Añejo Tequila

Clase Azul Añejo Tequila

5. Ultra-aged

Aged between three and more years

Such tequila is aged in oak barrels for more than three years. It’s a relatively new type of bereaved as it was introduced in 2006 for the first time. Ultra-aged tequila has a smoked flavor and can be compared to cognac.


Grand Mayan Ultra Aged Tequila, Qui Platinum Extra Anejo Tequila

Grand Mayan Ultra Aged Tequila

6. Curados

Curados is a flavored tequila — lemon, strawberry, orange, pineapple, tangerine, or pear.


Ocho Curado Tequila Espadín

Ocho Curado Tequila Espadín

In a world full of various tequila bottles it’s hard not to become puzzled which one to pick up. But if you know what is written on their labels, then this task will definitely be easy for you. To choose the right tequila, you need to know what types of tequila and its classes are out there. 

And to pick up the right bottle, you can visit our shop here.

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