Tequila isn’t as straightforward as you might think. There are actually three different types of tequila and each has a different level of quality.
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Most folks may think there are only two kinds of tequila, clear and gold. However, there is a third type with very distinctive features. In fact, these types are so unique from each other that it can be surprising. Let’s take a closer look at these three types of tequila.
Blanco tequila, reposado tequila, and anejo tequila are the three major types of tequila and they are identified by their color, taste, and age.
Each one will also be priced differently because of the different process that is required for each type.
The reposado meaning, anejo meaning, and tequila blanco meaning are all based on the amount of time the tequila sits in barrels before being produced for mass consumption.
So, the next time you bust out a classic margarita consider the different tequilas and how each one will affect the flavor of your drink.
Below is a complete rundown of reposado vs anejo, reposado vs blanco, what does anejo mean, what does reposado mean, and more.
Blanco vs reposado vs anejo
The kinds of tequila that exist are all based on the amount of time each one sits in oak barrels before being produced.
All tequilas are made from the same basic components but must be aged in oak barrels to give it a smooth drinkable taste.
The blue agave plant is where tequilas come from and there are specific parts of Mexico that are allowed to make tequila.
As a general rule, blanco will be white in color and is the least aged of all tequila types. It’s essentially pure agave liquor because the flavor hasn’t been changed by sitting in wood or changing colors from aging.
Blanco tequila is the youngest of the three major categories and is also known as “silver” tequila.
It’s completely clear and hasn’t been aged at all. You’ll be able to really taste the agave plant from this type of tequila and there are strong notes of pepper and spice when taking a sip.
If you’re asking yourself what is reposado tequila it just means the tequila will sit in oak barrels for at least 2 months but less than a year before being bottled. The reposado meaning is rest, so you know this tequila is a little older than a blanco.
Reposado has a smoother finish and you’ll recognize notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak.
What is anejo tequila? The anejo meaning is old or vintage and that’s because it sits in an oak barrel longer than any other type of aged tequila. It will be in barrels anywhere from 1 to 4 years so it has an extremely smooth finish compared to other kinds of tequila.
This type of tequila will have notes of vanilla and even cinnamon and will taste much richer than the other kinds. It’s best when you want some tequila on the rocks or as a small shot.
When to Use the Different Kinds of Tequilas
Knowing when the right time to use the different types of tequila can turn a simple drink into something special.
Tequila blanco is one that you’ll want to use for pretty simple recipes that have enough flavor on their own to taste good.
The tequila itself isn’t the best tasting so if you can hide it a bit behind some other strong ingredients you’ll have a better cocktail when using tequila blanco.
Tequila reposado on the other hand, has a more sophisticated flavor so you can add it to some drinks that are a bit higher class.
It’s often a great way to make your margaritas taste even better and raise the quality of your drinks, but you can also use blanco for drinks that don’t have a lot of ingredients.
Añejo tequila is something you want to keep on its own because it’s been given so much care that it would be a sin to add it to a cocktail.
Having a small shot with some orange wedges is a great way to sip on your anejo and enjoy the flavor with some citrus to help wash it all down.
Types of Brands
The old saying you get what you pay for is actually true with tequila. The more expensive bottles will go through a more extensive process, causing them to taste better than the cheap bottles.
Here are a few brands you can lookout for the next time you’re shopping for tequila.
Espolon Blanco: Espolon was created in 1897 and has become one of the biggest brands in Mexico. This tequila is perfect for mixing since it doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own but tastes great when you’re using other ingredients to mix with.
El Tesoro Blanco: The El Tesoro Blanco is a slightly more expensive tequila that has some fruity notes to it. It’s considered a higher-end tequila and is perfect for serving at parties or on special occasions.
Patrón Silver: Patron is one of the most well-known tequila brands in the world and silver is the perfect addition to any margarita. Try out the Silver tequila with a twist of lime after dinner for a classy adult drink.
Milagro Reposado: Milagro is another one of the more expensive brands and is perfect for drinking on the rocks with a slice of lime or for adding to a drink that doesn’t have a ton of ingredients.
Suerte Reposado: The Suerte brand was created in 2008 by a small family who wanted to create an artisanal tequila that wasn’t extremely expensive. This is another great brand for enjoying on the rocks or with just a bit of lime.
Popular Tequila cocktails
To make it easy for you, here is a list of some of the most popular tequila cocktails you can make right at home.
Don’t forget to substitute the different kinds of tequila in these drinks as you make them to get the best sense of which types go best in which cocktails.
Nothing is more well known in the tequila world than the margarita. Invented in its home country of Mexico, the margarita has transcended borders and is a very popular cocktail in the US.
The simple ingredients and refreshing taste make it a perfect cocktail to try in the summer or just about any time of the year.
Try out different flavors with your margaritas and tequilas too so that way you know the perfect combination the next time you need something special for a party.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another cocktail as beautiful as the tequila sunrise.
The orange juice and grenadine combine to give the drink a vibrant red color that reminds you of a sunrise in the sky.
This cocktail was so popular when it premiered in the 1970s that many bars actually had to hire security guards because people would line up just for a chance to try this classic.
When you want a little more sophistication to your cocktail, try out a tequila sour the next time you’re looking for an after-dinner drink.
The egg white topping that is added helps give the drink a unique flavor that you won’t find in many other drinks.
This is one of those fancy drinks you’ll want to serve in a coupe glass. Every sip can be really appreciated and you’ll get the most from your tequila.
Another classic from Mexico, the Paloma is one of the few drinks that use grapefruit in its mix.
The drink is incredibly refreshing and will be found in the hands of people lounging on a beach trying to stay cool on a hot day.
Just add a lime wedge on the rim of the glass to give some citrus to cut all the tart grapefruit with. It really helps keep the drink balanced without changing the flavor too much.
Tequila and Ginger Ale
Nothing is simpler than a tequila and ginger ale but the taste will make you think it was crafted by cocktail geniuses.
It’s bubbly thanks to the ginger ale and has a slight kick that goes really well with the tequila flavors.
Try using some reposada in this drink to make the quality and flavor just that much better.
The traditional Moscow mule is already delicious but when you add tequila to it, it’s even better.
The mule is super refreshing and perfect for enjoying yourself on a hot day on a patio when you want something to cool you down.
The mule is the perfect way to use just about any type of tequila. Whether it’s anejo, reposado, or even blanco, they all add their own unique flavors to this classic.
The ranch water cocktail is incredibly easy to make because all you need is some lime juice and Topo Chico.
Add in your favorite type of tequila to make it as good as you want, but watch out because they go down easily.
It’s the perfect cocktail to have at parties because it’s incredibly easy to make so you can put together a ton without spending a lot of time in the bar.
Types of Tequila: Añejo vs Blanco vs Reposado (+Paloma)
- 2 oz tequila
- ¼ oz simple syrup or agave nectar or to taste
- 2 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- ½ oz lime juice
- 2 oz sparkling water
- Coarse sea salt rim glasses
- Salt rim of glass using grapefruit wedge to wet.
- Mix ingredients in glass.
- Fill with ice.
- Garnish with grapefruit wedge
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.
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