A Brief History of Tequila
Tequila is a type of mezcal (which, if you haven’t tried you should). Tequila, however, has to be made with at least 51% blue agave, unlike mezcal (yes, there are several different varieties of agave).
And just like Champagne, tequila can only be made (legally, for it to be called “tequila”) in a few specific regions of Mexico. Within one of those regions is where the drink we now call tequila was born: in the town of Tequila. Not too long after the city’s founding, the drink was commercialized with the help of a man that went by a name that’s still known today: Jose Cuervo.
Traditionally, there are five different kinds of tequila:
- Blanco: aged for less than two months (also called “silver” tequila)
- Joven: blanco tequila that is flavored with caramel coloring
- Reposado: aged in oak barrels for two months to 12 months
- Añjeo: aged in oak barrels for one to three years
- Extra añjeo: aged in oak barrels for at least three years
Having said that, you should know this: there is now a new category added to that list. The Tequila Regulatory Council has added a category called cristalino. Cristalino is aged (like añejo) tequila that is filtered to strip the caramel color out of it.
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