Remember that all you really need to do to master how to drink tequila is to be curious and eager to try new things! As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to try and understand technical terms and intimidating rules in the spirit world!
It takes a minimum of 8 years to produce one bottle of tequila hence its important to take time to enjoy this masterpiece. Most tequila consumed in bars qualifies as “mixto tequila,” which is made with at least 51% agave and completed with sugar-based spirits.
When choosing tequila, you should look for brands made with 100% agave, and get an aged tequila whenever possible! These types of Tequila will be branded as either “Añejo” (aged 1-3 years in oak barrels) or “Extra Añejo” (aged 3+ years in oak barrels). When you’re using a good quality, 100% agave spirit, tequila cocktails don’t need much to complement the herbal, sweet, and spicy flavors.
The most known westernized way of drinking tequila is where you lick some salt off the back of your hand, swallow an entire shot of tequila in one go and finish off by sucking on a lemon. This is not the way Mexicans drink tequila!
Before you pop that bottle, there are a few essentials you should know. (And if you consider yourself a bit of a tequila connoisseur already, it never hurts to brush up on the basics.)
- How is Tequila made
- The difference between Mezcal and Tequila
- Types of Tequila to Try
- 50 Best Gifts for Tequila Lovers
It doesn’t hurt to have a few handy tips and techniques to enhance your tequila tasting experience. With that in mind, consider this your guide on how to drink tequila like a pro.
Quick answer: How to drink Tequila like a Pro
The best way to drink tequila is not ice cold, no ice cubes, sometimes mixed and preferably always neat!
How to Drink Tequila Properly
Navigating the vast world of spirits can be daunting for new tequila drinkers. These are some of the many ways to enjoy tequila.
Drinking Tequila on its own
Many tequila connoisseurs will swear that the best way to drink tequila is to sip it on its own. If you do this, you can order your tequila chilled, on the rocks (ice), or straight up, but most prefer it chilled. Do not order it with salt and lime, that is only for shots. Once your order, here is the best way to enjoy tequila on its own.
- Swirl the glass so the spirit coats the call of it. Take a small sniff from the bottom lip of the glass.
- Take a break and sniff the tequila again.
- Take a very small sip and let it sit on your tongue for a few moments before swallowing.
- Continue to gently sip as normal and you will start to notice the different flavors in your tequila.
“Chilling tequila kills its flavor. As long as it’s a good tequila, it’ll be enjoyable to shoot neat, at room temperature, and you’ll experience a lot more of the drink’s flavors
What is a good mix with tequila?
It’s ok to not have tequila on its own, in fact, I highly recommend that you can experiment and try different tequila recipes. The most common things to add to tequila are grapefruit juice, tomato juice, orange juice, carbonated water, agave syrup, or tonic water.
Best Ways to Mix Tequila:
- Sprite + Tequila = Tequila Limeade
- Tequila + Orange Juice + Grenadine = Tequila Sunrise
- Tomato Juice + Tequila + Tobasco = Bloody Mary
- Tequila + Lime Juice + Grapefruit Juice + Sparkling Water = Paloma
- Ginger Beer + Tequila + Lime Juice = Mexican Mule
Some recipes call for all of the ingredients to be mixed in a cocktail shaker, but it’s never a smart idea to shake carbonated beverages like Sprite and Tequila.
Tequila on the Rocks
Serving Tequila with Ice is another good way to enjoy Tequila. When ordering Tequila “on the rocks”, it simply means a spirit, usually 2 oz, served over ice.
Fill a rocks glass to the top with ice cubes. Pour in 2 shots of tequila. Garnish with lemon zest.
How to take a Tequila Shot
The only way to take a shot of tequila (or tequila cruda), is with these three steps. Don’t sip it, don’t hold your nose, and try not to wince; just drink the shot glass of tequila quickly.
- Lick the salt.
- Chug the tequila.
- Suck on the lime
Tips for drinking tequila shots:
- Avoid the cheaper brands as they almost certainly bring on hangovers.
- Tequila Blanco (Silver, Whiteor Clear Color) is typically much smoother than the gold ones.
- How many shots of tequila to get drunk varies per person, but usually, 2–3 tequila shots create a buzz.