The secret to the best cocktails is the types of tequila you use. While most people describe the different types of tequila as either clear or dark. In fact, there are actually five different kinds of tequila with two main classifications: mixto and 100% agave.
Tequila is only produced inside the Mexican state of Jalisco and in some municipalities in Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
How Tequila is made is a complex process that can take a minimum of 8 years to produce one bottle. The kind of tequila varies on the different aging processes.
When tequila is labeled – 100% agave, this means that it has been distilled purely from blue agave without any additives or added sugars. These types of tequila are considered to be better tequilas and are usually priced.
The quick answer to best types of Tequila
- Blanco tequila: two-months-old or less
- Joven Tequila: blended or colored
- Reposado Tequila: between two and 11 months old
- Aneja Tequila: aged between one to five years
- Extra Anejo: A minimum of three years.
Five types of Tequila
Blanco is a clear white spirit also known as Silver, Plata, or White. This tequila is un-aged – meaning it has never seen the inside of an oak barrel.
Without the influence of the wood, Tequila Blanco provides the purest expression of the agave plants’ natural flavors and clearly captures the terroir of the region where the blue agave was grown.
You can use Blanco for classic drinks like the Tequila Sunrise.
Joven which means “young” in Spanish is often referred to as Gold Tequila.
This is classified as a mixto (not 100% agave) because ingredients like caramel coloring, sugar-based syrups, glycerin, and/or oak-tree extracts are added to Blanco Tequila to give an “aged” appearance and help reduce the harshness.
Joven can also be made with the combination of blending unaged Blanco Tequila with aged or extra-aged tequila. This is the best type of tequila for margaritas.
Reposado is a type of tequila that has been “rested”. It’s aged in wood barrels for 2 months to under a year.
This tequila type darkens to a subtle gold hue as it pulls tannins from the wood to create the warm flavors of caramel and honey.
Often referred to as vintage tequila, Anejo Is Aged between 1 and 3 years. That extra time intensifies the colors and notes of a reposado, darkens the tequila even further, and produces a richer taste.
It usually has hints of butterscotch and caramel flavors and it’s often used as a substitute for whiskey.
Añejo Tequila is perfect for a Tequila Manhattan cocktail.
Extra Anejo is a tequila type that has been aged for over three years. This category was only established in 2006 and its quickly gaining popularity with tequila lovers.
More Types of Cocktails
There are so many more great tequila cocktail recipes to try! Here are some of our best drink collections: