TEQUILA, like all tequilas is distilled from the fermented juice of the Weber
blue agave plant, and comes only from Mexico’s official region for Tequila
production, centered around the western state of Jalisco.
Tequila production begins with the agave plant, cultivated in Mexico’s
desert regions. Early civilizations believed agave was a gift from the gods,
which they used as a source for food, fibers and building materials.
The blue agave plant can reach eight feet in height and matures at around
six years old. Sugars collect in the core of the plant, the piña. Producers
chop up the piñas and cook them in large ovens, then press the juices from
the cooked pieces and ferment them with yeast. This blue agave juice may
make a 100 percent agave spirit, or the producer may add up to 49 percent
non-agave sugars, such as sugar cane or corn sugars, to make a “mixto” or
The fermentation length, temperature and yeast affect the development of
flavor compounds or congeners that produce a specific tequila style.
Regulations demand that tequila be double-distilled in pot stills, or
produced with a continuous still that has at least two columns.
Tequila may be bottled without maturation or aged in oak barrels. The
length of aging determines how it is labeled: Colorless blanco or silver
tequila is aged fewer than two months in oak; reposado between two and
12 months; añejo for more than one year. Extra añejo is aged at least three
years in oak vats under 600 liters. Generally, the longer tequila ages in oak,
the smoother and more full-bodied it becomes.
A tequila labeled simply “gold” or “joven” is unaged, possibly with caramel
coloring or other sweeteners added.
Blanco or Silver tequilas may be aged up to two months in stainless steel or oak containers, and are typically colorless. Generally crisp and fresh tasting, these tequilas are a good choice for any number of Tequila drinks. Try Amigas Tequila Blanco.
Añejo Tequila añejo (Ahn-YAY-ho) means aged, or mature. Añejo Tequila
has been aged in oak barrels for one to three years. The aging process gives the tequila color, flavors and some body from the oak. Save this tequila for sipping or mixing into cocktails that will show off the flavor and richness of the spirit.
Extra añejo Tequilas aged three years or more, are dark and rich, and should be savored as you would a fine whisky or Cognac.
Cristalino Tequila it is an aged tequila that has been filtered (often through charcoal) to remove color added by the barrel during aging process, leaving the tequila “crystal clear” like the blanco while preserving aromas, rich flavors and textures imparted by the barrel. The result is a tequila that has the complexity and character of an anejo with the crisp, bright notes of blanco. Try Amigas Tequila Cristalino.