There are three main varieties of tequila, all made from the blue agave cactus and distilled by master craftsmen, like my friend Guillamo. Make sure you look for the words “100% agave” on the bottle, otherwise it’s an imitation and your purchase won’t be helping our friends working in the hot weather every day back in Mexico to make the good stuff.
With a white or clear appearance, Blanco is un-aged and bottled just after processing. If this tequila has spent any time in a barrel, the barrel was made of stainless steel or neutral oak, meaning the drink doesn’t take on any woodiness. Vodka drinkers usually enjoy Blanco.
Match it with: anything spicy, seafood, tacos, or mix it up in a cocktail with a tart citrus, such as grapefruit.
Translating to “rested” in Spanish, Reposado tequila is aged between two months and one year in oak barrels. The tequila captures the rich, smoky flavours of the barrels and becomes smooth. Gin or light rum drinkers will like this one.
Match it with: chicken or turkey, richer spices such as coriander and turmeric, salmon or dark seafood smoked on the barbecue.
Think of Anejo tequila like a beautifully aged whiskey. This is a drink to be sipped and enjoyed, and is not for the faint of heart. After a year or more of ageing in an oak barrel (often the ones used to make Reposado), Anejo takes on a dark, deep colour, and the initially harsh alcohol flavours mellow into a round, complex flavour.
Match it with: a beautiful, juicy steak, beef tacos with heavy salsa, mole or guacamole, rich red meats such as a lamb roast, and starchy vegetables.
Tequila is as precious as diamonds, as it can create them! In 2009, scientists discovered a process that heats 80 proof tequila to over 800 degrees Celsius, which breaks the molecular structure of the drink into gaseous hydrogen, carbon and several other small molecules. The carbon settles into a pure layer of synthetic diamond. You won’t be wearing one of these on your finger anytime soon, however, as they’re too small to be commercially marketed as jewellery. But you may very well find one in your next computer, or in a drill that creates your shot glasses!