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Cazadores Anejo Tequila
Añejo, or “aged” tequila, is one of the five types of tequila.
Photo courtesy Tequila Cazadores.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

LEAH HANSEN is an Editorial Assistant for THE NIBBLE.

 

 

August 2009
Last Updated July 2010

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cocktails

Tequila Types

Five Different Tequila Types & The “Tequila Worm”

 

This is Page 2 of a five-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

 

Types Of Tequila

The five types of tequila are:

  • Blanco Tequila (“white”) or plata (“silver”): clear and transparent, the tequila is bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged no more than two months.
  • Joven Tequila (“young”) or oro (“gold”): un-aged tequila blended with rested or aged tequilas; caramel coloring, sugar-based syrup, glycerin, and/or oak extract are often added in order to resemble aged tequila.
  • Reposado Tequila (“rested”): light yellow and translucent, the tequila is aged for at least six months but less than a year. Reposado began to emerge as a new category of tequila in the late 1980s.
  • Añejo Tequila (“aged” or “vintage”): brighter yellow, aged at least one year, but less than three years.
  • Extra Añejo Tequila (“extra aged” or “ultra aged”): a golden color, aged at least three years in oak.

The blue agave itself takes 8 to 12 years to reach full maturity, so the tequila you drink has taken quite a long time to reach your tongue.

 

The Tequila Worm

Many people believe that some tequilas have a worm in the bottle. They don’t; but certain brands of mezcal do contain a worm, the larval form of the moth Hypopta agavis, which lives on the agave plant.

The larvae are used by several brands of mezcal to give flavor to the spirit. As a marketing gimmick that began in the 1940s, some brands put a worm in the bottle. Any flavor from the worm has long been removed during production.

According to the website Mezcal-de-Oaxaca.com, in 2005 the Mexican government legislated to remove the worm from mezcal (it was already prohibited in tequila). One reason is that at 20¢ to 40¢ per worm and between 200-500 worms per plant, irresponsible harvesters actually uproot and destroy an agave plant to harvest the worms.*

  Tequila Worm
The “tequila worm,” actually the mezcal worm, can be seen at the bottom of the bottle at right. Photo by JC Maco | Wikimedia.

Source: http://www1.american.edu/TED/mezcal.htm

Tequila should not contain an insect of any kind, and if it does, then “you’ve either purchased gag-inducing hooch aimed at gullible gringos, or your top-shelf booze is infested by some kind of alcohol-breathing, alien bug,” according to author James Waller (Drinkology: The Art and Science of the Cocktail, page 224, published 2003).

 

Continue To Page 3: Tequila Cocktail Recipes

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All materials © copyright 2005- 2014 Lifestyle Direct, Inc.  All rights reserved. Images are the copyright of their respective owners.

 



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