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




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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 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, 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.


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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