Three remarkable, distinctively different tequilas that won’t blow your budget or leave you with a splitting headache the next day.
These tequilas aren’t about shots or big gaps in your memory. Great tequila is a mellow, smooth and relaxing spirit. If you get the right bottle, that is. Those tequila hangovers of your youth most likely came from drinking low-quality spirits that are actually a blend of pure tequila (derived from 100% blue agave) and other sugar-based spirits.
We refuse to allow you to waste any more of your time and hard earned money buying anything less than 100% pure, delicious tequila. Bartender Alexandra Geppert recommends three reasonably priced tequilas for your home bar that will give you a range of drinking experiences and change your mind about how tequila is supposed to taste.
Usually drink Patron? Try this one. An unaged silver tequila, Ocho Plata is “clean, fresh and vegetal,” says Geppert. “It has all the things I like about tequila without being super harsh. It’s got a lot of richness with a clean finish. It’s even a little bit sweet,” making this a great way to start exploring new tequila without being too adventurous on your pocketbook.
For sampling, add a little bit of chilled water and/or an ice cube to some tequila after a long day at work. “You don’t want to kill the flavor,” Geppert says. “You just want to get a little dilution to open it up…It’s such a nice sipping tequila and makes a nice first chill-out cocktail. It’s strong enough so that you know you’re having a real drink.”
Altos Olmeca Reposado
Aged for 11 months, Altos Olmeca’s Reposado tequila is a hidden gem at the liquor store. The money that the company saves on marketing is passed on to you at the cash register, making this tequila an affordable gateway into more luxurious drinking. If you are a bourbon or Scotch drinker, this is the tequila that’s not going to make you feel like you sold your soul to the party gods when you open the bottle.
“Aged tequila is so nice,” Geppert says. “It’s got a deeper flavor. It’s more intense, oaky and golden, with a distinctive cooked agave taste,” think caramel and nutmeg.
El Tesoro Añejo
El Tesoro’s Añejo (aged) tequila is perfect for those who, after dabbling in the silver/platas and reposados, want to take tequila enjoyment to the next level. Añejos are aged longer (2-3 years), and as a result take on more color, flavor and character from the wood casks. Añejo tequila is truly a tequila drinker’s tequila. Think of the difference between your average domestic light beer and a full-bodied Irish stout — that’s how many layers of flavor your mouth will joyously experience.
Alexandra Geppert recommends El Tesoro Añejo because “it’s nice and dry and all that you would want in a rich Añejo tequila — so deep and intense with the roasted agave flavor but also has some herbaceous qualities as well. This is the special bottle, the one you gift the ‘expert’ in your family, or the one you sip on at the end of the bachelor party with your closest friends.”
The best way to really experience an Añejo is to sip it on a special occasion, says Geppert. “I don’t know anything that makes it better than it already is — it’s exactly right just the way they make it…It’s something to really be enjoyed perhaps at a time when you want to sit back and reflect at where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.”