Despite what some people might think, Tequila is a highly controlled spirit that can only be produced in a small region of Mexico. It has its own Regulatory Council (the Consejo Regulador del Tequila, or CRT), which issue awards to companies and individuals who have passed their test. Learn more about Tequila and its regulation below!
What is Tequila?
“Tequila is a distilled spirit produced in a small region of Mexico. It is produced from distillation … [and] obtained from the heart of a plant known as “Agave Azul” or blue agave. This heart, similar to a giant pineapple … Tequila, is a product of the meeting of two worlds. It uses a technique originated in the European continent to transform a raw material, which has been cultivated since ancient times and typical of the American land.”
Tequila is an alcoholic spirit made from blue agave, which can be grown in 5 regions of Mexico. It has a wide range of flavours depending on how it’s aged and stored – ranging from a very light agave flavour to an oaky flavour close to whiskey.
Types of Tequila
“Silver" or Blanco – the lightest tasting tequila, without any ageing
"Gold", also known as Joven or Oro – is a mix of silver/Blanco either with aged tequila or with flavourings/additives (we tend to avoid gold for this reason!)
"Aged", or Reposado – has to be rested in barrels for at least two months, often a great tasting tequila and what we use in most of our cocktails
"Extra aged", or Añejo – has to be aged for at least 12 months – sometimes has an almost whiskey-like flavour because of its ageing process. Great neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail that favours bold flavours such as a sour or old fashioned
"Ultra aged", or Extra Añejo – must be aged for at least three years. The most decadent flavours generally come from these tequilas – greatly enjoyed however you prefer it!
The Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT)
The Tequila Regulatory Council was set up to ensure all tequila meets the expected standards and protect the Mexican product from being imitated abroad. The CRT also issues awards to companies and individuals who can pass their test, including all the staff at That’s So PaPo’s!
Tequila and Place:
Tequila is tied to Mexico just like Champagne is to France – that means both historically, culturally, and legally! As outlined below, there are several factors that allow Tequila to be awarded a ‘Designation of Origin’:
“In general, there is a consensus among the experts on the matter who agree that the decisive factors with respect to a designation of origin are the following (in order of importance);
Climate.- With regard to climate, the main elements are light intensity, hours/light, precipitation, temperature, relative humidity.
Soil.- Soil texture and chemistry are relevant factors.
Plant species.- Agave tequilana Weber blue variety is the plant species used for producing Tequila. It is native to this region and thus perfectly adapted to the climate and soil conditions.
Human Activity.- This refers to the human activities involved in the entire process, from the planting to the harvesting of agave, to the production and ageing of Tequila. These activities may include techniques, artisanal traditions and skills.”
More info on Tequila:
Find out more about the CRT and tequila here (also where we took our quotes from): https://www.crt.org.mx/index.php/en/