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Tequila

Tequila is a Mexican spirit, made with the blue agave or “agave tequilana” from where the drink gets its name. Tequila is produced in the area surrounding the city of the same name, and in the Mexican highlands.

Tequila was first produced in the 1500s, near what is now the city of Tequila. The agave plant had been used in the preparation of alcoholic drinks for centuries; in fact the Aztecs had made a fermented drink from it called octli. In around 1600, the Marquis of Altamira, Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, first mass produced tequilas in a factory he founded in Jalisco.

The agave plant is still harvested by hand, by workers called "jimadores" They work carefully to harvest the small Agave offspring without damaging the parent plant. The exact time of the harvest is very important, because if the agave plants are gathered too early in the season, the natural sugars will have yet to develop, and if it is gathered too late, the natural sugars will have already been used up by the plant.



The agave plants are then shredded and pressed and the juices are fermented in vats. More traditional companies still crush the plants with an old-fashioned stone wheel.

The fermented juices are distilled, usually twice, though sometimes three times. Tequila is often barrel aged, and this helps develop the flavours and aromas of the drink.

Tequila

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A silver tequila mixto made in Jalisco, Mexico, by Rancho Viejo. Should work quite well in a cocktail or two.  More info
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Produced in Jalisco with a fairly high blue agave to sugar spirit ratio, this is the Gold version of El Bandido. How far afield has this particular bandit taken his lawlessness, though? Did they have...  More info
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Produced by the famous Jose Cuervo company, Especial Gold is a blend of reposado and unaged blanco Tequilas. It's a perfect choice for making Margarita cocktails, and has a mild agave flavour.  More info
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Sierra Tequila Silver
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A well-loved tequila brand, Sierra Tequila is just the ticket for Margaritas and other classic tequila serves. It even comes with its own tiny sombrero.  More info
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Blanco tequila from the Don Angel range, well suited to use in cocktails. Lively and vibrant with agave character, it's a simple, classically-styled unaged tequila.  More info
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Sauza Tequila Silver
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Unaged tequila, made from blue agave by Sauza, which was founded by Don Cenobio Sauza, one of the earliest distillers of tequila. He created the Sauza distillery all the way back in 1873. A clean...  More info
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Reposado tequila from the immensely popular Sierra brand, complete with tiny gold-coloured plastic sombrero.  More info
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Climax Joven Tequila
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El Torito Silver
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Made from blue agave grown on the Camarena Distillery estates in the Arandas Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The agave piñas are cooked in traditional clay ovens. Azteca Azul Gold Tequila is perfect for...  More info
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This is the Reposado tequila from the Bambarria brand, made with 100% agave. A good value tequila, with a rather striking bottle that features not only an eagle with its claws outstretched, but also a...  More info
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