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Tequila

What is tequila? Well, it is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 km (40 miles) northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the western Mexican state of Jalisco. Tequila is most often made at a 38% alcohol content (76 US proof) but can be produced between 35-55% ABV.

The first distillation of what we now know as tequila took place in 1530, just 30 years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico. It was created by a man named Martin de la Cruz, who was inspired by a similar drink being made in Spain. Tequila quickly became popular throughout Mexico, and by the early 1800s, it was being exported to other countries.

Tequila is made from the agave plant, which is native to Mexico. There are more than 200 varieties of agave, but only one, the blue agave, is used to make tequila. The blue agave plant takes anywhere from six to twelve years to mature and can grow up to 2.5 meters (8 feet) tall. Once the plants are mature, they are harvested and the piñas (the hearts of the plants) are extracted.

The piñas are then chopped into small pieces and placed in large ovens where they are slow roasted for several hours. This process breaks down the complex carbohydrates in the piñas into simple sugars, which are then used to produce tequila.

After the piñas have been cooked, they are mashed and placed in large fermentation tanks where yeast is added. The yeast causes the sugars in the mash to ferment and produces alcohol. The fermented mash is then distilled to create the great 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.

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 can be either blanco (white), which is also called plata (silver) or joven (young), or it can be aged in oak barrels, which gives it a golden or amber colour. Tequila that has been aged for more than two years is called añejo (aged). Tequila that has been aged for more than three years is called extra añejo (extra aged).

Tequila can be enjoyed neat or in cocktails such as the Margarita, Paloma, and Tequila Sunrise. Tequila is also used in cooking, for example in the popular Mexican dish Cochinita pibil.

Patrón Añejo

70cl, 40%
Patrón

An aged tequila from perhaps the best-known quality producer in Mexico. The bottle itself is a hand-made piece of art, but the contents are truly sublime.  More info

Patrón Añejo
6
$55.27

El Rayo Reposado

70cl, 40%
El Rayo

This is the Reposado expression from Tequila El Rayo, which distils 100% Blue Weber agave in 105 year old copper stills and matured for seven months in casks that previously held whiskey before being…  More info

El Rayo Reposado
12
$37.59

Corralejo Reposado Tequila

70cl, 38%
Tequila Corralejo

Fruity and peppery, this is an award-winning reposado from Corralejo, aged for four months in Encino, French and American oak casks. Named Best Reposado Tequila at the World Tequila Awards 2015.  More info

Corralejo Reposado Tequila
4
$33.03

Patrón Reposado

70cl, 40%
Patrón

Patrón Reposado is aged in oak for around 6 months. A great sipping Tequila, this also makes a fantastic Margarita. Each bottle is hand filled, signed and uniquely numbered.  More info

Patrón Reposado
3
$48.60

Avión Reserva 44

70cl, 40%
Avión

At the peak of the Avión Tequila range sits the Reserva 44 Extra Añejo. This expression spends 43 months sitting in oak cask, before being transferred over smaller casks for a final month (these…  More info

Avión Reserva 44
$114.73

Maestro Dobel Silver

70cl, 40%
Maestro Dobel

A silver tequila from the Maestro Dobel range, made by a family with 11 generations of tequila-production experience. Great in a cocktail, but its double distillation does make it a good choice for…  More info

Maestro Dobel Silver
$45.47

G4 Tequila Reposado

75cl, 40%
G4 Tequila

This is the reposado expression produced by Felipe Camarena for the G4 Tequila range. Made using traditional methods combined with environmentally-conscious approaches, these fantastic Mexican…  More info

G4 Tequila Reposado
1
$45.02

Código 1530 Rosa

70cl, 35%
Código 1530

A step up from the Código 1530 Blanco, the Rosa spends a month resting in barrels that previously held Napa Cabernet wine. The result is an earthy tequila with light though bright hint of red fruit…  More info

Código 1530 Rosa
1
$46.86

Casa Dragones Joven

70cl, 40%
Casa Dragones

An exceptional Tequila from Casa Dragones, dubbed a 'sipping Tequila', and for good reason! Don't be fooled by the colour, distilled exclusively from Blue Weber agave, this Joven expression is made…  More info

Casa Dragones Joven
13
$266.33

Pasote Añejo

75cl, 40%
Pasote Tequila

From the locally sourced, pure blue agave of Felipe J. Camarena's distillery, El Pandillo, the Pasote Añejo is the longest aged tequila from this range, spending one year in American ex-bourbon…  More info

Pasote Añejo
$64.28

Rooster Rojo Añejo Tequila

70cl, 38%
Rooster Rojo

This añejo Tequila was made with blue agave, using the Fabrica de Tequilas method of cooking the piña with steam in autoclaves for 10 hours. A special yeast is added to the agave juices prior to…  More info

Rooster Rojo Añejo Tequila
7
$28.11

Terralta Reposado

75cl, 40%
Terralta

A reposado Tequila from Terralta, made with mineral-heavy water drawn from wells 450 feet down and 100% handpicked agave. It spends 8 months in #1 light toast new American oak barrels, giving it a…  More info

Terralta Reposado
2
$45.02

The Butterfly Cannon Cristalino Tequila

50cl, 40%
The Butterfly Cannon

A 100% agave Tequila aged for 30 days in barrels before being charcoal filtered. It’s produced by the Destiladora del Valle de Tequila in Mexico and has been specially-designed to be mixed in…  More info

The Butterfly Cannon Cristalino Tequila
$29.66
Best Seller

El Sueño Tequila Silver

70cl, 38%
El Sueño

A delicious Tequila from El Sueño. El Sueño is the result of five generations worth of agave growing and Tequila producing expertise with a simple ethos at its heart. Tequila that is affordable,…  More info

El Sueño Tequila Silver
15
$22.54

G4 Tequila Añejo

75cl, 40%
G4 Tequila

Añejo Tequila from the G4 Tequila range, produced by Felipe Camarena at the El Pandillo Distillery. The whole range is produced using traditional methods with an environmentally-conscious approach,…  More info

G4 Tequila Añejo
$51.16
Best Seller

El Jimador Añejo

70cl, 38%
El Jimador

A wonderful Añejo tequila from bestselling Mexican brand El Jimador, produced at Casa Herradura in the valley of Jalisco. It’s made from 100% Blue Weber agave, and is then aged for a year in toasted…  More info

El Jimador Añejo
3
$26.63

Clase Azul Añejo Tequila

70cl, 40%
Clase Azul

A super-premium añejo tequila from Clase Azul, presented in their instantly recognisable decanter. Made using traditional Mexican unfired clay methods, before European glazing techniques and hand…  More info

Clase Azul Añejo Tequila
1
$594.15

Don Fulano Imperial Tequila

70cl, 40%
Don Fulano

A very impressive anejo tequila from Don Fulano, which has been matured in French oak casks before it is bottled. With that sort of maturation comes plenty of rich, spicy notes, sweet caramel, ripe…  More info

Don Fulano Imperial Tequila
$119.84

Fortaleza Blanco Still Strength

70cl, 46%
Destileria La Fortaleza

A higher-strength variation of Fortaleza excellent Blanco Tequila. Ought to stand out very well in cocktails and mixed drinks...  More info

Fortaleza Blanco Still Strength
1
$68.63

Olmeca Reposado Tequila

70cl, 35%
Olmeca Tequila

Made using hand-harvested, hand-selected Agave, this reposado Tequila has rested in Oak barrels for over 1 year prior to release.  More info

Olmeca Reposado Tequila
1
$26.63

Calle 23 Añejo

70cl, 40%
Calle 23

Calle 23 Añejo is distilled in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, using 100% agave, and spends 16 months resting in ex-bourbon barrels. The result is well-flavoured, with plenty of the vanilla…  More info

Calle 23 Añejo
4
$50.95

Cazcabel Reposado

70cl, 38%
Cazcabel

Reposado tequila from the Cazcabel range, matured in American oak barrels for at least 9 months before bottling. Suitable for enjoying in cocktails and well as simply sipping neat (if this tickles…  More info

Cazcabel Reposado
7
$26.63

Ocho Extra Añejo 2018 (El Baijo)

70cl, 40%
Ocho

From Ocho's Single Estate range comes a vintage Extra Añejo Tequila made solely using agaves from El Baijo, the perfect bottling for a spirits lover who likes to get geeky about raw materials and…  More info

Ocho Extra Añejo 2018 (El Baijo)
$97.27

Gran Patrón Piedra Extra Añejo

70cl, 40%
Patrón

The first extra añejo tequila produced by Patrón - Piedra. It's made from 100% blue weber agave from the highlands of Jalisco. To mature this well-aged expression, they use both American and French…  More info

Gran Patrón Piedra Extra Añejo
2
$261.21

Olmeca Reposado Tequila (38%)

70cl, 38%
Olmeca Tequila

A reposado Tequila from Olmeca aged in oak barrels and bottled at 38% ABV, for plenty of rounded, oaky vanilla character. Just the thing if you're mixing up Margaritas.  More info

Olmeca Reposado Tequila (38%)
$24.57

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