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Tequila

What is tequila? Tequila 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 cooked 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 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.

Padre Azul Single Barrel Extra Añejo Tequila

70cl, 40%
Padre Azul

An exceptionally impressive Extra Añejo Tequila from Padre Azul, drawn from a single barrel! After being distilled entirely from Blue Weber agave, it's rested in bourbon barrels for four years, with…  More info

Padre Azul Single Barrel Extra Añejo Tequila
1
$135.81

Sierra Tequila Reposado

70cl, 38%
Destilerias Sierra

Reposado tequila from the immensely popular Sierra brand, complete with tiny gold-coloured plastic sombrero.  More info

Sierra Tequila Reposado
5
$22.52
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El Espolòn Blanco Tequila

70cl, 40%
Destiladora San Nicolas

Blanco tequila from Destilladora San Nicolas in Los Altos, made with 100% blue agave and bottled without ageing. The name "Espolòn" comes from the spur of the rooster's foot, an important bird in…  More info

El Espolòn Blanco Tequila
7
$26.40

Herradura Plata

70cl, 40%
Herradura

Produced by Casa Herradura in the Sierre-Madre mountain range, this fine Plata Tequila is aged for forty days in oak barrels before bottling. It is distilled from nothing but 100% blue agave plants…  More info

Herradura Plata
1
$38.82

Volcan De Mi Tierra Blanco Tequila

70cl, 40%
Volcan

Volcan Tequila is produced with a blend of some of the finest Blue Weber agave that Mexico has to offer! Sourced from the highlands and lowlands of Jalisco, the agave grows in the shadow of the…  More info

Volcan De Mi Tierra Blanco Tequila
$44.58

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
$45.59
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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)
$94.63

La Dama Tequila

70cl, 40%
La Dama

This glitzy bottle is from La Dama, and holds within it an organic unaged Tequila! Distilled from blue Weber agave, the distillery also makes a huge effort to protect its surroundings and ecosystems.…  More info

La Dama Tequila
5
$57.80

Rey Sol

70cl, 38%
San Matias

Rey Sol is a spectacular extra añejo Tequila from San Matias, made with agave plants that have aged for 7 to 10 years before being harvested. The Tequila itself is matured for 6 years, and presented…  More info

Rey Sol
1
$199.27

Código 1530 Reposado

70cl, 38%
Código 1530

For the Código 1530 Reposado, only agave over seven years old is distilled to create the spirit, which is then allowed to mature for six months in Napa Cabernet barrels. Hugely flavoursome - keep the…  More info

Código 1530 Reposado
$48.85

Blue Hour Tequila Blanco

70cl, 40%
Blue Hour

The Blanco expression from the Blue Hour tequila range. The name is a reference to the ethereal colour of twilight just before the sun rises.  More info

Blue Hour Tequila Blanco
$29.84
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ArteNOM Selección de 1146 Tequila Añejo

70cl, 40%
ArteNOM

Wonderful añejo Tequila, produced at the Tequileña Distillery in Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco. Using agave grown at mid-slope elevation, the Tequila is aged for an initial period in Cabernet Franc…  More info

ArteNOM Selección de 1146 Tequila Añejo
$90.56

La Chica Tequila Gold

70cl, 38%
La Chica

A lovely Gold tequila from La Chica, made for cocktails, and itching to be shaken up into a tasty Margarita!  More info

La Chica Tequila Gold
$19.18

Casa Dragones Añejo Barrel Blend

70cl, 40%
Casa Dragones

An exquisite Añejo Tequila from Casa Dragones, made with 100% Blue Weber agave. Matured in a combination of new French and New American oak casks, the two expressions are expertly blended, to create…  More info

Casa Dragones Añejo Barrel Blend
$148.48

Gran Patrón Platinum Tequila

70cl, 40%
Patrón

A super premium silver tequila from Patrón. This is triple distilled and created using hand selected Waeber blue agave from Jalisco. The bottles and boxes are handcrafted, signed and numbered.  More info

Gran Patrón Platinum Tequila
2
$208.93
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Hacien Blanco Tequila

70cl, 38%
Hacien

This is the Blanco expression from Hacien Tequila, made using 100% blue agave at its heart. Suitable for sipping neat or using in a cocktail, this spirit has a bold flavour profile, making for an…  More info

Hacien Blanco Tequila
2
$54.76

El Tequileño Reposado

50cl, 38%
El Tequileño

This Reposado Tequila from El Tequileño has been rested in American oak casks for three months before bottling! The maturation imparts some subtle sweetness to the fresh spirit, perfect for all…  More info

El Tequileño Reposado
$21.12
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Código 1530 Tequila Barrel Strength Añejo

70cl, 44%
Código 1530

A markedly smooth barrel strength añejo Tequila aged for two years in French white oak ex-Cabernet barrels. This limited release is produced in the town of Amatitán in the valley region of Jalisco,…  More info

Código 1530 Tequila Barrel Strength Añejo
$142.50

Lunazul Blanco

75cl, 40%
Lunazul

Lunazul Blanco is a simple, great-quality Tequila. It is double distilled in stills once used in Cognac production.  More info

Lunazul Blanco
$30.89
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Corazón Blanco

70cl, 40%
Corazón

Corazón certainly knows how to make great tequila and this delicious, unaged Blanco is proof. A single estate tequila that shines in Margaritas or other cocktails, it won a Double Gold medal at the…  More info

Corazón Blanco
$30.40
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El Jimador Reposado

70cl, 38%
El Jimador

Allow us to introduce Mexico's bestselling tequila… El Jimador Reposado is aged for 2 months in White Oak barrels before bottling. It is stunningly smooth with notes of cooked agave, vanilla and…  More info

El Jimador Reposado
8
$23.87

Cabrito Tequila Reposado (40%)

70cl, 40%
Tequila Cabrito

The Reposado expression from Cabrito Tequila, bottled at 40% ABV. The goat on the label seems pretty chill, which is nice. Sweet beard, too.  More info

Cabrito Tequila Reposado (40%)
1
$31.94

Avión Silver Tequila

70cl, 40%
Avión

The entry level expression from the Avión tequila range. At the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this tequila took home an impressive pair of awards - Best Silver Tequila and Best Unaged…  More info

Avión Silver Tequila
1
$41.75

Storywood Double Oak Añejo

70cl, 53%
Storywood

Scotland, Spain and Mexico meet in one bottle thanks to this añejo Tequila from Storywood! This here is the Double Oak expression, having spent 14 months in both Scotch whisky barrels and Oloroso…  More info

Storywood Double Oak Añejo
3
$54.27

VIVIR Tequila Blanco

70cl, 40%
VIVIR

Made with 100% Blue Weber agave at the distillery in Jalisco, VIVIR's Blanco Tequila is double distilled and blended with local water from a volcanic spring. A wonderfully smooth Tequila that would…  More info

VIVIR Tequila Blanco
15
$35.78
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