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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.

Maestro Dobel Humito

70cl, 40%
Maestro Dobel

A smoked silver tequila here from Maestro Dobel. While smoky agave notes are more commonly associated with tequila's more rustic brother Mezcal, the distillers from Maestro Dobel looked to replicate…  More info

Maestro Dobel Humito
1
$48.29

Gran Centenario Anejo

70cl, 38%
Gran Centenario

A beautiful añejo from Gran Centenario made with 100% Blue Agave. It is aged for 18 months in American oak barrels.  More info

Gran Centenario Anejo
3
$45.84

Casa Dragones Joven Gift Pack with 2x Glasses

70cl, 40%
Casa Dragones

A very stylish gift pack of Casa Dragones Joven Tequila, alongside two particularly swish glasses to enjoy it from. The expression itself is made with a blend of silver and well-aged spirits, making…  More info

Casa Dragones Joven Gift Pack with 2x Glasses
1
$306.75

Próspero Blanco

70cl, 40%
Próspero

Behold, the Blanco Próspero Tequila! This excellent expression was created by well-known singer Rita Ora, who teamed up with master distiller Stella Anguiano to produce some fantastic Tequila, using…  More info

Próspero Blanco
$30.39

Pueblo Viejo Blanco

70cl, 38%
San Matias

This blanco Tequila from Pueblo Viejo is made with 100% agave at San Matias, one of the oldest distilleries in Jalisco, Mexico, over 130 years old. Bottled straight from the still, the unaged Tequila…  More info

Pueblo Viejo Blanco
2
$24.37
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Goya Single Estate Blanco

50cl, 40%
Goya

This Blanco Tequila was produced from blue agave harvested exclusively from one farm. Hence the name. The organically-grown piñas are harvested, roasted and double distilled all on the estate. Seeing…  More info

Goya Single Estate Blanco
2
$39.83

Cimarrón Reposado Tequila

70cl, 40%
Cimarrón

Fabulous reposado Tequila from the folks at Cimarrón! Distilled with 100% estate grown blue weber agave, then aged in American oak for 4 months, a very pleasant all rounder this one!  More info

Cimarrón Reposado Tequila
$35.83

Pueblo Viejo Reposado

70cl, 38%
San Matias

A delicious 100% agave Reposado Tequila from the Pueblo Viejo range. Enjoyably spicy, which should work excellent with sweet, zesty lime juice...  More info

Pueblo Viejo Reposado
$31.85

Tequila 30-30 Añejo

70cl, 40%
30-30

This añejo tequila from 30-30 was crafted using 100% agave, harvested when they were seven to nine years old to ensure peak sweetness and flavour. It was double distilled and then rested in new…  More info

Tequila 30-30 Añejo
1
$41.29

Don Fulano Añejo

70cl, 40%
Don Fulano

Aged for three years in new and old French oak casks, the Don Fulano Anejo tequila has taken on a great deal of flavour, character and colour. Notes of dark chocolate, black cherry, almonds and…  More info

Don Fulano Añejo
$54.76
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El Tequileño Reposado Rare

70cl, 40%
El Tequileño

This beguiling rare reposado from El Tequileño is made from 100% blue agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco. Fermented with natural yeast, and influenced by the 150-year-old mango trees that grow…  More info

El Tequileño Reposado Rare
$136.52

Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Platino

70cl, 40%
Jose Cuervo

From Cuervo's ultra-premium super-top-drawer line of fabulous Tequilas in equally fabulous wooden boxes (just check out the The Anejo, a spirit we like to refer to as "El Tigre", but not because it…  More info

Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Platino
1
$57.33

Sierra Antiguo Añejo Tequila

70cl, 40%
Destilerias Sierra

Añejo tequila from the Sierra Antiguo range, which is made using 100% blue agave and matured for 26 months in oak casks, which has imparted colour, character and complexity to the vibrant spirits. A…  More info

Sierra Antiguo Añejo Tequila
1
$42.25

Curado Tequila Blanco - Infusión de Agave Cupreata

70cl, 40%
Curado

The Curado Tequila range is rather interesting as it is made with 100% Blue Weber agave (so far, so normal), but after distillation it's infused with cooked agave of different varieties. This…  More info

Curado Tequila Blanco - Infusión de Agave Cupreata
$43.85

Tejas Gold Tequila

70cl, 35%
Tejas

A classic gold Tequila from Tejas, produced in Mexico, and ideal for all manner of classic cocktails. Margaritas might seem obvious, but they're pretty hard to beat... We reckon this would make a…  More info

Tejas Gold Tequila
$18.88

Ambhar Tequila Añejo

70cl, 40%
Ambhar

Ambhar's Añejo Tequila is made from 100% blue weber agave five times distilled in Jalisco, Mexico. The spirit is then aged for around two years in American oak barrels sourced from Jack Daniel's in…  More info

Ambhar Tequila Añejo
$44.24

Don Fulano Reposado

70cl, 40%
Don Fulano

The Reposado tequila from artisan distillers Don Fulano is matured for 8 months in French oak barrels before it is bottled. Similar to the Blanco, it's rich and herbal, though the Reposado has…  More info

Don Fulano Reposado
1
$45.18
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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
2
$24.91

Tequila 30-30 Blanco

70cl, 40%
30-30

This blanco tequila from 30-30 was double-distilled using 100% agave in the picturesque Capilla de Guadalupe situated in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico.  More info

Tequila 30-30 Blanco
1
$31.33

Sierra Milenario Tequila Añejo

70cl, 41.5%
Destilerias Sierra

Añejo tequila from Sierra's Milenario range, which is allowed to mature for up to 18 months in American white oak casks. Rich and chocolatey stuff, this.  More info

Sierra Milenario Tequila Añejo
$57.56

Ambhar Tequila Plata

70cl, 40%
Ambhar

A small batch Tequila made with 100% blue weber agave, Ambhar's Plata expression is made with agave from both the highlands and the lowlands. It's distilled in Jalisco not once, but five times before…  More info

Ambhar Tequila Plata
$35.02

Ambhar Tequila Reposado

70cl, 40%
Ambhar

Distilled in Jalisco, Mexico, from 100% blue weber agave comes Ambhar's Reposado Tequila. It's rested for just under a year in barrels which previously housed Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, before…  More info

Ambhar Tequila Reposado
$39.63

Código 1530 Añejo

70cl, 38%
Código 1530

This is the Añejo expression from the Código 1530 range. Every Tequila from this selection is made with agave aged for seven years before distillation, and this particular expression spends 18 months…  More info

Código 1530 Añejo
$83.30

Jose Cuervo Especial Gold

70cl, 38%
Jose Cuervo

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

Jose Cuervo Especial Gold
11
$20.92

Sierra Antiguo Plata

70cl, 40%
Destilerias Sierra

Blanco or 'Plata' tequila from Sierra Antiguo - unlike the añejo it doesn't seem to come with a sombrero on the lid...  More info

Sierra Antiguo Plata
$36.03
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