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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.

Arette Reposado

70cl, 38%
Arette

This corking reposado is aged for between 4 and 6 months in white oak. It is made 100% blue agave from Jalisco, and it is blended with water from Tequila mountain. This is a superb premium tequila…  More info

Arette Reposado
3
$30.47

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
$30.67

Código 1530 Blanco

70cl, 38%
Código 1530

The blanco expression from the Código 1530 Tequila range, made with agave which has grown for over seven years before being distilled. Top quality stuff, this.  More info

Código 1530 Blanco
2
$41.68

Reserva del Señor Añejo

70cl, 38%
Reserva del Señor

Añejo Tequila from the Reserva del Señor, which dates back to the 1940s. This well-matured expression spends 18 months maturing in oak before being bottled. Impressive stuff, well worth checking out.  More info

Reserva del Señor Añejo
1
$40.91

Herradura Plata

70cl, 40%
Herradura

Produced by Casa Herradura in the Sierre-Madre mountain range, this fine Plata Tequila is aged for 40 days in oak barrels before bottling. It is distilled from nothing but 100% blue agave plants…  More info

Herradura Plata
1
$39.90

Lokita Artesanal Tequila Reposado

70cl, 40%
Lokita

Lokita Artesenal Tequila Reposado is made from 100% agave and produced in small batches in Jalisco, with care taken to harvest the agave at peak maturity. Rested in oak for a spell, it'll make a…  More info

Lokita Artesanal Tequila Reposado
$50.71

Ocho Single Barrel - La Laja Añejo - 2019 Harvest

70cl, 52.5%
Ocho

Single barrel spectacularness from Ocho, which has enjoyed a hearty helping of maturation before being bottled. The Ocho range features some superb single range agave Tequilas, with this one…  More info

Ocho Single Barrel - La Laja Añejo - 2019 Harvest
$95.22

Gran Centenario Reposado

70cl, 38%
Gran Centenario

Great reposado Tequila aged for around 6 months in white oak. It is well balanced, and made using agave from plants which were at least 10 years old.  More info

Gran Centenario Reposado
5
$39.90

Corralejo Añejo

70cl, 38%
Tequila Corralejo

Corralejo mature their Añejo tequila for 12 months in new, charred American oak barrels before putting it into the beautiful red bottles. A gorgeous, smoky tequila, ready for sipping.  More info

Corralejo Añejo
$39.18

Enemigo 89 Añejo Cristalino

70cl, 40%
Enemigo

An interesting expression from the Enemigo tequila range. This is the Enemigo 89 Añejo Cristalino - you may notice that it's a bit... Well, a bit clear for an añejo tequila. What they do is age the…  More info

Enemigo 89 Añejo Cristalino
$61.40

Calle 23 Reposado

70cl, 40%
Calle 23

The Reposado expression from the Calle 23 range. A 100% agave tequila which spends up to 8 months maturing in ex-bourbon casks to take on a touch of those warming, vanilla-y, subtly oak-y notes that…  More info

Calle 23 Reposado
3
$43.91

Herradura Añejo

70cl, 40%
Herradura

A very good quality Añejo from Herradura. This was introduced in 1962, and was the first commercially available Tequila of its type. It also won Golds at both the coveted International Wine and…  More info

Herradura Añejo
5
$53.26

Olmeca Altos Reposado

70cl, 38%
Olmeca Tequila

An award winning Reposado, including a gold medal at the International Wine & Spirit Competition. Plus, let's face it, the bottle is pretty spiffy!  More info

Olmeca Altos Reposado
1
$34.73

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
$46.86

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
$41.94

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
$51.47

Padre Azul Blanco Tequila

70cl, 38%
Padre Azul

This blanco Tequila from Padre Azul is double distilled from roasted agave, and bottled without maturation. The name 'Azul' refers to the Blue Weber agave, and you'd be forgiven for thinking that…  More info

Padre Azul Blanco Tequila
$81.71

San Matias Tequila Gran Reserva Extra Añejo

70cl, 38%
San Matias

An extra Añejo tequila from the San Matias, aged for at least 36 months in American and French oak casks. Very much suited to enjoying neat and savouring the flavours which arise from this rather…  More info

San Matias Tequila Gran Reserva Extra Añejo
2
$51.17

1800 Añejo Tequila

70cl, 38%
1800

An ultra premium tequila, 1800 Anejo is aged in small French oak barrels for over 12 months, with a small proportion of it aged in American oak for 3 years.  More info

1800 Añejo Tequila
10
$47.55

Tapatio Blanco Tequila

50cl, 40%
La Altena

The Tapatio Blanco Tequila is a silver tequila that's as good as gold! (We'd like to make it clear that we're using "good as gold" as an expression, not comparing it to Joven/gold tequila. That would…  More info

Tapatio Blanco Tequila
8
$23.85

Arette Blanco

70cl, 38%
Arette

A silver tequila from Arette, this was launched in 2007 and is made at the El Llano distillery, which has been owned by the Orendain family since the early 20th century. This is bottled on site in…  More info

Arette Blanco
2
$27.65

El Jimador Blanco

70cl, 38%
El Jimador

A silver tequila from El Jimador, made in Jalisco from 100% agave which is bottled immediately after distillation. It boasts a classic Lowland Tequila flavour profile, crisp and fruity, and versatile…  More info

El Jimador Blanco
1
$25.61

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
$32.83

ArteNOM Selección de 1579 Tequila Blanco

70cl, 40%
ArteNOM

Top quality Tequila, independently bottled by ArteNOM, which is on a mission to seek out select expressions with distinctive heritage and character. This classic blanco was crafted by master…  More info

ArteNOM Selección de 1579 Tequila Blanco
1
$61.40

Código 1530 Tequila Rosa Reposado

70cl, 35%
Código 1530

Código 1530 Tequila Rosa Reposado starts with Código 1530's 100% agave Blanco, which is then rested in French white oak barrels that previously held cabernet from the Napa Valley, to impart a…  More info

Código 1530 Tequila Rosa Reposado
$60.39

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