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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.

Rooster Rojo Blanco Tequila

70cl, 38%
Rooster Rojo

Fabrica de Tequilas produced and distilled this blanco Tequila using agave cooked for 10 hours in steam-powered autoclaves. After the addition of special yeast, the batch was then fermented and moved…  More info

Rooster Rojo Blanco Tequila
2
$22.53

Avión Reposado Tequila

70cl, 40%
Avión

Reposado tequila from the Avión range (which you may be familiar with if you watch the TV show Entourage). They age this tequila for 6 months before bottling it up.  More info

Avión Reposado Tequila
$46.08

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
$47.88

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
9
$24.54

Salitos Gold

70cl, 38%
Salitos

This expression from Salitos goes through a double distillation before it's placed into barrels to rest. The Tequila takes on some buttery, mature notes alongside the fresh grassy flavours from the…  More info

Salitos Gold
$30.68

El Tequileño Añejo Gran Reserva

70cl, 40%
El Tequileño

A beautifully aged Tequila from El Tequileño, made from a blend of its finest añejo (aged 1-3 years) and extra añejo (aged for at least 3 years) Tequilas. All are made from 100% blue agave from the…  More info

El Tequileño Añejo Gran Reserva
$80.15
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1800 Tequila Reposado

70cl, 38%
1800

After spending up to a year in oak casks, this 1800 Reposado Tequila is ready for Margaritas, Sunrises or even enjoyed neat. Beautiful golden hue to this, too.  More info

1800 Tequila Reposado
3
$36.88
$32.78

Olmeca Silver

70cl, 35%
Olmeca Tequila

Ideal for all your Tequila cocktail needs, this blanco expression from Olmeca will be perfect in citrus-forward serves. Produced in the hills of Jalisco in Mexico, it's brimming with peppery herbs…  More info

Olmeca Silver
$25.61

Volcan De Mi Tierra Añejo Cristalino Tequila

70cl, 40%
Volcan

This beautiful Añejo Cristalino Tequila from Volcan employs an innovative blending process to achieve a fabulous aged character, whilst retaining plenty of bright agave notes. It combines a blend of…  More info

Volcan De Mi Tierra Añejo Cristalino Tequila
1
$64.47

Fuenteseca Reserva Añejo 18 Year Old 1995

70cl, 43.5%
Fuenteseca Reserva

An exquisite añejo Tequila from Fuenteseca, this 18 year old expression was distilled back in 1995, and has been treated to various of stages of maturation. To begin, the Tequila was filled into…  More info

Fuenteseca Reserva Añejo 18 Year Old 1995
$681.22

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
$39.94

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
$40.36

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
1
$37.04

Padre Azul Reposado Tequila

70cl, 38%
Padre Azul

Padre Azul Reposado is distilled from agave which is cooked slowly at low temperatures, meaning that it keeps more of those sweeter notes. After a double distillation, it's matured in oak bourbon…  More info

Padre Azul Reposado Tequila
$96.29

Storywood Tequila Reposado

70cl, 40%
Storywood

Mexico meets Scotland in Storywood Tequila, which sees the agave-based spirit matured in casks that previously held single malt Scotch whisky. This is the reposado expression, featuring 100% blue…  More info

Storywood Tequila Reposado
$40.45

Purasangre Tequila Añejo

100cl, 40%
Purasangre

Using 100% blue weber agave which has been grown in high altitudes, Purasangre Tequila Añejo is twice distilled, before spending a minimum of two years resting in French Oak. Nicely aged and very…  More info

Purasangre Tequila Añejo
$67.56

El Tequileño Blanco

50cl, 38%
El Tequileño

The Blanco Tequila from the El Tequileño range! It's made with agaves sourced from the Highlands of Jalisco, which boast a high sugar content – resulting in sweeter Tequila. The folks over at El…  More info

El Tequileño Blanco
$19.96

Herradura Directo de Alambique

70cl, 55%
Herradura

The fourth release from the Herradura Coleccion de la Casa range is the Directo de Alambique expression. This tequila has been made with 100% blue agave and fermented using natural yeast, which is…  More info

Herradura Directo de Alambique
$85.99

Lunazul Añejo

70cl, 40%
Lunazul

A 100% agave tequila that's aged in ex-Bourbon barrels for 12 to 18 months.  More info

Lunazul Añejo
$33.60

Centinela Blanco

70cl, 40%
Tequila Centinela SA

A vibrant, flavoursome unaged tequila from Centinela, suitable for cocktails or enjoying neat and over ice. Made with 100% agave in Jalisco, Mexico, by a family with over 100 years of history in…  More info

Centinela Blanco
$56.34

Tequila 30-30 Reposado

70cl, 40%
30-30

This reposado tequila was crafted in Capilla de Guadalupe using 100% Agave before it was aged in white oak for seven months. The 30-30 name is derived from a rifle that was used to defeat the French…  More info

Tequila 30-30 Reposado
1
$34.26

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
1
$30.98

Enemigo 00 Extra Añejo

70cl, 40%
Enemigo

This is the Extra Añejo Tequila from the Enemigo range, which spends three years maturing before being bottled at 40% ABV. Very much proffered as a sipping Tequila, and certainly can be enjoyed as…  More info

Enemigo 00 Extra Añejo
$148.53

Cimarrón Blanco Tequila

70cl, 40%
Cimarrón

Solid blanco Tequila from Cimarrón, made from 100% blue weber agave. This is intentionally distilled with a relatively dry profile for lighter sweetness which makes it extremely versatile for all…  More info

Cimarrón Blanco Tequila
1
$29.44

1800 Cristalino Tequila

70cl, 35%
1800

An interesting and stylish bottling from the 1800 Tequila range, 1800 Cristalino is an añejo expression which has been filtered, resulting in a clear spirit that still packs a rich, full-bodied…  More info

1800 Cristalino Tequila
8
$55.22

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