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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.

Suave Blanco Tequila

70cl, 36.4%
Hacienda de Oro

Suave Blanco Tequila is made using 100% agave, with the agave plants being allowed to grow for a minimum of five years. Naturally fermented in stainless steel tanks, this Tequila is then double…  More info

Suave Blanco Tequila
$95.98

Suave Ultra Aged Tequila 2015

70cl, 36.4%
Hacienda de Oro

Suave Ultra Aged Tequila has been rested for an impressive six years. For its range of 100% agave Tequilas, Suave harvests agave plants that have been allowed to grow for a minimum of five years, and…  More info

Suave Ultra Aged Tequila 2015
$1,993.50

Suave Reposado Tequila

70cl, 36.4%
Hacienda de Oro

Suave Reposado Tequila is made in small batches from 100% agave, with plants being harvested after growing for a minimum of five years. The double distilled Tequila, which is fermented with wild…  More info

Suave Reposado Tequila
$164.55

Suave Lunar Silver Tequila

70cl, 36.4%
Hacienda de Oro

Lunar Silver Tequila from Suave is a blanco Tequila that's been rested in American oak barrels for 28 days – that's one lunar cycle. This short resting period allows this double distilled Tequila to…  More info

Suave Lunar Silver Tequila
$119.67

Purasangre Tequila Blanco Fuerte

100cl, 43.5%
Purasangre

Using specially selected highland agave, Purasangre Tequila is twice distilled, first in stainless steel alembic pot stills and second in copper pots. Fabulous balance, we think this will be great in…  More info

Purasangre Tequila Blanco Fuerte
$53.80

Purasangre Tequila Reposado

70cl, 40%
Purasangre

Aged for 9 months in French oak, here we have a reposado expression of Purasangre Tequila! Purasangre means "thoroughbred" in Spanish and this certainly does have all the characteristics of a…  More info

Purasangre Tequila Reposado
$51.81

Sierra Milenario Tequila Blanco

70cl, 41.5%
Destilerias Sierra

Triple distilled, 100% blue agave tequila from Sierra's Milenario range. Very high quality blanco tequila, suitable for sipping, but also for splashing in cocktails.  More info

Sierra Milenario Tequila Blanco
$49.87

Arette Suave Reposado

70cl, 38%
Arette

From the Arette Suave range comes a Reposado tequila made with 100% agave, matured in American oak casks for 11 months. Top quality stuff, well worth splashing out on.  More info

Arette Suave Reposado
$55.30

Sierra Milenario Tequila Reposado

70cl, 41.5%
Destilerias Sierra

The reposado expression from Sierra's Milenario range is a 100% agave tequila which spends up to nine months maturing in oak casks before being bottled at 41.5% ABV. Notes of creamy vanilla and…  More info

Sierra Milenario Tequila Reposado
$58.33

Salitos Silver

70cl, 38%
Salitos

Here we have the unaged Silver expression from Salitos! The fresh, grassy Tequila is produced from Blue Weber agave after they've grown to maturity at eight years old, which is then fermented and…  More info

Salitos Silver
$28.88

Pueblo Viejo Añejo

70cl, 38%
San Matias

Pueblo Viejo Añejo Tequila is made with 100% blue agave, which is then rested for 18 months in American white oak barrels. A wonderful Tequila with a satin-esque mouth-feel.  More info

Pueblo Viejo Añejo
1
$32.41

Rancho Viejo Tequila Gold

70cl, 35%
Casa Tequilera De Arandas

A Mexican tequila mixto from producer Rancho Viejo. (Old ranch. Get me.)  More info

Rancho Viejo Tequila Gold
$18.38

Tapatio 110 Blanco Tequila

50cl, 55%
La Altena

Tapatio Blanco Tequila - a back-bar stable, but not as you know it. This special edition of the classic tequila has been bottled at a higher strength of 110 proof (55% ABV), which has given it a…  More info

Tapatio 110 Blanco Tequila
6
$30.91

Zarza Silver Tequila

75cl, 40%
Zarza

This silver Tequila from Zarza comes in its own pouch! Next time you want to whip up some Margaritas like a cocktail magician, you can pull this bottle out of the bag like a rabbit out of a hat!  More info

Zarza Silver Tequila
$49.81

Curado Tequila Blanco - Infusión de Blue Agave

70cl, 40%
Curado

Made using 100% Blue Weber agave, don't let the colour of this Tequila fool you - it's most definitely blanco! Post distillation, the Tequila is infused with Blue Weber agave from Jalisco (hence the…  More info

Curado Tequila Blanco - Infusión de Blue Agave
2
$43.88

Avión Añejo Tequila

70cl, 40%
Avión

Añejo tequila from the Avión range, founded by Ken Austin and made with the Lopez family in Jesus Maria - 100% of the agave used in Avión comes from Jesus Maria! The Añejo is matured for two years…  More info

Avión Añejo Tequila
$47.96

Sierra Tequila Silver (50cl)

50cl, 38%
Destilerias Sierra

It's a 50cl bottle of the popular Silver Tequila from Sierra! An absolute staple to have in your drinks cupboard if you regularly mix up agave-based cocktails. Oh, and don't forget it's even wearing…  More info

Sierra Tequila Silver (50cl)
$19.83

Etéreo Plata

70cl, 40%
Etereo

A rather snazzy Tequila here from the Etéreo range, made with agave from Jalisco and produced at a family-owned distillery using a combination of traditional and modern methods. More than suitable…  More info

Etéreo Plata
$58.79

Fuenteseca Reserva Extra Añejo 21 Year Old 1993

70cl, 43.5%
Fuenteseca Reserva

Behold! A groundbreaking release from Fuenteseca, master distiller Enrique Fonseca set out to create some of the world's longest aged Tequila when producing this extra añejo – it's certainly the…  More info

Fuenteseca Reserva Extra Añejo 21 Year Old 1993
$994.27

Don Fulano Blanco Fuerte

70cl, 50%
Don Fulano

A higher strength edition of the Don Fulano Blanco tequila. Sitting at 50% ABV, it's an intense, spicy expression, though it remains rich in herbal and fruity notes throughout.  More info

Don Fulano Blanco Fuerte
2
$57.29

Don Fulano Blanco

70cl, 40%
Don Fulano

Dynamic unaged tequila from Don Fulano, made with 100% agave grown in Jalisco. Herbal, refreshing and fruity with warming buttery notes throughout.  More info

Don Fulano Blanco
2
$43.88

Cantinero Reposado

70cl, 38%
Cantinero

Reposado tequila from the Cantinero range, produced using 100% agave and matured for at least six months in American oak barrels before bottling. Rich in caramel and sweet fruit notes.  More info

Cantinero Reposado
$27.67

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
$59.78

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
2
$64.06

Tres Sombreros Blanco

70cl, 38%
Tres Sombreros

Tres Sombreros, the tequila with three sombreros on the bottle.  More info

Tres Sombreros Blanco
$29.06

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