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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.

La Chica Tequila Blanco

70cl, 38%
La Chica

La Chica Blanco is a tasty silver tequila which works well in cocktails.  More info

La Chica Tequila Blanco
4
$17.77

Montezuma White Tequila

70cl, 38%
Montezuma

Produced by the Montezuma company, this is a Blanco Tequila with a crisp tangy palate. It's great value for money and will work very nicely in cocktails.  More info

Montezuma White Tequila
11
$18.95

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
$19.41

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
$19.72

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)
$19.89

Montezuma Gold Tequila

70cl, 40%
Montezuma

Produced by the Montezuma company, this is a gold-coloured Reposado tequila which was aged in oak for less than two months before bottling.  More info

Montezuma Gold Tequila
5
$21
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El Torito Silver

70cl, 35%
Polini Group S.r.I

An unaged El Torito Tequila, which was made in Mexico. Perfect for a Paloma, just make sure you've got enough fresh grapefruit juice!  More info

El Torito Silver
1
$21.36

Sierra Tequila Silver

70cl, 38%
Destilerias Sierra

A well-loved tequila brand, Sierra Tequila is just the ticket for Margaritas and other classic tequila serves. It even comes with its own tiny sombrero.  More info

Sierra Tequila Silver
8
$21.50
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Jose Cuervo Especial Silver

70cl, 38%
Jose Cuervo

An unaged tequila from the most popular Tequila brand in the world! Perfect in cocktails such as the famous Margarita!  More info

Jose Cuervo Especial Silver
6
$21.50

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
$21.66
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Best Seller

El Sueño Tequila Gold

70cl, 38%
El Sueño

El Sueño Tequila Gold is the result of five generations' Tequila producing know-how. Such traditional knowledge of Tequila production has been coupled with a more modern focus on sustainability,…  More info

El Sueño Tequila Gold
7
$21.75
Best Seller

El Sueño Tequila Silver

70cl, 38%
El Sueño

A delicious Tequila from El Sueño. El Sueño is the result of five generations worth of agave growing and Tequila producing expertise with a simple ethos at its heart. Tequila that is affordable,…  More info

El Sueño Tequila Silver
15
$21.75

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
$23.04
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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
$23.21
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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
$23.50

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
$23.70

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
$23.81

Rooster Rojo Reposado Tequila

70cl, 38%
Rooster Rojo

Produced and distilled in the heart of Tequila, Mexico, by Fabrica de Tequilas, this reposado was made with blue agave that was cooked in autoclaves using steam for 10 hours. A special yeast is then…  More info

Rooster Rojo Reposado Tequila
2
$24.47
Best Seller

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
$24.54

Olmeca Reposado Tequila

70cl, 38%
Olmeca Tequila

Made using hand-harvested, hand-selected Agave, this reposado Tequila has rested in Oak barrels for over 1 year prior to release.  More info

Olmeca Reposado Tequila
1
$24.57

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
$24.84
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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
$25.05
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Tequila Tasting Set

15cl, 40.3%
Drinks by the Dram

Tequila, from Mexico, is a spirit produced from blue agave near the city of Tequila and surrounding areas such as the Jalisco highlands. This tasting set contains five fantastic 3cl samples of this…  More info

Tequila Tasting Set
2
$25.56

Cazcabel Reposado

70cl, 38%
Cazcabel

Reposado tequila from the Cazcabel range, matured in American oak barrels for at least 9 months before bottling. Suitable for enjoying in cocktails and well as simply sipping neat (if this tickles…  More info

Cazcabel Reposado
7
$25.60
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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
$25.60

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