What are the characteristics of a sipping tequila? What should I look for except Best Sipping Tequilas of 2021 list on the Internet? Is it a special ingredient or some inscription such as reposado?
1Tequilas that are 100% Agave are a good start, that's usually an indication of a minimum of quality– Canadian CoderFeb 23, 2021 at 1:14
@CanadianCoder So, Olmeca Gold would be a good start I guess. Thanks– padawanFeb 23, 2021 at 7:50
I'd be interested in a more informed answer, I don't know much about Tequila as options are limited in Ontario. But I'm of the belief that you won't get a lot of variation in the upper tiers of Tequila. Anything you buy should be produced from 100% Agave, but beyond that you'd likely need to research bottle by bottle. FWIW, I bought a bottle of Herradura a few years ago because it was about the best I could find. Unfortunately, I think in many markets Tequila is seen as low-brow liquor for college students, which is unfortunate because good Tequila is very good.– Canadian CoderFeb 24, 2021 at 20:40
@CanadianCoder I too would be interested such an answer. I like tequila because unlike whiskey or vodka, consuming it with ice does not make white particle swim inside my glass. Neither serving cold blunts some of the flavors.– padawanFeb 25, 2021 at 17:00
@padawan, perhaps there is something wrong with the ice?– Ray ButterworthFeb 26, 2021 at 13:32
The truth is that Tequila is a sipping alcohol, on the whole.
“In Mexico, tequila is kept in the fridge so it’s perfectly chilled when served and almost always enjoyed neat,”
according to Angel Bolivar, the head bartender at Casa Neta in New York City.
Of course, as with any alcohol, throwing as much money at it as possible will generally get a person something that comes from the higher shelves and is 'better' and more delicious than some of its competitors. However, you never need to break the bank in order to partake in a fancy and delicious beverage.
Knowing the different types of Tequila is the best way to begin one's search... At the most basic level, there are essentially 2 types of tequila:
1.) "Mixto" or mixed - anything can be labeled as Tequila as long as 51% of the fermented sugars come from the Blue Agave plant. Therefore other sugars and additives, like cane sugar, caramel color, oak and other flavorings, glycerin, and sugar-based syrups, can make up the other 49%... generally any tequila labeled "gold (oro)" and "joven (young)" is going to be a mixto.
2.) 100% agave tequila - this is the stuff that you will want to sip. Leave the cocktails to the mixtos.
From there, the tequilas can be broken up into the way that they are aged. There are essentially 4 classifications of aged tequila that is made from 100% blue agave:
1.) Blanco (white) or Silver - this would be the youngest type of tequila. The liquid is clear because it never sees the inside of a wooden cask.
2.) Reposado - means "rested" and is usually aged for more than a couple months and up to a year.
3.) Añejo - means "vintage" and is aged from one to three years.
4.) Extra Añejo - also "ultra añejo," is going to be tequila aged for more than 3 years time.
I have heard recommendations that beginners should start with sipping white tequilas but, I would vehemently disagree... in my experience, the whites are more "harsh" and fiery. They do not have as many subtle notes or nuanced flavors before and after being in the palate. Morgan Hurley, marketing and beverage director of Mex 1 Coastal Cantina in Charleston, S.C. states;
“Blancos showcase the terroir and the agave, but they also show any imperfections.”
TLDR: Any 100% agave tequila labeled "reposado" or "añejo" is going to be your best choice for sipping - though not mandatory, set your budget for around $30 and up for the best experience.
Good answer. How would you rate Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo against each other? Do you find age makes a significant difference between the three? Mar 2, 2021 at 19:03
Hmmm, good question. The gravity of the word "significant" is important to properly weigh before I could answer... and, it's difficult to rate one against the other for me - I like them all and might prefer one over the other depending on the occasion or my mood. I will admit that I always present my oldest and 'fanciest' alcohols when I am trying to get a sort of wow-factor from my drinking companion(s). I will think about it and edit later! Mar 2, 2021 at 20:50
Makes sense. Sometimes I think variation in quality often gets overstated due to variation in price. People are usually willing to pay a lot more for liquor than it's actually worth based on it's character. Probably with Tequila and most types of alcohol, once you move beyond a certain threshold everything ranges from decent to pretty good, and pricing ends up modeled on rarity and factors like status. Mar 3, 2021 at 0:56
Totally agreed - I wonder how much and how often one is paying extra for "the brand" especially... Mar 3, 2021 at 13:14
According to Casablanca Mexican restaurant, Anejo tequilas are best for sipping, as Anejo literally means "vintage", and tequilas which are aged between one to three years are best for sipping.
Casablanca Mexican Restaurant, number 4
Añejo tequilas are aged from one to three years, and are considered the best type of tequila for sipping because of their smoother flavor. Añejo means “vintage”, and they are darker than reposado tequilas.
According to Wikipedia, Anejos are tequilas which are quite literally left in small oak barrels for between one and three years.
Añejo [aˈɲexo] ("aged" or "vintage"): aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in small oak barrels