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VIP Moderne Article: Discovering the REAL TEQUILA

Discovering the REAL TEQUILA


There is a jingle that goes, “One tequila, two tequila, three tequila floor.” So it comes as no surprise that, for many, their first tequila experience also is their last.


Tequila’s earliest roots date back to the Aztecs, but the history of the spirit as we know it dates back four centuries, as a sipping delicacy shared among friends and family. Later, it became recognized as the national spirit of Mexico.

True tequila is made from at least 51% blue agave, a succulent (not a cactus) that grows wild all over Mexico and Central America, and must be distilled and bottled in one of five Mexican states. Many quality tequilas are made from 100% blue agave, which take at least eight years to reach harvesting maturity.

Over the years, mass marketers have convinced people that tequila should be disposed of quickly or mixed with something else to be enjoyed. More than 90 percent of people consume tequila as a shot or in a bright-colored concoction. But neither of those forms reflects the authentic Mexican tequila culture.


Today, tequila trends are shifting, with artisan sipping tequilas quickly gaining favor among new fans of the spirit, as well as those who are trying it again for the first time. These premium tequilas honor the original spirit of tequila as a sipping delicacy—a tradition that remains alive and well south of the border.

Too many things in life speed by. But good tequila—pure tequila—takes time to mature to perfection. And good tequila should be sipped, and savored, at your own pace.


Three types of tequila make up the majority of the premium sipping market and each one is crafted through unique distillation and aging approaches, resulting in distinctive aromas and tastes.

Blanco (or Silver)
Tequila purists often seek the most unmasked agave flavor and influences of the land, so they reach for the blanco. Bottled directly following distillation without aging, the blanco can be enjoyed on its own, or as the base for a mixed drink.


This “slightly rested” version is aged between two and twelve months in oak barrels, often giving it a smooth, slightly woody taste. The reposado offers the traditional agave influences with a wider variety of flavors and complexities.


The añejo is the scotch-fan’s tequila, and often is the version appreciated most by non-tequila drinkers. Aged between one and three years, añejos mature in oak barrels hailing from different regions of the world. Some brands are aged in barrels that formerly held other spirits, such as cognac, whiskey, bourbon, or brandy, infusing familiar, but unique characteristics.

To fully release the aromas and flavors of a premium sipping tequila, use a brandy snifter, caballito glass, or the official Riedel tequila glass. Some people like to sip them neat (straight up) while others like to add one ice cube to soften the spirit and release hidden features and attributes.

Good sipping tequilas stand on their own—no lime, no salt, no gimmicks necessary. Just a little glass of history, sharing tequila’s long lost story, and winning over scorned skeptics, one sip at a time.

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