How to drink tequila

Yellow, gold, silver, white—here are some tips about tequila and how to drink it!

Resort ocean view

Blue Agave is the new tequila bar at Paradisus Cancun Resort in Mexico, and blue agave is also the plant that tequila is made from. In fact, there’s one right outside the bar’s picture windows.

At this all-inclusive resort, stretched out along the aquamarine ocean’s white sand beach, they offer a series of  “Live Enriching Experiences,” from break-dancing and kayaking to the class I immediately signed up for: tequila tasting.

Tequila tasting bottles

The resort’s head sommelier walks us through the tasting. Starting with 1800 Blanco, he instructs us to hold our glasses up to a white napkin to check for clarity and legs—after swirling, the slower the drips, or “legs” of liquid dripping down the insides of the glass, the higher the alcohol and quality. Next we’re told to smell it, first by putting the glass on the tip of our nose, then on our chin, then under our chin. There was a bit of a language barrier, so I’m not sure what this was meant to accomplish, but there were a lot of oohs and ahhs from the 20 other guests at the tasting, so I’m sure whatever it was, was impressive. This silver tequila is powerful stuff, made for mixing rather than sipping.

Our second tequila, Jose Cuervo Tradicional, is a yellow one—aged in oak for a year, it has caramel notes. It's chilled and served to us in a wine glass, and everyone is oohing and ahhing again. As I slowly sip from my glass, this time I understand why. Delicioso!

The final tequila is golden, called Reserva de Don Julio, and tastes a lot like whiskey. It comes as no surprise that I like each tequila more than the one before. Our sommelier quips that the two reasons to drink tequila are to enjoy it or to get drunk—yet I’ve figured out a way to do both! But seriously, this stuff’s made for slow sipping, and it’s a great way to finish off a Mexican meal. (Try it with our Mexican feast).

Tequila bottles
silver tequila

Professional tequila tasters go through years of tasting many types of tequila, but they always come back to silver (also known as white), because of the pure agave flavour —as our sommelier says, “the pure taste of tequila.”

Tip: When at an all-inclusive Mexican resort (or your local tequila bar), ask for a Golden Margarita. All this means is that it’s made from Reposado or Anejo, meaning they’ll make you a better margarita. Says our sommelier: “The bartenders are impressed that you know your stuff.” Otherwise, he jokes, “they pour the tequila from the plastic barrel under the bar.”


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