Spirit Saturday - All the Fuss About Tequila

Thu, Jun 09, 22

All the Fuss About Tequila

Mexico's native spirit, Tequila, has been making waves throughout the industry for the last few years and is still making headway with new adopters. Tequila has taken the long road to prominence here in the United States, with a history that reaches back thousands of years.

Humans have been fermenting agave as far back as the Olmecs in 1000 B.C., but it wasn't until the 1400-1500s when the Spanish, borrowing cues from the Aztecs and also their own Brandy making process, brought on the birth of what would later become known as Mezcal (

Flash forward to the mid-1700s (1758, to be exact) and you'll find Jose Antonio de Cuervo y Valdes receiving a writ of land ownership from the Spanish monarch, King Ferdinand VI. 40 years later, by way of royal decree, Jose Maria Guadalupe Cuervo y Montana received the first license to distill, produce and distribute
Tequila (

By the mid 1850s, barrels began arriving in the United States. The spirit survived prohibition and became a fan favorite here in the United States thanks in large part to the Margarita.

Now, over 3,000 years since the Olmecs were producing pulque, and nearly 300 years since Jose Cuervo got its start we have one of the hottest spirits in the world, Tequila.

Jose Antonio de Cuervo y Valdes

Much like the Bourbon making process here in the United States, would-be Tequila producers must follow a stringent set of rules in order to be legally classified as a "Tequila."

You can find those laws and regulations here, but most people are probably familiar with the laws regarding aging.

Aging of Tequila must occur in wood of oak, or Encino oak containers and the amount of time it spends in said containers is directly reflected by the age classification it receives.

In short, Tequila's aging is done in oak barrels. Generally, these are ex-Bourbon barrels brought in from the United States. Over time, the barrels can impart a significant amount of flavor onto Tequila, and the longer it spends in oak, it tends to lose some of its' youthful earthiness in favor of more depth and complexity.

Blanco Tequila is typically unaged, but can see oak for under two months. Reposado Tequilas are required to age for a minimum of two months, while Anejo and Extra Anejo must spend a minimum of one year, and three years, respectively, in oak barrels.

You'll see other designations like Cristalino, Joven and a few others, but what's outlined above is what is required, by law, in regards to age designations.

Tequila--and similarly Mezcals--is an incredibly versatile spirit, perfect for drinking straight, or cocktail mixing.

You can experiment with different types to enhance your recipes, or maybe you even go for a Mezcal to give your cocktail a signature smoky note.

Whatever it is you're looking for, we have it here at Exit 9 Wine & Liquor Warehouse. Take a look below at some of our current favorites, or use the button below that to shop our entire Tequila selection.

Recommended Tequilas & Mezcals