Tequila is a product with “designation of origin”—by law it can only be produced within five states in Central Mexico. However, there are two distinct categories that define the quality of tequila. Some tequilas are “mixtos” made from a mixture of 51% agave and 49% other sugars (reducing cost). Additives such as oak extracts, glycerin, sucrose, and caramel flavoring are permissible and do not have to be identified on the product labels. The best tequila is made from 100% blue agave tequilana weber plants that have matured 8-10 years. Cultivating this special plant takes a great deal of knowledge, skill, and care. Once the agave has matured, the plant’s piña, or heart, is harvested, roasted, mashed, fermented, distilled, and (except for Blanco and Joven) aged in oak or maple barrels. There are five types of tequila recognized by the Tequila Regulatory Counsel:
Visit the Tequila Regulatory Council's website to learn more about the origins of tequila and the different classifications.
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