When someone mentions tequila, you know it’s going to be a good night! The Mexican drink is made from a plant called agave-azul, which grows in the Mexican city Tequila, a region as hot as the drink itself.
Tequila-fueled nights are usually memorable in the spiritual sense of the word because, after downing a few shots, it’s likely that you will forget everything that happened the next morning. Speaking of the next morning, it’s best not to think about the hangover that tequila causes.
The culprit for these effects is its high alcohol content, which after just one shot, has very strong effects in our body. So let’s learn more about the alcoholic content of tequila, as well as the different types of it.
Does the high alcohol content mean tequila contains more calories?
To begin with, let’s discuss one point that many people question. Because of its high alcohol content, tequila offers slightly more calories than drinks with lower alcohol content. But that does not mean that you will consume fewer calories if you spend a night drinking beer.
What we mean by this is, rather than specifically tequila being the culprit, the amount of calories ingested relates to the amount of drink consumed. So it’s normal for you to consume more calories if you’re only drinking beer rather than smaller tequila shots.
After all, you wouldn’t survive an entire night drinking solely tequila, right?
The alcohol content of tequila
Made from the blue agave extract, the tequila is then distilled and stored in oak barrels after its production. During this process, the alcohol content is slightly reduced to make the drink facilitate better in your body.
After this, the tequila reaches an alcoholic content that varies between 35% and 38% . Before being bottled, tequila can still go through some processes that will influence its taste and strength. It is these processes that determine the type of tequila, which are explained further below.
Types of tequila
The result of this type of tequila, also known as ‘blanco’, is the purest version of agave. This means it agrees very well with cocktails and different fruit drinks.
However, this tequila does not leave the factory like this. When its distillation process is over, it still tastes too strong. It then goes through a process of homogenisation, which reduces the heavy traces of alcohol and leaves it with a lighter taste.
This is the most popular type of tequila around the world. It is very similar to the silver type tequila, except for the fact you add caramel and different types of sugars during its composition.
This type of tequila is lighter and softer than the others, meaning the taste of alcohol is less noticeable. This is because after the production process, it is stored for two months in oak barrels to absorb the woody flavor and lose some taste of alcohol.
Añejo and extra-añejo
These tequilas are even softer than the Reposado (rested), and therefore can be a good option for those (of us) who have difficulty consuming the spirit.
Although still with high alcohol content, these last two types spend 3 years or more resting in oak barrels, which makes their taste much more pleasant and easy to consume.
Differences between gold and silver tequila
Mexico has already presented us with a multitude of alcoholic drinks, with some among the most consumed in the world. In particular, tequila always gets a special mention – probably being the most famous drink Mexicans have ever produced. Originating in the Mexican city of the same name, made from the blue agave plant that gives rise to all types of drink, tequila has many admirers around the world, but we still confuse the features of each type of tequila available.
The two main types of tequila that are on the market are tequila gold and silver tequila. Some people usually think that gold has a superior quality, simply because of the relationship they make with minerals. However, some say that silver is better because of its purer colour. So, are either better than the other? And what are the main differences between gold and silver tequila? We dive deeper below.
Silver tequila is also called white, or “Mexican white,” for the more intimate. This nickname is given due to its transparent coloration, which differentiates it from the other types of tequila available in the market. The different colouring is the result of its shorter ageing time after distillation.
As the taste of silver tequila is still very strong when it leaves the distiller, the beverage needs to spend up to 60 days in stainless steel barrels. During this period, the taste is corrected, as well as the homogenisation of its alcoholic components using water – which leaves its taste smoother and easier to consume. Due to the shorter storage period and the absence of other nutrients added, silver tequila usually has the pure taste of blue agave, and is the best type of tequila to be used when mixing into cocktails.
Gold tequila is actually a blend of silver tequila, but spends 2 to 6 months resting in oak barrels after distillation rather than 60 days. This period in the wooden barrels is one of the reasons for its gold coloration. As the drink rests in these containers, the wood transmits its flavor and placement to the liquid, while helping to soften the alcohol levels present. The other reason for its yellowish coloration is that in gold tequila, other sugars are added in the production that help to compose the flavor. This also makes the production of tequila gold cheaper than its silver counterpart. Gold tequila counts on the addition of caramel essence, oak extract or natural glycerin.
This is the original tequila, produced in Mexico for more than 400 years, and contains a more striking flavor than silver tequila. Therefore, gold tequila is preferred to be consumed pure or as shots, because of its rich and more complex flavour, allowing a more striking experience.