Sipping Tequila to many people is a foreign idea, particularly if you're coming from a lifetime of taking shots with a slice of lime and salt. But have no fear, here at Sip Tequila, we do it differently and we'll show you how and answer some of your burning questions before you give it a go. What do you drink Tequila with? What notes or aromas should you look out for? What's the best temperature? The best glass? Learn how to drink Tequila the right way with the steps and tips below!
How to Taste Tequila
From choosing the right glass to carefully appreciating aromas, and identifying flavors, there are a few things you can do to get the full Tequila tasting experience. Read on for four key steps to take when sipping premium Tequila.
1. Proper Tasting Glass
Make sure you’re giving the Tequila the respect it deserves. We always suggest a fluted tasting glass or a well-made, flat-bottomed rocks glass — never a shot glass!
Swirl the Tequila gently around the glass to note the “legs,” or the droplets that form as the liquid recedes down the sides of the glass. The longer it takes for them to reach the bottom of the glass, the fuller the Tequila's body is. This is a popular practice used for wine tastings as well.
Give the Tequila a gentle swirl around in the glass and take note of the color - Tequilas have such a spectrum of appearances due to the many ways it can be made, or aged! Swirling and looking for “legs”(the droplets of liquid receding down the glass) is a popular practice in wine tastings, that has made its way over to Tequila tasting as well but there isn't always a direct correlation between the size, or weight of the legs, and the body of the Tequila. Instead, here we like to think we are taking a moment to appreciate the very long journey this agave has taken to get to our glass!
2. Waft for the Aromas
Tequilas are generally bottled at 40% alcohol by volume(ABV). That's a far higher ABV than wine, so where you might try to stick your nose in the glass and take a big inhale, don't do that! You’ll likely get a headache instead of the aromas you’re looking for.
Instead, keep your mouth open slightly and waft the opening of the glass back and forth under the tip of your nose as you inhale slightly. What do you smell? Caramel? Maple? Vanilla? Agave? Spices? Do you detect a prominent alcohol “burn” or does it contain softer, mellower notes?
Your tongue, gums, cheeks and the rest of your mouth aren’t used to tasting beverages at 80 proof throughout the day, so the best way to truly enjoy a sipping Tequila is to prepare your mouth for it first.
Take a small sip, then let it slowly wash over the entirety of your mouth — no need to focus as much on the flavors since this is just a rinse. You're waking your palate up! How does the texture feel in your mouth? Thick or thin? Does it dry out your palate? Does the taste linger or wash away instantly?
4. Taste Again
After you’ve swallowed that sip, go in for another. How does the Tequila taste now? You’ll likely notice that its softened and complex flavors are more noticeable already. Not sure what you’re tasting? Consult our tasting wheel for some guidance!
Folks new to tasting often get stuck on, “WHAT DOES THIS TASTE LIKE??” and being worried they'll say “the wrong thing.” In tasting, there is no “wrong thing," becoming a good taster starts by noting what what comes to mind first, and then going in to the world and tasting a lot of other things. Take note when you put honey in your tea, or taste a finely made coffee, or have the wonderful opportunity to visit a distillery and taste cooked agave fresh from the oven.
Colors of Tequila
The type of barrel used for aging the Tequila influences its color. During the barrel manufacturing process, it undergoes a toasting that ranges from light to medium to ultra-toasted. White oak — the material used to create the barrel — is also essential to the aging process and comes in contact with the Tequila to develop a unique color. The more toasted the barrel is, the richer and more intense tones are achieved.
As you sip your Tequila, note its color to get an idea of its aging process and notes. Here are some different types of Tequila and their distinct colors:
- Blanco: Most Blanco Tequilas remain unaged, giving them a crystal clear appearance. However, some are rested lightly in oak barrels for up to 60 days for a pale green hue.
- Reposado: Reposado Tequilas are aged anywhere from two months to almost a year, achieving a faint brown or gold color.
- Añejo: Añejo Tequilas mature for one to three years for a rich amber hue.
- Extra Añejo: Extra Añejo Tequilas age for three years or more. Because they spend the most time in contact with wood, they develop the deepest amber color and strongest aromas.
Best Temperature for Sipping Tequila
What's the ideal temperature to fully enjoy your Tequila? Typically, Tequila is best when served at room temperature, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
While spirits like vodka and gin are best enjoyed at cooler temperatures of slightly below 40 degrees — and preferably in a cocktail — room temperature Tequila allows you to better experience its aromas and components. However, if you prefer your Tequila chilled, have at it!
Shop Our Premium Selection of Tequila
If you want to enjoy a true Tequila tasting experience, look no further than Sip Tequila! Our premium sipping Tequilas come from the Jalisco region of Mexico so you can enjoy authentic flavors delivered right to your doorstep. Whether you have a favorite brand or a specific variety in mind, there are plenty of ways to shop for high-quality Tequilas on our website.
From bright and citrusy Blancos to robust Añejos, we've got it all at Sip Tequila. Order your Tequila online today, then follow the above steps to enjoy your beverage to the fullest!