Tequila

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Varieties of Tequila
The agave succulent

Tequila is an agave-based spirit. The agave is a succulent plant - that is similar to, but not a cactus. Tequila is made primarily in the area surrounding Tequila, a town in an area known as Los Altos de Jalisco, in western Mexican.

Tequila is most often made at a 38–40% alcohol content (76–80 proof), but there are also several varieties of tequila produced with 43–46% alcohol content (86–92 proof). It is encountered in three principal varieties - tequila blanco, which is clear and has not been aged, has a pure agave taste and a sharper bite, tequila reposado, which has a light-golden colour, is aged for several months and has a smoother and more characteristically wooden taste, and tequila anejo, which has an even smoother and more wooden flavour.

In Mexico, tequila is drunk straight, without salt and lime. It is popular in some regions to drink fine tequila with a side of sangrita—a sweet, sour and spicy drink typically made from orange juice, grenadine (or tomato juice) and hot chilies. Equal-sized shots of tequila and sangrita are sipped alternately, without salt or lime.

Outside Mexico, a single shot of tequila is often served with salt and a slice of lime. This is called "tequila cruda" and is sometimes referred to as "tequila slammers", "training wheels," "lick-sip-suck," or "lick-shoot-suck" (referring to the way in which the combination of ingredients is imbibed). The drinker moistens the back of their hand below the index finger (usually by licking) and pours on the salt. Then the salt is licked off the hand, tequila is drunk and the lime slice is quickly bitten.


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