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Tequila is a spirit distilled from the Blue Agave plant near the city of Tequila in Mexico. The plants are harvested and their outer leaves cut away, the remaining heart, or ‘piña’ is retained. The piñas are collected and baked in ovens to break down their sugars. Once baked they are mashed and the resultant juice is fermented for a number of days using either specially cultivated yeasts, or commercial brewer’s yeasts, and then distilled. Tequila is distilled twice and bottled usually around 38-43%. When un-aged it is referred to as a Silver or White Tequila. Those aged in oak for a minimum of 2 months are Reposado (rested) Tequilas and those aged for a minimum of 12 months are Añejo (aged) Tequilas. Tequila usually has a powerfully grassy, herbaceous and slightly saline quality. The best examples are bottled at slightly higher strength and tend to be produced by the smaller, artisanal distillers in the region who focus on getting the best Agave character into their Tequilas.

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