How to Enjoy Tequila Like a Connoisseur

In Mexico, tequila commands respect. It's a staple gatherings and celebrations, and with the help of these 6 steps, you can enjoy it like a pro.

Mainly known as the staple ingredient of margaritas, in the North, tequila is hardly given the attention it deserves. South of the border, it’s a different story. In Mexico, this spirit commands respect – being one of the oldest (if not the oldest) distilled beverages in North America and is often the centerpiece during special gatherings. 

Created from cooking down the sweet extracts of the blue agave plant, tequila offers drinkers a variety of flavors and aromas. And the key to really enjoying it is broken out below in 6 simple steps.

Step 1: Know Your Options
First thing’s first – know what you’re drinking. There are 5 different classes of tequila: Tequila Blanco (clear, unaged tequila), Tequila Joven (essentially Tequila Blanco with additional colorants or flavors), Tequila Reposado (tequila that’s aged in wood for a period of 2-12 months), Tequila Añejo (tequila that’s aged in a barrel with a max capacity of 600 liters for 1-3 years), and Tequila Extra Añejo (aged 3+ years).

Step 2: Choose Your Glass Wisely
To really enjoy your tequila (no matter the type), you’ll want to serve about 1 oz. of it in a snifter glass. Short-stemmed with a wide bottom, you may know the snifter as a brandy or cognac glass. Its wide bottom helps evaporate the tequila, while the narrow top traps its aroma (or “bouquet”) inside the glass.

Step 3: Take a Good Look
Hold your glass up to a light or a light-colored background and observe the color. Then, gently swirl the liquid in the glass. You should notice some tequila running down the side of the glass and this indicates how much body your tequila has. The thicker the body, the more rested the tequila is.

Step 4: Stop & Smell the Bouquet
To get a sneak peek into what the tequila will taste like, first give the tequila a really quick sniff. This will reveal the floral notes. Then, take a really deep sniff from the center of the glass to reveal the bouquet.

Step 5: Enjoy
Start by taking a small sip to get used to the taste of your tequila, then take a second sip and keep it in your mouth. Exhale through your nose to experience the aromas. On your third sip, swirl the tequila inside your mouth to get more of the taste. Make sure to notice the flavors and the textures. Some finish long and sweet, others more dry and crisp.

Step 6: Take Notes
It may sound tedious, but writing down your thoughts on the tequilas you’re sampling is going to help you understand what you like. Make sure to note the color, how it smells, its body, and finish.

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