Tequila! A great song, written by Chuck Rio, is full of Mexican-flavored surf instrumentals and was made famous by “The Champs” in 1957. But tequila is also a multifaceted liquor from the Mexican state of Jalisco. While it is a critical component of most of the cocktails made at our sister restaurant www.nachohippo.com, You will also find similar treats at Pawley’s Raw Bar.
There are more than 1000 Tequila brands to choose from, and even though we have done a great job narrowing down the selection to the quality we think is best for Pawley’s Raw Bar, it does help to know the different types, or at least the categories they fall into, even though it isn’t an exact science, so you can enjoy your margarita just the way you like it.
Similar to Champagne, tequila originated from a region. Originally all tequila came from the Mexican state of Jalisco and received its name from its host city. However, Mexican law now allows certain quantities of tequila to be produced in other cities. Again, similar to Champagne, the name tequila is protected as a Mexican designation. So much so that in the United States and Canada, that protection is written into NAFTA.
On to the important part! There are two main types of tequila: 100% Blue Agave and Tequila Mixto (or Mixed tequila). Tequila Mixto requires a combination of at least 51% Blue Agave and a mix of other sugars. Tequila Mixto also allows caramel coloring, flavoring, and sugar-based syrups. From here, the two categories get broken into 5 types.
Tequila Silver – Blue Agave in its purest form. Clear and typically un-aged. The authentic flavors and intensity of the agave are easy to detect, as well as the natural sweetness. This tequila can be bottled directly after being distilled or stored for up to four weeks in stainless steel tanks. This product is typically referred to as Tequila Blanco.
Tequila Reposado – This is the first stage of aged tequila. It is aged in wood barrels or storage tanks. Usually, it is stored from 2 months up to 11 months. The tequila tends to develop a golden hue, and the flavor becomes a pleasant balance between the sweet agave and the oaky flavor from the barrels it has been stored in. Some tequila distilleries age their liquor in used bourbon/whiskey/cognac/wine barrels and allow the tequila to inherit some of the flavors of the previous spirits.
Tequila Gold – Typically a Mixto, there have been colorings and flavorings added prior to the bottling of this tequila. Usually a very “young” liquor, this tends to be a less expensive tequila and is used by most restaurants and bars for “mixed drinks.” Of course, there are exceptions. Tequila Gold can combine Silver and Reposado tequilas and keep the 100% Agave classification.
Tequila Añejo – This tequila has aged for at least a full year but cannot be stored in a barrel exceeding 600 liters. This aging process darkens tequila to a fine amber color and makes the liquor smoother, richer, and more complex.
Tequila Extra Añejo – A classification added in 2006, this “ultra-aged” tequila has been stored in barrels for over 3 years. The longer the product is aged, the darker it becomes, taking on more of a mahogany coloring. During that time, it becomes so rich that it is challenging to distinguish the tequila flavors from other high-quality aged spirits. After the aging process, the alcohol must be diluted by adding distilled water. Extra añejos are incredibly smooth and complex flavored liquors.
What does this mean to you? It enables us to make you several different levels of margaritas with several flavor profiles. But when you reach the bottom of the glass, all that will matter is that the bartender made you a delicious drink and served it with a smile.
This blog may have focused heavily on tequila, but it isn’t the only alcohol we offer. We offer a full-service bar at Pawley’s Raw Bar and will happily make you many different concoctions.
If you are interested in checking out our menu, visit us online here: www.pawleysrawbar.com
Did you know that Pawley’s Raw Bar is part of the Divine Dining Group family of restaurants? Check out our sister restaurants, view our open staff positions, and/or purchase gift cards for your next visit here: https://divinedininggroup.com/