For this week’s article, we’ve partnered with former bartender Daniel Robinson of The Fervent Shaker. Check out his blog for new recipes and inspiration.
There are two main categories every tequila falls into: mixto (blended) or 100% agave.
The former is the type you’re likely to find at a college party. It’s cheaper than 100% agave and can leave you with a nasty pile of regret in the morning. The latter, on the other hand, is as pure as tequila gets.
There are strict regulations in regards to both mixto and 100% agave tequilas. Today we’re focusing on why you should always choose 100%, but if you’re interested in learning more about the laws related to tequila, you can read about those here.
Here are three reasons you should always reach for 100% agave when drinking your tequila.
#1: No Hidden Surprises
100% agave tequila is pure agave and nothing else. Mixto, on the other hand, contains up to 49% non-agave ingredients. These usually consist of sugar cane or other distillable products, but can also include additives such as flavorings and colorings.
What makes things worse is that mixto producers are not required to tell you what they use. So you’re never going to know, completely, what’s in your bottle. If you’re the sort of person who likes to know what they’re drinking, always choose 100% agave.
#2: No Hangovers
When you drink a mixto tequila, you’re literally mixing your drinks from the very first sip. With only 51% agave, mixto tequilas have a range of other ingredients, including many distillates. That means you’re consuming more than one type of alcohol at the same time, which is why mixto tequila has earned such a bad reputation.
Responsible drinking clearly speaks for itself; but if you were to swap your mixto tequila for 100% agave, you’ll notice the difference immediately — especially if you have to get up for work in the morning!
#3: Better Taste
There are more premium tequilas than ever before, and for good reason: It simply tastes better than its mixto counterpart.
Each brand has its unique flavor profile which creates a vast array of different, great tasting tequila. While the species of agave used legally has to be the Blue Weber, the location of the distillery will affect its flavor in significant ways.
Whether you prefer yours fruity, spicy, or earthy, there’s a 100% agave tequila out there for everyone.
As outlined here, premium tequilas are superior in taste and quality, but that doesn’t mean mixtos haven’t played an important part in the 100% agave boom coming out of Mexico. This has been made possible in large part thanks to the path laid down by mixto brands, with the industry rethinking its method and creating some truly stunning premium products.