Straight up. No lime.
April 21, 2005 6:50 PM   Subscribe

As a burgeoning tequila snob, I have two questions: 1) What are your favorite tequilas (especially, let's say, moderately priced ones) and why? Second question inside.

2) The other day I left two shots of tequila (in steel shot glasses) sitting out on my desk overnight. The next morning, I noticed them, tried to drink one but it was completely uningestible. It tasted like it had gone rotten or something. Does anyone have an explanation for this? And does it relate to the fact that, in my experience at least, the taste of tequila tends to degenerate the longer you hold onto an open bottle?
posted by StopMakingSense to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
1) Patron "aged"(obviously)
2) Why were you drinking in the morning?
posted by Dr_Octavius at 6:57 PM on April 21, 2005

Oxygen's no good for most alcoholic beverages. Especially after some of the alcohol evaporates, the flavorant compounds oxidize and produce off flavors.

I don't really like tequila. Good tequila tastes rotten to me. The only one I can stomach straight is Cuervo, and that's not really tequila - it's made with a lot of cane sugar and other non-agavey things.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:09 PM on April 21, 2005

I loves me some 1800. Smooth for the sippin'.
posted by arielmeadow at 7:14 PM on April 21, 2005

I'm much more of a gourmand than gourmet when it comes to liquor, but I do fuzzily recall enjoying Centenario Reposado a great deal when I lived in Mexico. I once traded a semi-defunct outboard motor for a box of it when anchored at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle one time. Long story.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:16 PM on April 21, 2005

Patrón Añejo is the best tequila for my money. I like it because it's very smooth- not at all harsh like the Cuervo-styles (which people do shots of because it doesn't belong in your mouth).

You can actually sip and enjoy the "real" tequilas- they deserve as much as a place in a well stocked liquor cabinet as scotches, whiskeys, etc.

Relatively expensive though- probably $50.
posted by jeremias at 7:26 PM on April 21, 2005

All of my Mexican friends in San Diego drink Herradura (which means horseshoe). They tell me it is the shiznit, but I am not much of a connoisseur and can't tell it from Cuervo. Stay away from the cheap Mezcal sold in Tijuana, especially "Gusano rojo" which tastes like rubbing alcohol.
posted by Dag Maggot at 7:35 PM on April 21, 2005

Tequila Mexitlali. It's not available in the US yet, but you can get it at Le Cirque in Mexico City. They sell shots, but if you like it you can buy a bottle for $300.
posted by alms at 7:50 PM on April 21, 2005

I would recommend Corralejo Reposado, if you can find it. I love tequila, and it's been the best I've had to date. It is on the pricier side though, around 50 a bottle I believe. The recommendation for the Patrón Añejo is also an excellent one, it's fantastic on the rocks. The higher-end Cuervos aren't too bad, but if you're going to spending that much money on a bottle, i'd go for something like the Corralejo or Patron. 1800 is also pretty good, but I personally don't find it as smooth as the others.
posted by ilovebicuspids at 8:38 PM on April 21, 2005

Here in Oregon it's about 30 bucks as I recall. Usually more than I like to spend for anything but whisky myself but if that is in your price range, I order you to run out and find some Cazadores. As I understand it that means "hunter" in Spanish, and on the bottle, you'll find a deer. It is smooth as silk. I drank half a bottle one night, and woke up filling great. It's worth the money to be able to sip a tequila, and double worth the money to be able to drink a bottle without having to worry about a hangover.
posted by pwb503 at 9:28 PM on April 21, 2005

Basically, I'd have to ask what kind of tequila you like.

People who tend to like vodkas tend to like the blancos (the silver, clear, unaged, filtered lots): Porfidio is the top recommend on this (I think it's a German family with a distillery in Mexico) It's triple distilled and very, very clean.

The anejos (aged, the smoky, oaky ones) are more for those who enjoy Scotch. Don Julio Anejo is a top recommend on this.

The reposados (rested in oak, aged less than 6 months) -- I'm not sure who likes these, but someone who doesn't like the heavy oak flavor but wants some taste to their tequilas? These are cheaper than the anejos, obviously.

For cheaper, drinkable? Cazadores is a nice, flavorful reposado available in a really big bottle at Costco for about $50. It's nice for sipping and mixing.

I'm sure you know the basics -- avoid anything that's not 100% agave (aka Cuervo or worse) or else it's like cutting it with rum. (Well, at least it's cane sugar mixed with the agave) Anything that's not from the appropriate region is called mescal. Worms don't actually belong in tequila. For mixing drinks, Hornitos is good enough. Anything nicer is a waste. Unlike Scotch or something, once it's out of the oak, there's no benefit to aging tequilla -- Seven years old is as old as any tequilla should be.

Leaving it out overnight? Evaporation seems like a likely culprit. I've kept open, finer bottles of tequilla in the bar for up to 3 years without a problem.
posted by Gucky at 9:36 PM on April 21, 2005

Caveat: I learned all of this as a hardcore enabler and as a copywriter for liquor advertising. I actually don't drink tequilla, but I keep it on hand for guests.
posted by Gucky at 9:38 PM on April 21, 2005

You know, it's interesting you should ask this, as I just listened to an old episode of "The Splendid Table" and heard an entire segment with Rick Bayliss, where he talked about tequila. Apparently, it's not as simple as older=better, and in fact, for a lot of tastes, older=worse.

Go here and listen to the March 4 show (or just listen to the featured clip linked at the bottom of the March 4 guide). I bet it'll answer a lot of your questions.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:04 PM on April 21, 2005

I like Herradura reposado, but I just use it for margaritas.
posted by kenko at 10:06 PM on April 21, 2005

I'll second Corralejo. Also El Tesoro and the lovely new Corzo Silver.
posted by judith at 10:24 PM on April 21, 2005

Herradura Reposado for sipping. Sauza Hornitos for mixed drinks.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:27 PM on April 21, 2005

For the record (as the poster of this question), I've tried 1800 Silver, Reposado and Anejo, Corralejo Reposado (only 20 dollars in Mexico!), Herradura Anejo, Sauza Hornitos, various types of Frat Boy, watered down stuff and the dirtiest, most god-awful hangover-inducing bottle of 15 dollar Mezcal I've ever made the mistake of buying.

The best I've had of that lot are probably the Herradura Anejo, and the Corralejo Reposado which was really smooth but didn't taste like the sort of tequila I was used to (it was sort of, um, woodsy?), which sort of put me off a little at first, but I got used to it.

But for practical, economical reasons, I've been slow to start dropping 50, 60 bucks on tequila that MIGHT be good, because I hear price isn't always an indication. I've usually got a bottle of Sauza Hornitos in my freezer because it's pretty good for only 30 dollar a bottle.

As for why I'm drinking in the morning: Well, I had to clean out my glasses SOMEHOW.
posted by StopMakingSense at 10:34 PM on April 21, 2005

For good stuff, go woth Patron, Chinaco, or Tres Generations. However, that stuff is more for straight-up shots and not so much for mixing (mainly because of cost), unless you also go top-shelf with your mixers such as Grand Manier. For mixing, I also have to highly recommend Herradura or Sauza Hornitos when mixing. Both are high quality, but not Cuervo crap (though 1800 anejo isn't too bad). Use if silver, anejo, or repesado is more up to your personal flavour, though I am used to seeing top-shelfs come silver and this is as a bartender.
If it all possible, avoid cheap silver tequila...that stuff is DEATH in a bottle!
posted by jmd82 at 11:00 PM on April 21, 2005

Chinaco Anejo. It is ambrosia.
posted by jbrjake at 6:55 AM on April 22, 2005

I actually live 40 km away from the town of Tequila. Here's a local's view:
Good tequilas for drinking straight up (the only correct way of drinking tequila): El Tesoro de Don Felipe Añejo, Don Julio Añejo, Tres Generaciones, Reserva del Patron.
Mixing tequilas: Herradura Reposado, Jimador Reposado.
posted by fjom at 9:59 AM on April 22, 2005

This definitely doesn't fit within the "budget" category, but while we've got a tequila crowd: has anyone tried the new gran patron platinum tequila?
posted by rorycberger at 10:15 AM on April 22, 2005

I like Don Julio Reposado, Mexican (38%), not American (40%). Lots of little flavors dancing around in that one. It's around $30 for a bottle in Mexico. For margaritas I use Sauza Hornitos... It's cheap here ($20) and has a good bite that cuts through the other ingredients.
posted by hartsell at 10:49 AM on April 22, 2005

Another vote for the Don Julio Reposado...almost too easy to drink too much!

Also, thanks for the lesson gucky, i'll have to try some good anejos now...
posted by schyler523 at 1:02 PM on April 22, 2005

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