About Tequila, Mezcal and Agave Spirits from Mexico

About Tequila, Mezcal  and  Agave Spirits from Mexico
Mexican spirits are all about beverages made from the agave plant, with the two most famous products being tequila and Mezcal. These products range from rustic and rough to polished and world-class; they are enjoyed by the common man as well as celebrities and they are consumed throughout Mexico as well as in the United States and many other countries. While both tequila and mezcal are made from the agave plant, mezcal can be produced from many varieties from several area, while tequila can only be made from the blue agave and only from the Jalisco district. There are several types of tequila, from the most basic, clear examples that can be sipped or serve as the base of numerous cocktails, all the way up to aged (añejo) versions that have gold or amber colors, smoky, caramel and honeyed aromas and a long, elegant finish that are meant for after dinner enjoyment on their own or with a cigar. Tequila had become an enormous industry in Mexico and today the product is made by small family-owned companies as well as large multimillion dollar beverage giants. There is also a small amount of liqueurs made in Mexico, such as those made from honey, coconut and even local flowers such as the Xtabentun; production is limited, but quality is quite high.

Top Picks for Mexico

Tequila, Mezcal and Agave Spirits

Tequila Tapatío Excelencia Extra Añejo
98 points
$150
Bronze color. Aromas of fresh lumber, luxury tobacco, caramel, prune, eucalyptus, and vanilla-scented black tea with a fat body and a very long cherry-almond, dark roasted agave, sandalwood, baking spices, and root beer finish. A superlative sipping tequila that combines elegant wood with rustic, authentic agave flavors; an outstanding spirit.
Awards: 2018 Best Extra Añejo Tequila
Herradura Seleccion Suprema Extra Añejo Tequila
97 points
$350
Golden amber color. Lively, attractive aromas of bananas foster, vanilla toffee, dried fruits, and sweet spices with a satiny, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, very long honey roasted nuts, sandalwood, sassafras, and exotic spices finish. A monumental tequila with endless waves of flavor; a perfect sipper for the tequila connoisseur.
Tequila Tapatío Blanco
96 points
$35
Clear color. Aromas of black pepper on ripe green pears, coconut flesh, and fresh yellow bell pepper with a fat body and a very long finish. A soulful blanco tequila that exudes "Mexican countryside"; a must for connoisseurs.
Awards: 2018 Best Blanco Tequila
Olamendi’s Ultra Premium Organic Extra Añejo Tequila
96 points
$300
Brilliant golden amber color. Savory, rustic aromas and flavors of peppered prosciutto, smoked pear, bread and butter pickles, marinated artichoke hearts, grilled pineapple and sweet peppers, chocolate dipped orange peel, and cherry wood with a round, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, very complex, very long oregano, elotes, fine tobacco, and desert grasses finish. A wildly attractive and complex Extra Añejo with authentic style and a smoky edge; sip with respect.
Grand Mayan Ultra-Aged Tequila
96 points
$89.99
Medium copper color. Sweet, oaky aromas of cinnamon rice pudding and black tea, jamaica drink, honey cake, and leather with a lightly tannic, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, compelling, medium-long chicory coffee, cinnamon-honey, jalepeno, and cola finish. A rich, honeyed and nectar-llke tequila.
Awards: 2017 Best Tequila, 2017 Best Extra Añejo Tequila
96 points $89.99
KAH Tequila Blanco
96 points
$40.99
Brilliant clear color. Roasted, fresh floral aromas and flavors of roasted sweet potatoes and peppers, vanilla nougat, and cedar with a satiny, soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, captivating, papaya and figs, anisette cookie, wet stones, and bison grass finish. A silky, smooth blanco sipper.
96 points $40.99
Alquimia Reserva de Don Adolfo Organic Extra Anejo Tequila
95 points
$125
Brilliant gold color. Grainy aromas and flavors of caramel corn, dried cherries, crisp lettuce, kentucky bourbon, and cream of wheat with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a peppery, delightful, medium-long leather, rackhouse, and menthol finish. A grainy spirit with huge bourbon barrel influence; this is how you convince your whiskey-drinking friends to sip Tequila.
ArteNOM Seleccion de 1414 Reposado Tequila
95 points
$54.99
Straw color. Complex, rustic aromas of cinnamon purple corn pudding, coriander and vanilla, cola and fresh succulents, and pistachio paste and stewed mango with a round, fruity medium body and an intricate, medium-long earthy ancho chile pepper and alfajores with cajeta finish. A natural and complex Reposado Tequila that will be perfect with dinner, neat.
Awards: 2017 Best Reposado Tequila
95 points $54.99
El Tesoro Añejo Tequila
95 points
$54.99
Pale golden green color. Attractive aromas of aloe vera, sweet orchard fruit, vanilla nougat, and singing minerality with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, intricate, very long citrus peels, earthy tomato and sage, dried white flowers, and sweet vanilla caramel with roasted sesame finish. Sip this añejo tequila neat or on the rocks and enjoy lush aromas and rich flavor with an outstanding, traveling finish.
Awards: 2017 Best Añejo Tequila
95 points $54.99
Alquimia Organic Extra Añejo Tequila
95 points
$135
Bright amber color. Interesting, complex aromas of fresh artichoke, honey, geranium, and mexican hot chocolate with a round, vibrant, fruity sweet full body and a warming, epic, long macadamia nut brittle, dill, lime spritzed mango, and cumin and garbanzo bean finish. A tequila that displays gorgeous mature barrel notes; crafted with great finesse.