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

Herradura Seleccion Suprema Extra Añejo Tequila
97 points
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.
Grand Mayan Ultra-Aged Tequila
96 points
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
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
Demetrio Premium Tequila Blanco
95 points
Clear color. Aromas of roasted agave, yeasty sweet rolls, green apple skin, and hot peppers with a silky, vibrant, fruity light body and a tingling, medium-length spearmint, asian pear with honey, geranium, and brown coriander finish. A slightly minty and yeasty tequila for perky margaritas.
Awards: 2017 Best Blanco Tequila
ArteNOM Seleccion de 1414 Reposado Tequila
95 points
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
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
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.
Centinela Blanco Tequila
95 points
Brilliant clear color. Creamy, elegant herbal minerally aromas and flavors of cracked peppercorns, vanilla nut brittle, salty roasted sweet potatoes, and savory herbs with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, stimulating, roasted yellow pepper, chalk, and powdered honey finish. An elegant and nuanced blanco for sipping or artisanal cocktails.
95 points $39.99
El Gran Jubileo 5 Year Extra Añejo Tequila
95 points
Brilliant gold color. Herbal aromas and flavors of caramelized nuts and fruits, toasted herbs, pickled peppers, and bbq rub and chocolate with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity body and a tingling, complex, spiced honeyed dried fruits, horchata gelato, leather, and pepper dust finish. A lively and engaging extra añejo with surprising flexibility and agave freshness.
95 points $89.99
Alquimia Reserva de Don Adolfo Organic Extra Añejo Tequila
95 points
Bright golden amber color. Spicy aromas and flavors of mango-cherry chutney, toasted meringue, leather books and chair, and marinated olives and peppers with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, intricate, pencil shavings, vanilla nuts, sarsaparilla and pepper, and coconut cream finish. A rich, spicy extra añejo with lots of pleasing wood tones that will appeal to bourbon fans.