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
Mezcal de Leyendas Verde San Luis Potosi Mezcal
97 points
$49.99
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of cucumber, melon, lime spritz, caramelized orange, Ancho chile, Maggi, and golden raisins with a round, lively, fruity medium body and a warming, massively long finish with notes of pickled ginger, sweet guava pastry, cured meats, and black olives. A sweet, savory, salty, juicy display of complexity and finesse; enjoy this Blanco Mezcal liberally.
97 points $49.99
El Tesoro Paradiso Tequila Extra Añejo
97 points
$180
Gold color. Inviting aromas of roasted nuts, candied cherries, vanilla bean, and sweet blossoms with a velvety, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a peppery, intriguing, very long ripe melons, toffee, and white pepper finish. A tantalizing melange of complex flavors that reward each sip.
Peloton de la Muerte Vegan Pechuga Mezcal
96 points
$44.99
Silvery straw color. Citrusy aromas and flavors of pickled melon and pineapple, candied jalapeño, elderflower, fresh ruby red grapefruit, and mint with a satiny, lively, dry light body and a smooth, elaborate, very long finish that shows suggestions of curry. A joyous, extroverted Mezcal with juicy fruit aromas, fresh green vegetal notes, and delicate hints of fragrant blossoms; an exceptionally balanced Mezcal for elegant cocktails and thoughtful sipping.
96 points $44.99
El Tesoro Añejo Tequila
96 points
$85
Straw color. Inviting aromas and flavors of honey-drizzled grapefruit, sweet apple compote, toffee, and sweet chamomile tea with a round, vibrant, dryish light-to-medium body and a peppery, elegant, medium-long finish with notes of pink peppercorns, ginger, and graphite. A stylish, peppery Tequila with a true sense of self.
1800 Milenio Extra Añejo Tequila
96 points
$250
Amber color. Aromas of toffee coated popcorn, peanuts, warm Madeira cake, and prunes with a satiny, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, elegant, very long allspice, mint tea, candied ginger, honey, and saffron finish. A richly flavored Extra Añejo Tequila with herbal complexity and fine balance that will keep you returning for more.
Alquimia Reserva de Oro 14 yr Organic Extra Añejo Tequila
96 points
$250
Golden amber color. Aromas of cream puff, toasted panettone, bananas foster, and polished fine furniture with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long honey-roasted nuts, peppered crackers, spiced tea, and sweet corn finish. A pastry shop of creamy flavors and well-integrated oak awaits the contemplative sipper; dry and balanced
Los Amantes Añejo Mezcal
96 points
$80
Gold color. Smoky, medicinal, complex aromas and flavors of smoked nuts and gusano, chocolate halva, hint of iodine tincture, and prairie fire embers and rubber with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, very long finish displaying notes of grilled citrus, smoked peppers, and mesquite honey finish. A delicious and satisfying añejo mezcal that coats the palate with lingering warmth and smokiness.
Fuenteseca Blanco Tequila
96 points
$89.99
Clear color. Earthy aromas and flavors of sweet potato noodles, smoked poblano, tajin, palo santo wood, oregano tea, and roasted carrot with a satiny, vibrant, dry light-to-medium body and a warming, very complex, long finish with shades of pineapple finish. An intensely herbal and earthy Tequila that will appeal to Mezcal lovers; serious agave spirits enthusiasts take note.
Awards: 2019 Best Blanco Tequila
96 points $89.99
Alquimia Reserva de Oro 14 Years Barrel Strength Organic Extra Añejo Tequila
96 points
$250
Amber color. Spicy aromas and flavors of dark caramel on rye, cedar plank, galangal, nutmeg, dark chocolate, cinnamon, cardamom, and toasted almonds with a slightly chewy, lively, fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, very long finish evoking notes of flamed orange, toffee, flan, and dark roasted agave finish. A rich and decadent Extra Añejo Tequila with excellent intensity of flavor and memorable style.