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Tequila Shots

Tequila 101: An introduction to Tequila

A little tequila, sunshine, and tacos never hurt anybody

-Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyer’s Club


Tequila, an essential ingredient in Margaritas, is one of the most popular spirits in the world. Known for its reputation as a party drink, the spirit has expanded in the recent years into the high-end category with brands such as Patron, George Clooney’s Casamigos, The Rock’s Teremana etc.

Tesla Motors (known foremost for its amazing electric vehicles) also sells Tesla Tequila for $250.


The making of pulque, as illustrated in the Florentine Codex
The making of pulque, as illustrated in the Florentine Codex (Book 1 Appendix, fo.40)

Tequila is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant. The spirit dates back to age of the Aztecs where they discovered that a milky white liquid – “pulque” could be made from fermenting the heart of the blue agave plant. This milky liquid was an important part of the Aztec civilization as they worshipped two Gods known for their relationship with this spirit.

The most common theory of the creation of this drink as we know can be attributed to Spanish Inquisition. The Spaniards loved their brandy and as supplies were running low, they looked for alternatives and improvised with Agave giving birth to Tequila.

In 1974, the Mexican Government declared this spirit as its intellectual property and formed the Consejo Regulador de Tequila better known as the Tequila Regulatory Council (TRC) to uphold high quality standards surrounding the spirit.


Blue Weber Agave
Blue Weber Agave/ Photo by: Stan Shebs

Tequila can only be made in certain states of Mexico and must be made using the blue agave plant which is native to Mexico.

Farmers (known as Jimadors) first harvest the agave and cut off the plants spiky leaves using a knife-like tool called the Coa. This exposes the heart of the agave plant which is halved and quartered. This is then cooked in traditional ovens for 24-24 hours which is pressed to release a sugary liquid. Water is added and the mixture is distilled in pot stills. This spirit is then left to ferment in wooden vats or stainless-steel tanks. This fermented brew is distilled to form Tequila. 


The TRC mandates that at least 51% of the sugars must come from blue agave when making this spirit. Hence the spirit can either be labelled ‘Tequila 100% agave’ or just ‘Tequila’

 ‘Tequila 100% agave’ mentioned on a label indicates that blue agave was exclusively used in the making of this spirit. This gives a more pronounced agave character. The other varieties are simply labelled ‘Tequila’

Blanco or Silver: This is the most common type of Tequila. They are the purest expression of this spirit. It is unaged and have pure agave characters.

Some of the Blanco or Silver types in our range are Pepe Lopez, Agavita, El Jimador Blanco, Camino Real Blanco

Oro or Joven or Gold: This type is also unaged but has a golden hue in colour. The colour is derived from the addition of caramel.

The Camino Real Gold is a good example in this category

Reposado: This type is typically aged in oak barrels for 2 to 12 months. This helps mellow the spirit giving subtle hints of vanilla notes in the tequila. Prominent agave notes are still retained by the spirit.

The El Jimador Reposado is the signature Reposado in our range

Añejo: These Tequilas are aged in oak barrels for at least 12 months giving out prominent oak and agave notes.

Extra Añejo: The newest classification which denotes that the spirit that has been aged for more than three years.

Shop the widest range of Tequila in Sri Lanka online at Ceylon Spirits.

Cover photo created by valeria_aksakova –
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