- A distilled spirit made from the blue agave plant (Agave tequilana). Tequila takes its name from the city of Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico, which serves as the center of its region of production. Tequila is technically a variety of mezcal, though they are commonly referred to as separate categories.
In order to be labeled as a tequila in most countries, the spirit must be produced entirely in Mexico. It must also be distilled from a mash of at least 51% blue agave, and tequila made with less than 100% blue agave is referred to as a mixto tequila.
Tequila is usually aged in ex-bourbon American oak barrels, and it is broken into one of four categories by age:
- Blanco tequila (also known as plata or silver) is typically not aged in oak barrels at all, though it may be aged for up to two months.
- Reposado tequila (Spanish for “rested”) is aged for at least two months, but less than one year.
- Añejo tequila (Spanish for “aged” or “vintage”) is aged for at least one year, but less than three years.
- Extra-añejo tequila is aged for a minimum of three years.