CONSEJO REGULADOR TEQUILA

The tequila

It is undoubtedly the most emblematic spirit drink in Mexico, becoming an important part of the country’s culture. The tequila, to be named as such,  must be made by an authorized tequila producer that operates within the protected territory of the Appellation of Origin that includes 181 municipalities of 5 states of the Mexican Republic.  By definition, Tequila is a high alcohol content beverage obtained from its raw material, the Agave of the Tequilana Weber species, blue variety.

Elaboration

The process starts with the plantation of Agave Tequilana Weber blue variety, which has to be done within the protected territory of the Denomination of Origin. Once planted, it has to grow from 5 to 7 years, so they can be jimados (harvested). After that, the agaves are subjected to the thermal hydrolysis process, which transforms the carbohydrates into fermented sugars, and then the agave fibers and sugars are separated. From there, the fermentation starts, which achieves the alcoholic drink and its aroma and flavor characteristics. The last step is the double distillation, where the non-desirable elements are taken away. The maturing is added to the process of the reposado, añejo, or extra-añejo classes of Tequila; while the white and young Tequila classes are already ready to be consumed. 

Agave plantation

5 to 7 years to harvest

Hydrolysis

Transformation of sugars by heat

Formulation

Elaboration of Tequila

distillation

Separation of the must to obtain the liquid with high alcohol content

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jima

The leaves are cut and the pineapple is extracted

Extraction

Separation of sugars and fiber from agave

fermentation

Sugars are transformed into ethyl alcohol

maturation

Tequila rest in barrels

Categories

There are two categories of Tequila, the Tequila 100% agave which only has the sugars that come from the blue variety Agave Tequilana Weber. And, on the other hand, the Tequila category, which can have sugars from other sources, but needs to have at least 51% of sugars from the Agave Tequilana Weber blue variety.

Classes

There are five classes of tequila:

White: it goes through a double distillation and doesn’t require maturation, its alcohol percentage is adjusted with water.

Young or gold: results of mixing white Tequila with matured Tequilas.

Reposado: at least two months in contact with the wood.

Añejo: matured inside an oak wood barrel for minimum 1 year.

Extra Añejo: matured inside an oak wood barrel for minimum 3 years.