Taste

You're Drinking Tequila Wrong

We’re approaching National Tequila Day, which means for most of us, the following day is National Hungover Time. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

This year, why not celebrate one of Mexico’s greatest exports by practicing the right way to enjoy tequila? In other words, sip it. Because if you shoot tequila with salty lick and squeeze of lime, you’re doing it wrong.

David Alan, manager of trade education and mixology at Patrón Tequila, told HuffPost that the tendency toward tequila shots is a remnant of days “when crappy tequila dominated the market.” He added, “The shooting ritual was a quick way to get it down the hatch so you didn’t have to taste it. You don’t need salt and lime anymore because there’s so much good tequila on the market.”

And Americans are buying it up. According to the Distilled Spirits Council for the United States, U.S. imports of tequila grew 98 percent between 2002 and 2014.

But how do you pick the best ones to sip?

Avoid mixtos tequilas; they’re fermented with a mix of blue agave cactus and other sugars, such as cane or grain alcohol, and tend to be rough stuff. Instead, seek out tequilas made completely from agave ― they’re much smoother.

After that, Alan said, it’s taster’s choice.

“People who like something that’s more zesty and spicy generally go for blanco or silver tequilas,” which are virtually un-aged and retain the punchy agave flavors, Alan says.

If you want something with more of a woody flavor, look for color in reposado tequilas, which are aged 2 to 12 months in oak barrels, or añejos, which are aged 1 to 4 years.

“The longer you age the tequila, the less agave profile you taste, and the more wood influence you taste,” Alan said, adding that a lot of drinkers consider reposado tequilas to be “the perfect balance of agave flavor and barrel influence.”

But just because a reposado tequila is more expensive doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better.

“To me, a sipping tequila is a tequila that tastes good out of the glass when sipped on its own,” Alan added. “Why would I want any tequila on my back bar that you couldn’t sip or that didn’t taste good on its own?”

If you’re still not into sipping, below are some cocktail recipes to help make your National Tequila Day one to remember. Just drink responsibly, and you’ll remember it.

1
The Perfect Margarita
Todd Wagner
Get The Perfect Margarita recipe from Honestly Yum
2
Rosemary Bloody Maria
A Beautiful Mess
Get the Rosemary Bloody Maria recipe from A Beautiful Mess
3
Spicy Rosemary Rhubarb Margarita
Adventures in Cooking
Get the Spicy Rosemary Rhubarb Margarita recipe from Adventures in Cooking
4
Fresh Cranberry Ginger Vanilla Margaritas
How Sweet It Is
5
Jalapeño Infused Tequila with Mango Juice
Adventures in Cooking
Get the Jalapeño Infused Tequila with Mango Juice recipe from Adventures in Cooking
6
A Paloma
BS' In The Kitchen
Get the Paloma recipe from BS' In The Kitchen
7
Mango Jalapeño Margaritas
How Sweet It Is
Get the Mango Jalapeño Margarita recipe from How Sweet It Is
8
The Barfly Cocktail
Verses From My Kitchen
Get the The Barfly Cocktail recipe from Verses From My Kitchen
9
Blood Orange Margaritas
How Sweet It Is
Get the Blood Orange Margaritas recipe from How Sweet It Is
10
Strawberry Sriracha Margarita
Domestic Fits
Get the Strawberry Sriracha Margarita recipe from Domestic Fits
11
Coconut Creamsicle Margaritas
How Sweet It Is
Get the Coconut Creamsicle Margaritas recipe from How Sweet It Is
12
Carrot Bloody Maria
A Beautiful Mess
Get the Carrot Bloody Maria recipe from A Beautiful Mess
13
Spicy Tequila Sunrise
Gimme Some Oven
Get the Spicy Tequila Sunrise recipe from Gimme Some Oven
14
Fresh Pineapple Margaritas
Gimme Some Oven
Get the Fresh Pineapple Margaritas recipe from Gimme Some Oven
15
Spicy Melon Tequila Sunrise Punch
Food52
16
Tequila-Thyme Lemonade
Martha Stewart
Get the Tequila-Thyme Lemonade recipe from Martha Stewart
17
Fresh Strawberry Coconut Margaritas
How Sweet It Is
18
Frosty Mexican Bulldog Margarita
Jerry James Stone
Get the Frosty Mexican Bulldog Margarita recipe from Cooking Stoned
19
Pomegranate Margaritas
How Sweet It Is
Get the Pomegranate Margaritas recipe from How Sweet It Is
20
Tequila Mojito Cocktail
Delicious Everyday
Get the Tequila Mojito Cocktail recipe from Delicious Everyday
21
Raspberry Margarita
She Eats
Get the Raspberry Margarita recipe from She Eats
22
Make Ahead Frozen Chambord Margaritas
SouffleBombay/Food52
23
Green Margaritas
Gimme Some Oven
Get the Green Margaritas recipe from Gimme Some Oven
24
Michelada Primaverde
Casa Dragones
Get the Michelada Primaverde recipe from Casa Dragones
25
Smoky Mango Margarita With Cilantro
Erica/Food52
26
Blackberry Lime Margaritas
Gimme Some Oven
Get the Blackberry Lime Margaritas recipe from Gimme Some Oven