An Auctioneer's guide to Tequila and Mezcal, Mexico's agave spirits.

Most people's experience of Tequila is alongside salt and lime in the form of a Slammer, but there's more to this complex, flavourful spirit than that.

Tequila is a type of Mezcal (a Mexican spirit made from agave) made specifically from the blue agave plant in particular regions of Mexico including Jalisco, where the town of Tequila is located. The agave plant from which it is made is often more than a decade old before it is harvested. The piña is stripped of its spiky leaves by Jimadores and is then steam cooked (roasted in earthen pits in the case of Mezcal) and crushed before undergoing fermentation and distillation. Premium Tequilas are usually made from 100% agave, while cheaper brands must contain at least 51%.

Tequila can be aged before bottling to produce varieties known as Añejo and Reposado, or bottled as new spirit and labelled Silver, White or Blanco. 

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