Añejo tequila is one of the most popular and beloved varieties of tequila. It is a special type of tequila that has been aged in oak barrels for at least one year, but usually up to three years, giving it a smooth, complex flavor and an appealing amber color.
Añejo tequila is a great choice for sipping and savoring, but if you’re not sure how to drink it, here are some tips to get you started.
You can drink Añejo tequila neat, on the rocks, or use it as a replacement for whiskey in classic cocktails. Other tips to help you enjoy this tequila involve choosing the right glass and pairing it with the right food.
Continue reading to know all about Añejo tequila and how to drink it like a tequila aficionado.
A Brief Introduction To Tequila
Tequila is basically distilled Mexican spirit from the blue agave plant produced in the tequila region, which consists of five states.
The majority of the world’s tequila is produced in Jalisco, one of the five tequila states. The remaining four states are Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
According to Mexican regulations, tequila must contain 51% blue agave for it to be considered tequila, but high-quality tequilas typically contain 100% blue agave.
The blue agave plant takes at least six years to fully mature, and when it does, the heart of the plant is then harvested, roasted, and mashed. The juice from mashing is then fermented, distilled at least twice, and aged in a barrel.
Tequila comes in four types depending on how long it was left to age in a barrel.
- Silver or Blanc tequila: This is aged for 0-2 months in oak barrels.
- Reposado or Rested tequila: This is aged for 2-12 months in oak barrels and has a golden color.
- Añejo or Aged tequila: This is aged for 1-3 years in oak barrels and has an amber color.
- Extra Añejo tequila: This is aged for 3 or more years in oak barrels and has a dark-brown color.
Unlike whiskey, tequilas retain their agave and don’t become over-oaked, so they don’t need to be aged for too long.
How To Drink Añejo Tequila Like an Expert
Here’s all you need to know about drinking Añejo tequila.
Choose Your Glass
When it comes to drinking Añejo tequila, the first step is to choose the right glass. The ideal glass for sipping tequila is a tulip-shaped snifter, but I personally prefer the flute glass.
These two glasses have long, slim bodies that lead the aroma of your tequila straight to your nose.
They’re specifically designed to enhance the aroma and flavor of the spirit and to allow the alcohol to evaporate slowly while you sip.
You can also opt for a wide-rimmed wine glass, which will also enhance the tequila’s flavor by letting air in your tequila to open up its flavor.
Check the Temperature
Añejo tequila should be served at room temperature or slightly chilled. If you’re serving your Añejo neat, you can chill it in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes before serving.
Appreciate the Aroma
The aroma of Añejo tequila can tell you a lot about the flavor and quality of the spirit. To properly appreciate the aroma, pour a small amount of tequila into your glass and give it a swirl.
Put your nose close to the glass and take a few deep breaths. You should be able to detect subtle aromas of vanilla, oak, and agave.
Take a Small Sip
When you’re ready to take a sip, take a small one and let it linger on your palate. Añejo tequila should be sipped slowly, allowing you to fully appreciate the flavor.
You should be able to detect notes of oak and vanilla, as well as hints of citrus, spice, and caramel.
It sounds crazy to drink tequila in shots, but you can do whatever works for you. Añejo tequila has a great taste on its own, so where we’ll disagree is adding salt or lime to it.
Salt and lime are usually added to mask the flavor of bad tequila, so steer clear of them if you’re drinking your tequila in shots.
Drink It Neat
Many Mexicans drink their tequila neat, and it has a great taste and pairs well with a lot of foods. If you’re drinking your tequila neat, drink it at room temperature. Not too hot or cold.
If you’d like to add a bit of sweetness to the tequila, you can try adding a bit of agave nectar or simple syrup. Both of these ingredients are naturally sweet and will help to bring out the flavors of the tequila.
Drink It on the Rocks
Ice makes everything better, but not too many, or you’ll end up diluting your tequila’s amazing flavor. Give your tequila a couple of stirs around the ice and wait about 2 minutes before drinking.
This lets your ice melt a bit and opens up the flavor of your tequila.
Pair With Food
Añejo tequila can be paired with a variety of foods, from light appetizers to full meals. Try it with grilled fish, tacos, or a hearty soup.
You can also pair it with a variety of desserts, such as flan or churros.
Mix With Cocktails
Añejo tequila is the perfect replacement for whiskey in cocktails. You can add it to an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan and watch it shine.
It tastes amazing with classic cocktails, and it’s a healthier option.
Añejo tequila is a unique and flavorful spirit that can be enjoyed neat or paired with food.
By choosing the right glass, checking the temperature, appreciating the aroma, taking small sips, and pairing it with the right food, you can make the most of your Añejo tequila experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can store your Añejo tequila in the refrigerator, but don’t let it get too cold if you plan to drink it neat.
There’s no one way Mexicans drink Añejo tequila, but they take it slow to enjoy all of its flavors.