Each margarita recipe is, by definition, a margarita tequila recipe. To make a good drink you need to know what is the best tequila for margaritas.
There is a stunning variety of tequila
brands and varieties
Therefore, what this article is not going to do is to tell you a specific brand and type of tequila that will always work best. That just wouldn't be helpful, or universally true.
Instead, this article explains about the various types of tequila, and lets you decide what is the best tequila for margaritas that you want to make and drink.
Tequila is made from blue agave plants, and is processed and distilled to make tequila. To legally be called tequila it must be comprised of at least 51% blue agave, but many people claim that the best tequilas are those which are made from 100% blue agave.
When tequila does not contain 100% blue agave the other 49% is comprised generally of sugars and fillers. Although many purists claim that you should only use 100% blue agave in your margaritas, these types are much more expensive. In addition, once you begin mixing the tequila into a margarita many others claim that the fillers don't make that much difference, because of the other ingredients in the margarita that mask the flavors of the alcohol.
As part of my quest to find the perfect margarita recipe I will be trying margaritas made with both types of tequila, and will report back here with my opinion of which is better, based both on taste and price.
After the tequila is distilled it can turn into one of four major types of tequila, depending on what, if anything, is done to it next.
Silver tequila - This variety, also known as white tequila, is not aged at all, and is clear in color. Basically, after the distillation process is complete this variety is bottled and can be sold immediately. It has a strong alcohol flavor, but blends well with many margarita recipes because it lacks any other flavor. It can have a bit of a bite to it though, because it is not aged at all.
Gold tequila - This variety is named "gold" not because of its superior quality, but instead for its color. Generally, gold tequila is not 100% agave tequila, but instead has flavoring and sugar added which turn it a golden brown. Most connoisseurs turn up their nose to this type of tequila, but others say it is the best variety to use when you are blending a margarita which also contains beer, since the two flavors blend well together.
Tequila, aging in wood barrels
in Jose Cuervo distillery in Tequila, Mexico
Anejo - This type is aged for at least a year, but is often matured for up to four years. It is the most expensive type of tequila, because it is aged so long. Anejo is aged in wooden barrels too, and after this long period of time the color of the tequila changes to an amber color, and takes on the flavor of the wood it is aged in. Because of this woodsy flavor this type of tequila does not blend well in margaritas, and is considered so fine it is generally sipped and appreciated without mixing it with anything at all. Therefore, this type of tequila is not generally found as an ingredient in margarita tequila recipes.
As you can see, the answer to this question is pretty complex. It varies depending on how much you want to spend, and what type of margarita tequila recipe you want to blend it in.
In each of the recipes I provide you on this site I will tell you which tequila I suggest using, if I believe one will work better than the another. Tell me below in the comments which tequila you like to use, why, and in what type of recipes.
2nd Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons