The Sipping Point

Why shoot the bad stuff when you can sip on the good stuff?

Tequila has a historically bad rap of reminding us of sweaty college bars, lime and salt, and nights out where unspeakable things happen. But proper premium tequilas have arrived in Canada and are making their presence known in a big way. Premium doesn’t automatically mean more expensive, it just means that you’re drinking a 100 per cent agave spirit just the way tequileros intended. The spirit is split into three sub categories, differentiated by how long the tequila is aged: blanco (zero to two months), reposado (two to 11 months) and anejo (one to three years); they all have unique flavour profiles and appeal to different people. We’ve rounded up six of the best. There’s a tequila for everyone — available in all the NEXT Three Cities!

OLMECA ALTOS PLATA

Olmeca

Altos Plata

The square bottle is unique, but what’s inside is more special. From the highlands of Jalisco, the vegetal undertones are boosted by a nice clean agave sweetness with a lime-like finish. If a bar has this as their rail (well) tequila, you’re in good hands. Works excellently in margaritas, palomas and El Diablos!

Tromba Tequila Blanco

Tromba

Tequila Blanco

This tequila is the partnership between Canadian businessperson Eric Brass and Maestro Marco Cedano. Launched in 2010 and now the No. 1 independent tequila in Canada, its balanced profile and pineapple sweetness are unmistakable. Delicious and refreshing with some soda and a grapefruit twist and the perfect tequila blanco sipper.

Herradura Reposado

Herradura

Reposado

Out of one of the oldest houses in Jalisco, this is the world’s first reposado tequila. This smooth spirit is aged in ex-American bourbon barrels for the longest legal amount of time, 11 months. This gives it wonderfully complex banana caramel flavours and a nice roundness — for those who truly appreciate quality booze.

Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado

Jose Cuervo

Tradicional Reposado

Didn’t expect to find Jose Cuervo on this list did you? This is an affordable, entry-level reposado to get behind. Aged lightly — approx. two months — it’s quite spicy, with notes of cooked agave, vanilla and a hint of cinnamon. Workhorse in any cocktail you feel like making. Try using it in a Rosita cocktail.

1800 Coconut Tequila

1800

Coconut Tequila

Every bartender claims their margarita is the best margarita. They’re all wrong. A margarita made with this lovely coconut tequila will be the best. Don’t let the idea of flavoured tequila fool you, it’s wonderfully integrated and shines when you support it with lime juice, Cointreau and some sugar — a.k.a. a margarita.

Cenote Anejo

Cenote

Anejo

Can’t have a tequila list without at least one slightly baller tequila. Cenote is not as popular as the other brands, but this one-year anejo definitely takes the cake. Warm caramel, vanilla and cooked agave with a black pepper finish, this tequila was made for old fashioneds and after-dinner enjoyment.

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