In February, my husband and I went to Mexico to soak up some sun (a commodity in short supply during your average Toronto winter). Naturally, I was eager to expand my cocktail palate as well by trying some good tequila, a spirit I’d only had in margarita form.
I quickly learned that there are a few different types of tequila:
- Blanco/silver — A clear, unaged spirit.
- Gold — Silver tequila with coloring and flavoring added to mimic reposado/añejo tequilas. Generally disdained by tequila snobs, except for certain brands that are actually a blend of unaged and aged 100% agave tequilas.
- Reposado — A tequila aged in oak barrels for 2-11 months.
- Añejo — Aged for at least one year in oak. “Extra Añejo” tequilas have been aged three or more years.
I decided to cut my tequila-drinking teeth on the more delicate silver tequilas. After a few experiments at the bar and a much-appreciated assist from a friendly liquor store tequila expert (who poured us free samples!), we came home from Mexico with a bottle of this Aha Toro Blanco Tequila.
This super-smooth tequila mixes herbal, vegetal notes with a lovely sweetness. The finish is clean with an aftertaste of white pepper. This is a perfect sipping tequila — it doesn’t need salt or lime to make it palatable, it’s delicious on its own.
Interestingly, when Econo Man and I made a margarita with our fancy tequila and taste-tested it against a margarita made with Jose Cuervo Silver, we both agreed that we probably wouldn’t make Aha Toro margaritas again. The delicate flavors of the Aha Toro were completely drowned out by the lime and triple sec, while the rougher edges of the Jose Cuervo were smoothed by the additional ingredients. I think we’ll stick to the less expensive stuff when mixing tequila cocktails and save the Aha Toro for sipping! (Note: this may not hold true if you’re mixing with reposado or añejo tequilas.)