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:: January 30, 2014

How to Taste Tequila

Hosting a tequila tasting for group of friends or just interested in learning how to drink tequila? Here’s how we recommend to properly taste tequila.


riedel glasses


Get the right glasses

Put away the shot glasses. First, they will cheapen the experience, but more importantly, in doing so you will end up compressing the rich aromas.


What to use:

Not looking to buy new stemware? Use a champagne flute, like we do when tasting Blue Nectar before bottling each batch. You could also use a small brandy snifter or a white wine glass.


Serious about tequila? Pick up the official tequila glass. Made by Riedel, the Ouverture Tequila Glass is the only glass designated for tasting by the Tequila Regulatory Council.


Check it Out

Get the right glasses; get the right tequila. If the bottle doesn’t say 100% agave (see ours below), it’s a “mixto.”


A mixto is made from 51% agave juices and 49% non-agave sugars, leading to a harsher product. Any coloring in mixtos is due to the caramel that’s added to make them smoother and darker. You may know mixtos as “Gold” tequilas in the US.



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Warm Up Your Mouth

Start by taking a tiny sip. Use your tongue to rub the tequila over the inside of your mouth. Make sure to cover the gums, tongue, inside the cheeks. Swallow, and breathe out through your mouth. Now you’re ready to taste.


Savor the Aroma

Although you might be tempted to sniff tequila like wine, you will be in for an unhappy surprise. Instead, take three small sniffs. First, without moving the liquid. Second, while swirling the tequila to let the aromas out of the glass. Or you can try sniffing through either nostril.


Taste it slowly

Start with a very small first sip to get your palate used to the tequila. While the tequila is in your mouth, breathe in through your nose, swallow and then exhale. Continue with small sips.


Define the Taste

Similarly to wine, tequila can be defined by terroir.


Highland agaves grow at a higher altitude in red, iron-rich soils and tend to grow larger. Highland tequilas typically impart fruit, sweet and citrus notes.


Lowland agave plants grow in drier, volcanic soil in the tequila valley and tend to grow smaller. Lowland tequilas typically impart mineral, pepper, herbaceous and earthy notes.


Blue Nectar Tequila is made from estate-grown, lowland agave plants.


Cleanse Your Palate

Don’t spoil the tasting by forgetting to rinse between each tequila you are tasting. We recommend sips of sangrita but feel free to use water.