Host a Tequila Tasting Party
Here's our guide to hosting a tequila tasting party, complete with links to five party-friendly recipes that pair perfectly with the various styles of tequila.
What You'll Need for Your Tequila Tasting Party
The three styles of tequila are defined by the method and length of the aging process they go through and each has its own unique flavor and aroma characteristics.
Bottled immediately after distilling, Tequila Blanco has the purest blue agave flavor. Its aromas are crisp and can include notes of citrus, apple, pear, mint, pepper or pineapple.
Aged in wooden storage vats called pipones for anywhere between 2 and 12 months, Tequila Reposados offer mellow aromas of vanilla, honey, caramel, butterscotch, almond, toffee or spice.
Aged for at least one year, Tequila Añejo develops a rich color and subtle oaky flavor. Its aromas can include notes of vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, almond, toffee, chocolate, oak or spice.
Although tequila is often served in shot glasses, the best choice is actually a stemmed glass with a short bowl that tapers slightly toward the top. White wine glasses can be used as a substitute.
For the best experience, be sure to clean the tasting glasses between the different varieties.
What To Serve
Here are 5 Mexican-style party recipes that are perfect to serve along with your tequila. The recipes are pictured above, top to bottom, left to right.
Mexican-Spiced Cocktail Meatballs
These cocktail meatballs are flavored with Mexican-inspired ingredients like cinnamon, cumin, lime and cilantro and are served with a mole-style dipping sauce.
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Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche with Tequila
This ceviche recipe is an easy, light appetizer made with tequila and lime-marinated shrimp and bay scallops, fresh oranges, jalapeño peppers and cilantro.
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How To Taste Tequila
Your tequila should be served at room temperature and each pour for tasting should be 1/2 ounce.
Step 1. Hold the glass to the light and make note of the color. Tequila blanco should be crystal clear, reposado a golden color and anejo can range between golden and a deeper amber.
Step 2. Swirl the tequila to release the aromas, then, holding the rim of the glass about 1/2 inch from your nose, give it a sniff. Tequila blanco may have notes of citrus, apple and pear while the reposado and añejo varieties may exhibit aromas of vanilla, honey, caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, almond, toffee or chocolate.
Step 3. Take a sip of the tequila and hold it in your mouth for a moment, allowing it to coat your tongue. Swallow and then exhale through your mouth to mellow the "burn." The flavors you experience should include some of the aromas you've already noted.
Step 4. Evaluate the texture and finish. Tequila can be smooth, mellow, full-bodied or light and flavors that linger on the palate are considered to be a long finish.
For more details on tasting and appreciating fine tequilas, read "How To Taste Tequila" in our Wine and Spirits section.