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Tequila reposado vs anejo: what’s the difference? When to use each type of this agave-based liquor? Here’s everything you need to know.
What’s the difference between the types of tequila? Blanco vs reposado vs anejo are all the same liquor, but surprisingly they have very different flavors. When to buy one versus the other? Can you substitute blanco for reposado, or anejo for reposado? Here’s what to know when you’re shopping for tequila, and a few popular cocktails that use them!
Types of tequila: blanco vs reposado vs anejo
Tequila is a Mexican distilled spirit made from a specific type of agave: the blue agave plant, or agave tequiliana. Mezcal is the category of spirit made from any variety of agave, so tequila is a type of mezcal. There are five main types of tequila, each with their own particular flavor notes.
- Tequila blanco, aka silver tequila: Tequila blanco has not been aged. The flavor is agave forward, with notes of pepper and citrus with a spicy finish. Try this Patron Margarita using silver tequila.
- Tequila reposado is aged 2 to 12 months in oak barrels (reposado means “rested” in Spanish). It has a smooth flavor and notes of oak, vanilla, and caramel.
- Tequila añejo is aged 1 to 4 years in oak barrels (añejo means “old” or “vintage” in Spanish). It tastes richer, with notes of vanilla and cinnamon. Añejo shines when drunk straight and on the rocks, so you can taste the nuances of its character. Tequila aged over 3 years may be labeled “Extra añejo.”
- Tequila joven is a mix of unaged and aged tequila. It tastes similar to tequila blanco, with hints of vanilla and spices on the finish.
- Tequila cristalino is tequila añejo that’s filtered to remove tannins, which creates a crystal clear color. The flavor has both the complexity of aged tequila and the bright notes of a tequila blanco.
When to use tequila blanco vs reposado vs anejo
What’s the right time to use blanco instead of tequila resposado vs anejo? Which works in cocktails, and which is better sipping neat?
- Tequila blanco has a straightforward flavor that’s great in cocktails like Margaritas or highball cocktails like Ranch Water.
- Tequila reposado is fantastic in cocktails; it adds a sophisticated nuance to the flavor of the drink. It makes an incredible Classic Margarita, or use it in classy spins like the Hennessy Margarita, Grand Marnier Margarita or Cadillac Margarita. Reposado adds great flavor notes to a highball drink like Tequila and Ginger Ale.
- Tequila anejo has a dark, rich flavor and is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. Don’t waste it in cocktails!
Types of tequila brands
What to look for when buying a good bottle of tequila? Rule of thumb: look for a mid-priced tequila of any age: price does indicate quality! When you’re shopping for tequila, look for 750 ml bottles in the range of $22 to $35. Anything cheaper isn’t worth buying. Here are a few types of tequila brands that we recommend:
- Espolon Blanco: inexpensive tequila blanco
- El Tesoro Blanco: mid-priced tequila blanco
- Patrón Silver: mid-priced tequila blanco
- Milagro Reposado: mid-priced tequila reposado
- Suerte Reposado: mid-priced tequila reposado
What are your favorite types of tequila? Let us know in the comments below.
Popular Tequila cocktails
Got a bottle of tequila reposado or blanco and want to add it to a cocktail? Here are the top most popular tequila cocktails to use it:
Here’s the absolute best simple margarita recipe! Serve this drink on the rocks with the classic ingredients: lime, Cointreau and tequila reposado.
- 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) tequila reposado
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Cointreau
- ¾ ounce (1 ½ tablespoons) fresh lime juice
- Kosher salt or flaky sea salt, for the rim
- For the garnish: Lime wedge
- Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt (or for a festive look, use our Margarita Salt).
- Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes and shake until cold.
- Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: Cocktails
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: Types of tequila, resposado vs anejo