Best Way to Drink Tequila

Tequila is a well-liked and flexible alcoholic drink that can be enjoyed in many different ways.

Girls making a toast with tequila shots with lime

But, a lot of people don’t know the right way to drink tequila. In this article, we will learn about the various ways to have fun with tequila and give advice on picking the perfect tequila for you.

One common way that many people enjoy drinking tequila is by taking a shot of it in a small glass. But, sometimes this way is not the most effective way to understand and enjoy the different tastes and complexities of tequila.

Drinking tequila straight or with ice is a fantastic way to taste its special flavors. To truly understand the different flavors of tequila, it’s essential to pick a top-notch tequila that is made only from agave plants.

You can also have tequila in a mixed drink if you want to enjoy it differently. Margaritas are a popular tequila drink, but there are many other yummy drinks that use tequila as the main ingredient. When you mix a tequila cocktail, it’s essential to pick a tequila that goes well with the other tastes in the drink. A simple way to remember is to use blanco tequila for citrus drinks, reposado tequila for complex flavors, and añejo tequila for rich, indulgent cocktails.

Understanding Tequila

Tequila is a distilled spirit that is made from the blue agave plant, which is native to Mexico.


It is one of the most popular liquors in the world and is known for its unique taste and versatility. Understanding the different types of tequila, how it compare to other spirits, and the production process can help you appreciate this drink even more.

Types of Tequila

There are several different types of tequila, each with its own unique characteristics. The four main types of tequila are blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo.

  • Blanco: This is the purest form of tequila and is not aged at all. It is clear in color and has a strong, agave flavor. It is often used in cocktails and is a popular choice for shots.
  • Reposado: This type of tequila is aged for at least two months but no more than a year. It has a slightly golden color and a smoother taste than blanco tequila. It is a popular choice for sipping and is often served on the rocks.
  • Añejo: This type of tequila is aged for at least one year but no more than three years. It has a darker color than reposado tequila and a more complex flavor. It is often sipped and is a popular choice for pairing with food.
  • Extra Añejo: This is the most aged type of tequila and is aged for at least three years. It has a deep, amber color and a very complex flavor. It is often sipped and is a popular choice for special occasions.

Another type of tequila is joven, which is a mix of blanco and reposado tequila. This type of tequila is not aged for very long and has a unique flavor profile.

Tequila Vs. Other Spirits

Tequila is often compared to other distilled spirits, such as whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum. While they are all distilled spirits, tequila has a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from the others.

One of the main differences between tequila and other spirits is that it is made from the blue agave plant, while other spirits are made from different ingredients. This gives tequila its unique flavor and aroma.

Tequila Production

Tequila production is a complex process that involves several steps. The process starts with harvesting the blue agave plant, which is then cooked to extract the sugars. The sugars are then fermented and distilled to create tequila.

There are two main types of tequila: 100% agave and mixto. 100% agave tequila is made entirely from the blue agave plant, while mixto tequila is made from a combination of blue agave and other sugars.

Tequila is produced in several regions of Mexico, but the most well-known region is Jalisco, which is home to the city of Guadalajara. Tequila production is regulated by the Mexican government to ensure that it meets certain standards and is of high quality.

How to Taste Tequila

When it comes to tequila, there are many ways to enjoy it. One of the most important aspects of drinking tequila is learning how to taste it properly. Here are some tips on how to savor tequila like a pro.

Savoring Tequila Neat

Sipping tequila neat is the best way to truly appreciate its taste, flavor, and aroma. Neat tequila is served at room temperature and is meant to be sipped and savored slowly.

When tasting tequila, take a small sip and hold it in your mouth for a few seconds to allow the flavors and aromas to develop on your palate. Swallow the tequila and exhale through your nose to fully appreciate the aromas.

Tequila with Salt and Lime

While it’s not the traditional way to enjoy tequila, many people like to drink it with salt and lime.


To do this, lick the back of your hand, sprinkle some salt on it, and then lick the salt. Take a sip of tequila and then suck on a wedge of lime. This will help to balance out the flavors of the tequila and cut through any harshness.

Chilled Vs. Room Temperature

Whether you prefer your tequila chilled or at room temperature is a matter of personal preference. Chilling tequila can help to mellow out the flavors and aromas, making it smoother and easier to drink.

To chill tequila, you can refrigerate it or even freeze it for a short period of time. However, some tequila enthusiasts argue that chilling tequila can dull the flavors and aromas, and that it should always be served at room temperature.

Tequila Glassware

When it comes to drinking tequila, the right glassware can make all the difference. Not only does it enhance the flavor and aroma of the tequila, but it also adds to the overall experience.

In this section, we will explore the different types of glassware that are commonly used for tequila, including shot glasses, whiskey glasses, and stemware.

Shot Glasses

Shot glasses are the most common type of glassware used for tequila. They are small, typically holding between 1 to 2 ounces of liquid, and are designed to be consumed quickly. Shot glasses are perfect for serving tequila in a shot or mixed into a cocktail. They are also great for tasting different types of tequila.

Whiskey and Other Glasses

Whiskey glasses, such as the Glencairn glass, are a popular alternative to shot glasses for sipping tequila.

various shapes of whiskey glasses - Best Way to Drink Tequila

The wider bowl allows for more air to circulate, which enhances the aroma and flavor of the tequila. Other glasses that can be used for tequila include flutes, champagne flutes, and tulip glasses. These glasses are typically used for serving tequila-based cocktails.

Serving Tequila Neat

When serving tequila neat, it is best to use a small glass, such as a snifter or a copita. These glasses are designed to be held in the hand, which warms the tequila slightly, releasing its full flavor and aroma. The narrow opening of the glass helps to concentrate the aroma, making it easier to detect the subtle nuances of the tequila.

Tequila Cocktails

Tequila is a versatile spirit that can be enjoyed in many different ways. One of the most popular ways to drink tequila is in a cocktail. Here are a few classic tequila cocktails to try:

Classic Margarita

The margarita is perhaps the most well-known tequila cocktail. It’s a classic for a reason – the combination of tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur is hard to beat.

Delicious tequila and lime margaritas on an outdoor table with tortilla chips and pico de gallo

To make a classic margarita, combine 2 oz. of tequila, 1 oz. of lime juice, and 1 oz. of orange liqueur in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy!

Tequila Sunrise

The Tequila Sunrise is another classic tequila cocktail. It’s a simple drink that combines tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. To make a Tequila Sunrise, fill a glass with ice and add 2 oz. of tequila and 4 oz. of orange juice. Stir well and slowly pour in 1 oz. of grenadine. Garnish with a slice of orange and a cherry.

Paloma and Other Mixed Drinks

The Paloma is a refreshing tequila cocktail that’s perfect for summertime. To make a Paloma, combine 2 oz. of tequila and 1 oz. of lime juice in a glass with ice. Top with grapefruit soda and stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge.

There are many other mixed drinks that can be made with tequila. Some popular mixers include soda, fruit juices, and sangrita. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite tequila cocktail.

When making tequila cocktails, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients. Look for 100% agave tequila and fresh-squeezed lime juice. Agave nectar can be used as a sweetener instead of simple syrup. With a little experimentation, you’re sure to find a tequila cocktail that you love.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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