There’s more to tequila than the classic salt, shot, and lime routine. The spirit’s fruity and earthy flavour lends itself well to being stirred into cocktails and poured into marinades. And if you’ve yet to fully appreciate that signature agave-goodness that comes with every sip, we’ve got a list of a few of the best tequilas in India to shop for.
From wild college parties to elegant cocktail affairs – tequila knows how to show up to a celebration. The versatile spirit is the star of many popular concoctions (margarita anyone?), perfectly complementing citrus juices, tonic water, grenadine, ginger, beer, and a host of other delicious ingredients. This, along with the fact that many celebrities – including Nick Jonas – have recently launched their own brands of the spirit could be why it’s currently enjoying its time in the spotlight. Tequila owes its production to Mexico and the agave plant. The core – called pina – is roasted in industrial ovens before being fermented and distilled in copper pots.
Those bottled immediately – Blanco tequila – are perfect for mixology enthusiasts to experiment with. Those aged for a few years in an oak barrel – anejo tequila – take on a smooth quality that’s worthy of replacing fine whiskies in your on-the-rocks ritual. And those distilled and aged for a few months to take on an amber hue – reposado tequila – work well in most situations. It’s important to note that any tequilas produced outside of Mexico are called mezcals. That aside, regardless of which best suits your palate and lifestyle preferences, experts agree that the spirit is a must-have in any home bar. Here’s our pick of a few of the best tequilas in India that are on our radar.
These refreshing tequilas are the best in India at the moment
Código 1530 Rosa Tequila
Wildly popular amidst tequila connoisseurs, Codigo closely guards its production process – staying true to centuries-old Mexican customs and codes. Their Rosa spends a month in uncharred Napa Valley Cabernet French White Oak wine barrels. This enriches the natural agave juice in the spirit and gives it a subtle pink hue. On the palate are earthy notes with hints of red fruit and wine. The finish is long, smooth, and floral. If you seek a fine, breezy option for your home bar, this one’s worth the splurge.
Price: Rs 14,800 approx. (750 ml)
Known to produce some of the finest, most meticulously bottled handcrafted tequilas in the world, Patron promises quality ingredients – read, blue agave – in every sip. Their Silver is carefully distilled in small batches. It pours crystal clear and has the distinct aroma of fruits and citrus. On the palate are notes of pepper, banana, green apple, grapefruit, and citrus. The breezy Blanco tequila has a smooth, sweet quality that works well in cocktails. Your margaritas will never be the same.
Price: Rs 9,950 approx. (750 ml)
Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Extra Añejo
Award-winning brand Jose Cuervo has a reputation for producing quality spirits that goes back to 1795. The name behind some of the most expert-recommended tequilas in the market – their Reserve De La Familia range, in particular is quite coveted. The Extra Anejo is the first of its kind in the world, featuring 10-12 year old hand-selected agaves from the family’s private collection.
Aged in American and French oak, the spirit is aged for about five years, which lends it an amber hue. On the nose are hints of caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, orange, and blackpepper. Every sip, meanwhile, is reminiscent of dried fruits, cherry, custard, and milk chocolate. The finish is long and creamy, with an unmistakable smokiness. This makes the tequila perfect to sip neat.
Price: Rs 20,000 approx. (750 ml)
Corralejo Reposado Triple Distilled
One of the oldest tequila producers in Mexico, Corralejo is a classic choice when it comes to agave spirits. The Reposado Triple Distilled is a unique expression that first goes through a copper pot, then a column still method, and again through the copper pot. Made from blue weber agave, it’s rested in American oak. The payoff is a smooth tequila with refreshing notes of citrus. The spirit pours a light straw. On the nose are hints of vanilla, peppercorn, and cooked pear. Every sip, meanwhile, is reminiscent of lemon, oat, honey, and vanilla. The finish is smooth, silk-like – perfect for cocktails and sipping on the rocks – making it one of the best tequilas in India.
Price: Rs 12,450 approx. (750 ml)
El Jimador Reposado
Named after the farmers who helm the tequila-making process by harvesting agave plants, El Jimador has been around since 1994. Known to produce quality, affordable tequila, every drop is the payoff of meticulous production processes at Jalisco, Mexico. The Reposado features hand-harvested blue weber agave, which is naturally fermented and then distilled. It enjoys a two-month stint in handmade American oak barrels until it takes on a stunning, golden hue.
On the nose are hints of vanilla, toasted wood, and spices. Every sip is warm, smooth, and reminiscent of toasted hazelnuts. The finish, meanwhile, is soft and long. If you’re just starting out on your tequila journey, this is a flavourful option to invest in. That said, it often receives mixed reviews from experts and aficionados alike so your mileage may vary.
Price: Rs 4,000 approx. (750 ml)
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