Gold vs Silver Tequila
Tequila is the national drink of Mexico, and perhaps one of the best guarded secrets as far as intoxicating drinks the world over is concerned. You can make scotch anywhere in the world, but that would not stand in comparison to scotch whiskey made in Ireland the same applies to Tequila, the spirit loved by millions across the world. The origins of Tequila are traced back to around 2000 years ago when it was mostly used during religious ceremonies, and its use as an alcoholic drink to make cocktails has evolved in the last century or so only. There are many different types of tequila of which gold and silver are most famous. People remain confused by differences between gold and silver tequilas. This article tries to clear the air by highlighting these two types of tequilas.
Tequila is not really tequila unless made in Mexico. And to be frank, the base ingredient has to be blue Agave, a plant related to Lily family. Once tequila has been processed and fermented, it belongs to a category that is decided on the basis of its taste and aging along with ingredients added. You cannot categorize different qualities of tequila as good, bad or worst but only as different from one another. However, the grading does tell about the process adopted after fermentation has been done.
If you want raw tequila, what you need is silver tequila, also called white or clear one, it is easier to find because it looks just like water. There are many brands selling silver tequila though connoisseurs do not like this tequila that has not been aged and is without any additives. These tequilas contain low percentage of agave and are made up with sugars and other alcohol flavors. Silver tequila is always used to make cocktails.
There is no difference between silver and gold tequilas, except that they are aged in wooden barrels and often added with caramel and other substances to give them a golden appearance. These tequilas are also used for mixing.
Whether silver tequila or gold tequila, both are un-aged unlike the Reposado, which is tequila that has been aged in large wooden casks for at least 2 months. It is to be reposado, even if aged till one year, but it is labeled as anjeo if rested or aged for a period of 1-3 years. If you are looking for the word agave, but there is no mention of agave, the tequila in your hand is most certainly mixto. To be qualified as agave, tequila needs to have agave percentage higher than 51%. Madero is another type of tequila that has been aged for even longer (perhaps 5 years or more). All tequilas have different tastes, and there are lovers of both gold as well as silver tequilas. Most of the time tequila is used to make up cocktails, but some enjoy tequila all alone. The price of tequila goes up with the amount of time it has been rested or aged.
When tequila is rested in glass or steel tanks rather than wooden barrels, tequila becomes clear and is referred to as silver or white tequila. It is also called Blanco. If tequila is aged in wooden casks, it develops different flavors depending upon the wooden barrel. This tequila has a golden appearance thereby being referred to as gold tequila or oro. There are unscrupulous manufacturers who make use of caramel to turn tequila not having a high percentage of agave into gold tequila.