Whether you’re drinking your bourbon neat or in a cocktail, this is a guide on how to enjoy drinking tequila for the bourbon drinker.
To begin, it’s important to understand what makes a good tequila. This basic explanation is concocted, pun intended, with the assumption you already know about basic bourbon and your own preferences.
Good tequila is meant to be enjoyed with its terroir presented. With bourbon, you’re not so much into white lightning, but more into the aging of the whiskey, barrel char levels, and the nose and tasting profiles that result from that.
With tequila, aging it too much causes the barreled tequila to lose out on its nuance and craft of the distillation process. Blancos and many reposados will show the best expressions for a high-quality tequila – especially tequilas without additives.
However, if you know for certain you love bourbon and simply are not a fan of a young tequila, you’re going to want to go for anejos, extra anejos, and other tequilas which have been aged for more than a year. You’ll start to pick up a lot more on caramelization and other familiar tasting notes.
You’ll notice many of the high-quality extra anejo tequilas tend to be much more expensive. If you see a budget or cheap extra anejo, chances are it probably isn’t very good or is full of additives to achieve a specific flavor.
In fact, all those horror stories of the worst headache ever brought on by tequila? It is my personal anecdotal experience that additives in tequila cause these hangovers. All the times I’ve drunk a looooot of tequila or mezcal without additives, I’ve felt in way better shape the next day.
Table of Contents
Budget Picks (Under $40)
- Tres Agave – One of the cheapest additive free options available
Value Picks ($40-$80)
- Don Fulano
- Don Julio – One of the safer tequilas, specifically crafted to appease American taste buds
- Fortaleza – Best bang for your buck on a high-quality tequila
- Ocho – Try when your taste buds are ready for more of an agave forward experience
- Siembra Valles
- Siete Leguas
Expensive Tequilas ($80 and up)
- Cascahuin Extra Añejo
- El Tesoro
- Ocho Extra Anejo Tequila
- Siete Leguas D’Antano Extra Anejo
Some other options to consider trying are blends, for example between Blancos and Reposados, often titled Joven.
- Libelula Tequila Joven
- Los Lobos Joven
Cocktails with Tequila for the Bourbon Drinker
So, you like a good bourbon-based cocktail? This selection of cocktails takes that familiarity and sticks it with a big piece of agave, leaving you with just a bit of familiarity with these insanely delicious cocktails.
- But First, Coffee
- Choke Artist
- Dreams of Alebrijes
- El Chapulin
- False Start
- Grasshopper King
- Noche Triste
- Palo Negro
From recipes using locally sourced ingredients and terroir-centric cooking, craft cocktails, to the latest in tech and home DIY projects, Michael yearns to share his learned and found knowledge of the world.