Tequila. Oh, how we love our tequila. Sometimes a bit too much, but with over 100 types to sample in our Agave Room, there’s a lot to love. With that said, it’s best to get to know them a bit first, so here’s a quick guide to the five basic categories of tequila.
Blanco/Plata (white/silver) – Bottled straight after distillation or after sitting in neutral oak or stainless steel barrels for up to two months, this tequila is the most neutrally flavored of the five categories.
Reposado (rested) – After a solid nap in an oak barrel for up to a year, reposado tequilas are not so much “aged” as they are “rested-up and ready for anything.”
Joven (young) – Joven tequilas are the offspring of reposado and blanco tequilas, so they’re literally born for mixing.
Añejo (aged/vintage) – There’s plenty of wisdom to be found in a bottle of añejo. This tequila bides its time in an oak barrel for up to three years, absorbing the worldly flavors of the ancients.
Extra Añejo – The granddaddy of tequilas. Extra añejo tequilas slosh around in oak barrels for at least 3 years, reaching heights of enlightenment that a newborn blanco couldn’t begin to comprehend.
Aged tequilas made with 100 percent agave tend to be mellower and more complex, like a wizened old hippy with a dark past. Younger tequilas like the blanco and joven are often a bit harsher and are best enjoyed mixed into something sweeter.
So there you have it. Each tequila has something to love and is precious and unique in its own way. Stop by the Agave Room sometime and get to know one or a hundred.
With its world-renowned reputation for providing good times, we sometimes forget that tequila has an extremely rich and authentic history.
Just as champagne can only hail from the Champagne region of France, tequila isn’t tequila unless it hails from one of five different Mexican states, thanks to an official decree. Here, a native plant known as the Tequiliana Weber Blue agave flourishes.
It’s hardly surprising that the blue agave is often mistaken for a cactus, given that it is extremely pointy. The blue agave is just one of many types of agave plants, but only the blue agave can provide the flavor of the spirit that eventually becomes tequila.
For countless centuries, the heart of the blue agave plant was fermented by Indians to make a sweet alcoholic brew known as pulque. After the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, they adapted the Indian trick and began brewing their own alcoholic version out of the agave, which makes a form of tequila the oldest surviving spirit of the New World.
The first licensed distillery began around 1600, and the drink continued to evolve over the centuries, until it was commercially exported to the United States in the 1880s.
The plants are carefully harvested over the years by highly trained jimadores. After harvesting, the precious liquid is extracted by crushing the “heart,” or pina of the plant. The liquid is allowed to ferment over several days. Following this, the result is distilled once or twice. The precious liquid then “rests” in smoked whiskey and scotch oak barrels imported from the United States and Europe. The length of time the tequila ages determines its nomenclature. Blanco is almost immediately bottled. The other extreme is Extra Anejo, which must remain at rest for a minimum of three years.
At Iron Cactus, we warmly embrace the lively world of tequila. We alone serve over 100 varieties of this original New World brew at our nationally-ranked Margarita Bar. Come sample from this extensive collection during our Tequila Tour at our North Austin location at 10001 Stonelake Boulevard on Thursday, September 20 beginning at 6pm. Live music and hors d’oeuvres will be enjoyed. You can purchase tickets in advance online and save here. Join us, as we celebrate this ancient brew in our uniquely authentic way.
The kids are back at school and the air is becoming cool. That means it’s that time of the year, the annual Tequila Tour is finally here!
Let’s be honest. We can all agree that every happy memory begins and ends with tequila. So buy your tickets now by clicking HERE! A ticket is only $25 (in advance–buy now! it takes one click), $30 (at the door–why wait? be smart), and gets you 10 tequila pours, complimentary appetizers made by Executive Chef James Blanton, a true artisan and powerhouse (literally) in the kitchen, live music and entertainment, free merchandise/swag to take home, the famous Iron Cactus tequila snifter and most important, a night to create new happy memories. Bring all your friends and do the only tour where the guides pour you tequila.
If you’re still not convinced why you shouldn’t miss the annual Tequila Tour on Sept 10th at 6 p.m. at the Iron Cactus in North Austin (10001 Stonelake Blvd.), here are 11 reasons that should do the trick.
11. Be On the Iron Cactus Tequila Tour Kiss Cam.
10. Meet a cast member from the hit show Friends (depending on how much tequila you’ve had).