What’s the Difference Between Gold and Silver Tequila?

Unraveling Myths About Additives and the True Color of Premium Tequila

In recent years, tequila has quickly become one of the fastest growing and most popular spirits on the market. It’s no coincidence that this surge in popularity has come at a time when more premium tequilas have hit the shelves, providing connoisseurs of fine spirits the opportunity to experience the depth of flavor and character that truly exceptional tequilas can offer.

Unfortunately, despite the rise in quality and popularity, many people still have preconceived ideas about tequila, which are based on its reputation as a party liquor meant for shooting rather than a fine spirit meant for sipping. Those only used to drinking tequila in margaritas or as an occasional celebratory shot might not realize the difference between a Blanco tequila and an aged Reposado. Without knowing about the different types of tequila, it’s easy to wonder if gold or silver tequila is better, and whether the tequila gets its color from artificial additives rather than a traditional aging process.

Explore how traditional tequila is made, why so many people think tequila contains artificial additives, and how you can tell the difference between party tequila and premium tequila while answering the question – what’s the difference between gold and silver tequila?

Getting Mixed Up About Mixto

Unlike vodka, gin, or whiskey, not all tequilas are created equal. That’s not to say that all vodkas or gins taste the same, but for a spirit to be considered one of these liquors, it must meet specific standards. For example, a spirit must be made from a fermented mash of cereal grains to be considered a whiskey. Any distilled alcohol lacking color or a noticeable aroma can be considered vodka, while a gin must contain some amount of juniper.

In Mexico, the only home of authentic tequila, a spirit must be made from Blue Weber agave to be considered a tequila. While premium tequila is made from 100% Blue Weber agave, the Tequila Regulatory Council, which sets the standards for how tequila is legally produced, only requires that authentic tequila consists of 51% agave. The other 49% can consist of artificial coloring, additives, and flavor enhancers. Tequila made from only 51% agave is known as mixto tequila.

Growing agave for tequila production is a labor of love. It takes between 5-7 years before agave has matured enough to be harvested and made into tequila. Because of the time and expense associated with the growing and aging process, premium tequila costs significantly more than mixto due to its higher percentage of agave and overall quality.

Most people’s experience drinking tequila comes from buying less expensive mixto brands. Because they’re used to buying lower quality tequilas that use artificial ingredients and coloring, many just assume that all non-Blanco tequila gets its color from additives.

However, a truly exceptional tequila made from 100% Blue Weber agave doesn’t need any additives to develop its honey-like color — only time.

The Secret of Gold vs. Silver Tequila

The tradition of making tequila dates back thousands of years to the ancient Aztecs. While the process has evolved over time, tequila remains steeped in history and today serves as a proud symbol of Mexican heritage.

The process of creating tequila begins by harvesting the Blue Weber agave, often by hand, to extract the heart of the agave, called the pina. The pina contains the delicate sugars that give tequila its bold and unforgettable flavor. Depending on whether the agave is grown in the lowlands (smokey and herbal) or the highlands (sweet and fruity) will influence how a tequila will taste once the distillation process is complete.

After harvest, the pina is baked and then crushed to release the aguamiel (honey water), which is collected as the first step in the fermentation and distillation process. Blanco tequila, which is clear in color, is bottled shortly after this step is completed, while aged tequilas like Reposado and Añejos begin a maturation process stored in Oak barrels.

Reposado, which translates as rested in Spanish, will age in Oak for at least two months but can age for up to a year. During this time, the tequila takes on characteristics of the Oak, such as the color and certain flavor profiles. The longer a tequila remains in contact with the Oak, the deeper its color becomes and the more robust its flavor.

Suavecito Reposado Tequila ages eight months in retired American Oak Bourbon barrels and develops a light honey-colored quality. Suavecito Añejo Tequila, aged for two years in American Oak, develops a deep amber hue. Like all premium tequilas, Suavecito Tequila is made from 100% Blue Weber agave and contains no artificial flavors or coloring. While mixto tequilas achieve a similar coloring through artificial coloring, truly exceptional tequila doesn’t need additives — just an unwavering commitment to quality.

Clear or Colored, Suavecito Tequila is Unlike Any Other

Mixto tequilas have their place as part of festive margaritas or memorable nights out with friends, but true aficionados know that nothing beats the refined flavor of premium tequila. Whether sipped neat, served over ice, or as a sophisticated ingredient in a favorite cocktail, Suavecito is ready to elevate how you experience tequila. From our lovingly crafted Reposado to our incredibly robust Extra Añejo, discover the true representation of an aged spirit with Suavecito Tequila.

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