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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Backcountry Bartender: Tequila Review

Say goodbye to Jose and say hello to these tasty tequilas you won't want to miss.

by: Crystal Sagan

Take your tequila to the next level with these picks. (Crystal Sagan)
Take your tequila to the next level with these picks. (Crystal Sagan)
Corazon de Agave Blanco (Crystal Sagan)
Corazon de Agave Blanco (Crystal Sagan)
El Tesoro Platinum (Crystal Sagan)
El Tesoro Platinum (Crystal Sagan)
Cuervo Platino (Crystal Sagan)
Cuervo Platino (Crystal Sagan)
Partida Reposado (Crystal Sagan)
Partida Reposado (Crystal Sagan)
Chamucos Reposado (Crystal Sagan)
Chamucos Reposado (Crystal Sagan)
Cuervo Reserva de la Familia (anejo) (Crystal Sagan)
Cuervo Reserva de la Familia (anejo) (Crystal Sagan)

Don’t shy away from tequila just because you shared one unmemorable evening in college together. Chances are, the stuff you drank back then was a ‘mixto’ tequila anyway, and not the real deal: 100% Blue Weber Agave. The  sipable, delicious type. A mixto tequila is only, by law, required to be composed of 51% Blue Agave, and the resulting product (and next day’s hangover) is nothing to write home about.

Fortunately the tequila boom seen in recent years is bringing many premium brands previously unknown in the US to a neighborhood liquor store near you.

When looking for a tequila that will make your taste buds sing-- and not leave you in the gutter the morning after-- go for 100% Blue Agave Tequila. Anything else is likely to contain impurities and extra sugars that will leave your body less than pleased the next day. Any label that clearly states 100% Blue Agave (or 100% Puro de Agave) is a safe bet for awell-made product with no additives.

If you want to truly taste the flavor of the agave in your tequila, drink an un-aged Blanco (white/silver) Tequila. Reposados (rested) are aged for up to a year, thus their golden hue, and can have a much different flavor than the same in the form of a blanco, partially due to being aged in barrels previously used for aging other products (think whiskey). Anjeos (aged), will rest in barrels for up to 3 years, after which they take on a whole new appearance and flavor from their blanco and reposado counterparts. All 3 types of tequila can be enjoyed many ways, though carefully crafted tequila is in line with a fine scotch, and best enjoyed on its own. If this is not your cup of tea, try a Coin Style Margarita, which is made with minimal ingredients and still allows for the unique agave flavors shine through (steer clear of sour mix in a margarita unless you want to mask any flavors).

Coin Style Margarita (serves 1)
2 oz. 100% Blue Weber Tequila
1 oz. Fresh squeezed lime
1 oz. Orange Liquor (Patron Citronge, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier)

If enjoying at home, combine ingredients over ice and shake hard. Enjoy over ice or in a martini glass. In the backcountry, combine ingredients in a zip-top bag and chill in a cool stream, or under a bit of snow.

Here are some great Tequilas to try:




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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Scott
Mar 21, 2011

What about Patron?

jp
Feb 09, 2011

no, it's not in the magazine.

HK
Feb 04, 2011

Always take rum on my trips but will need to reconsider after this informative article. Never knew the differences in tequila despite living on the Mexican border for 2 decades (most consumer than student I guess).

Gr8 info Backpacker!!

Andrew Grod
Feb 04, 2011

And don't forget Don Julio and Tres Generaciaones, Ria Azul . . .

Anonymous
Feb 04, 2011

I was considering suscribing to Backpacker for my son's 13th birthday. Is this bartender segment in the magazine?

Don
Feb 04, 2011

...And Cazadores Anejo, and Sauza Commemorativo. Both very well priced for the quality!

Ken
Feb 04, 2011

Corralejo Reposado is my favorite at the moment. And I agree, no training wheels needed!

Dave Neal
Feb 04, 2011

You really need to give AGAVERO a try. Discovered this fine spirit years ago. PLEASE! do not ruin it with any additions, no salt, no lime, etc. Just sip. Yummy.

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