Barman hands serving mexican mezcal shot in a traditional glass with tacos and food at background in Mexico
How You Can Order Tequila At A Bar Like A Pro
By Elizabeth Thorn
Tequila’s range of possible flavors gives it a versatility that can make ordering at the bar feel daunting, so it pays to know your stuff in order to catch its special nuances.
Be sure to choose a tequila made from 100% pure blue agave, which gives tequila its unique, complex flavor profile and signature smooth texture.
Many tequila connoisseurs recommend tequila brands with sustainable farming methods, as it shows a commitment to honoring the blue agave plant and its place in Mexican culture.
Beyond knowing what brand to request, it’s helpful to learn about tequila’s aging categories: blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo, all of which offer different tastes.
Blanco (silver) tequila has a light agave flavor accented by citrus and pepper notes, while reposado (straw-hued) tequila tastes of roasted agave and has an enhanced woody taste.
Añejo (dark brown) has distinct flavors of dried fruits, warm spices, vanilla, and nuttiness, and extra añejo (dark brown) can be reminiscent of caramel and chocolate.
Once you decide on a brand, choose a single-origin tequila for the best experience possible and order it neat, meaning without any ice or extra mixers.
Ask the bartender for the brand name first, then note your ordering preference. Tequila is usually served in a 2-ounce tumbler or fluted glass at 70 degrees F.
A bit of water in higher-alcohol tequilas helps express a broader array of flavors, so order stronger bottlings “neat with a splash of water” to get more out of the spirit.