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Tequila is a Mexican designation of origin product that can only be produced in the region surrounding the town of Tequila in the Mexican state of Jalisco and limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas. At least 51 per cent of the alcohol content in Tequila must come from the distillation of the blue agave plant, while mezcal, a generic name for this category of spirit, may be produced from any species of agave and in other parts of Mexico outside the delimited area.
Agave grows differently depending on the region. Blue agaves grown in the highlands, Los Altos region, are larger in size and sweeter in aroma and taste. Agaves harvested in the lowlands, on the other hand, have a more herbaceous fragrance and flavour. The agave is not a cactus, but a spiky succulent that is related to the yucca. It takes about eight years before it is ready to harvest. After the long spiky leaves have been removed, the heart (piña) is cooked slowly to convert the starch into a fermentable sugary juice. After distillation the spirit is reduced in strength and may be aged in oak barrels before bottling.
Aged for at least a year in oak barrels.
Not aged and any colour that may have been picked up
will have been removed through
charcoal filtration.
Will have seen at least three years in oak barrels.
Not aged, but will have had caramel added to colour and
flavour the spirit.
Will have been aged for a minimum of two months in oak

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