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The Art of Tequila Tasting

Sangrita, straight up or with brownies...

Remember where you were when you first tasted tequila? Maybe on a dare from your older brother or behind the bar, slugged back quickly with your nose plugged? When I was a teenager, tequila had one purpose and since my mother might read this, I'll leave that purpose to your imagination...

the art of tequila tasting with MagdalenaToday's tequila is classed up though - and it's no longer a guy's drink. A recent visit to Cancun and a tequila tasting with only women present proved to me this the new girlfriend drink (4 out of 6 of us were tequila drinkers). What's more, choosing between Blanco, Resposado and Anejo require an experienced guide. And many, many tastings.

Meet my tequila guide: Magdalena

tequila with brownies??Set in the quiet, austere lobby of the JW Marriott in Cancun, Magdalena unveiled a bevy of fancy bottles with different colored liquid inside. And then she unveiled the brownies, oranges sprinkled with cinnamon and tomato juice and gave us our first lesson. Lime and salt dull the taste of tequila.

Second lesson, tequila is like fine wine, each is very different and all deserve to be tasted.

  • Blanco or Plata - Almost as clear as water, young (not aged) and robust in flavor. Best for mixed drinks, such as margaritas or in shots.
  • Blanco, Reposado and Anejo tequilaJoven or Oro - Pale gold color, not aged and smoother in flavor. Again, good for mixed drinks and shots.
  • Reposado - More gold in color, aged between 2 months and 1 year and somewhat smoother flavor. Most popular of all tequilas, this choice is also good for mixed drinks and shots - hello margaritaville!
  • Añejo - Deeper gold (amber), aged between 1 and 3 years and smooth in flavor. You'll want to enjoy this choice neat (no ice), chilled and sipped like a fine wine.
  • Extra Añenjo - Dark amber color, aged a minimum of 3 years and very smooth in flavor. Enjoy chilled, neat and slowly - very slowly.

Meet Tequila's new BFF's

tequila tasting with girlfriends @ Cancun's JW MarriottA tequila tasting is a sensory experience and whether you do it with your girlfriends or lover, stow the stuffiness and have fun. Open yourself to exploring how the flavors affect you, which is what matters most. Our guide began with a Blanco and progressed to the Anenjo - adding different flavors in at each stage. If you're doing a tasting at home or a restaurant, try this 4 step process.

Step 1 - Hold your glass to the light and swirl it around. Enjoy the color and the way the tequila creates legs on the side of the glass as you swirl. Yes, this is the tease.

enjoy the tequila sensationsStep 2 - Bring your glass to your chest and lower your nose into it, breathing in the full melody of scents. Now that your mouth is watering, take a sip and swirl it around before swallowing - then exhale. Enjoy the full blown symphony now taking place - air changes the flavors.

Step 3 - Repeat this process with each type of tequila, noting the changes in flavor as you progress from young to well-aged.

cinnamon oranges with tequilaStep 4 - Repeat the process with other flavors added to accentuate the tequila.

  • Sangrita - A sip of tequila followed by a sip of tomato juice.
  • Oranges sprinkled with cinnamon and tequila.
  • Brownies and tequila - my personal favorite.

I realize that repeating these steps multiple times may create a certain unhinging within your brain. That's normal so sit back, relax and don't plan anything strenuous for tomorrow.

Sangrita chasers at Cancun's JW MarriottOur guide, Magdalena, visited us from Herradura Tequila in Mexico, which is also on Facebook. Special thank you to the JW Marriott for setting up the tasting. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.


Read our other stories on Cancun:

Have you ever been to a tequila tasting? I'd love hear what you enjoyed most! Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook - and let's continue the conversation!

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