What Does Tequila Taste Like? A Detailed Guide

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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of having shots? I’m guessing that the answer here for most of us would be tequila! But have you never tried tequila? Wondering what tequila tastes like? Then, I have good news for you! This article has all the information about tequila’s flavor! 


The flavor of tequila is best described as sweet, fruity, and earthy. However, the flavors may vary slightly, depending on the type of tequila. The sweetness of tequila comes from one of its main ingredients, blue agave plants.

There are variations of tequila that are either made with 100% agave or mixed. The ones made with all agave are considered to be of higher quality as they have a smoother finish. 

Tequila is not only popular when it comes to shots. There are also a lot of wonderful cocktails made with this spirit. Though there are many people who love tequila and swear by it, quite a lot of people are also hesitant to try it. This happens mainly because people tend to be picky when it comes to alcohol. 

Most types of alcohol have a sharp flavor, well, because of the alcohol content. So, a lot of people do get a little nervous when it comes to trying new types of alcoholic drinks. But honestly, you have no reason to worry.

Knowing about the flavor of this spirit beforehand will help you understand whether you would like to indulge in it or not. Read this article till the end to learn everything about tequila’s flavor, along with a lot of other information!

What Is Tequila?

Most people reading this article probably already know that tequila is an alcoholic beverage. However, as alcoholic beverages have a very vast list of ingredients and methods of production, not everyone may know all about them in detail.

So, let me give you a bit of a guide to understand what tequila actually is and how exactly this alcohol is made. Tequila is a distilled beverage that is made from the blue agave plant. Most tequila is made in and around the city of Tequila, Mexico.

The reason why the main production of tequila happens here is because of the quality of the red volcanic soil present here. This soil is perfect for the growth of the blue agave plant, the main ingredient used to make tequila. 

Mexican law has stated that tequila can only be produced in certain states of Mexico. It is recognized as a Mexican product of origin in around 40 countries. Tequila was first produced in the 16th century, and there has been no stop to its production ever since.

For the production of tequila, the blue agave plant has to be harvested at just the right time. This is to make sure that it has the right amount of carbohydrates needed for fermentation. 

Once the blue agave plant is harvested, they are baked, and their juice is removed for the production of tequila. The juice is poured into large wooden or stainless steel vats for it to ferment.

This fermented product has a low alcoholic content. The juice is further distilled twice to produce tequila. Tequila has to be distilled twice by law. 

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What Does Tequila Taste Like?

There are a lot of people in the world that love the flavor of tequila. For many, if they are thinking of having a spirit, they cannot seem to think beyond tequila. However, there are also people who have been really repulsed by its flavor.

Turns out, that may have just been a type of tequila. Tequila comes in various flavors and types, with all having some minor differences. The overall flavor of any type of tequila can be described as sweet and earthy.

Usually, the ones that are expensive and made with all blue agave have a sweet and smooth flavor. If you try one of the cheaper varieties, which do not contain all blue agave, their flavor is much harsher.

The flavor of tequila largely depends on where it is made, the style of tequila, and how long it has been aged. The flavors that you can expect out of different types of tequila include salt, citrus, black pepper, spice, honey, cinnamon, chocolate, and banana.

But, as mentioned earlier, the flavor of every style will be different with different flavor notes. The main types of tequila include Joven tequila, Blanco tequila, Añejo tequila, extra-Anejo tequila, reposado tequila, and gold tequila.

Out of these, you can expect the Joven and Blanco types to have the most natural sweet flavor of the tequila. These also have citrusy notes along with hints of vanilla, and cinnamon. The rest of the types have more complex flavors than have been mentioned above, all because of the ingredients used and the way they are made. 

Does Tequila Actually Taste Good?

Usually, when it comes to liking flavors, there is really no easy way to tell if one flavor liked by a person will also be liked by the other. Although we all have the same taste buds, our flavor preferences do largely depend on various factors like where we have grown up and what flavors we have been used to.

So, it can be a little difficult to determine whether everyone may actually think the same when it comes to the flavor of tequila. However, let me answer this question for you in the best way possible. 

The flavor of the tequila, unlike various other distilled spirits, is not as pungent. Real tequila, which is made with 100% blue agave. It has a less pungent flavor which is sweet, with a smooth finish. The rest of the flavor notes found in tequila tend to compliment its base flavor.

However, if you do try cheaper versions of tequila that have mixers added to them, they will taste much harsher. So yes, tequila does taste good. But, it depends a lot on what type of tequila you are having. 

Does Tequila Taste Like Alcohol?

When we think of any sort of alcoholic beverage, we do tend to get this image in our heads of a very pungent flavor. This is actually quite true as alcohol does taste harsh and pungent.

Although the flavor of each alcoholic beverage does contain that lingering alcohol taste, the degree of it may vary depending on the type of beverage and how much alcohol it contains. The alcohol by volume content in tequila is high for sure. But does that impact the flavor?

Tequila has a lingering alcohol taste that you can find in any other alcoholic beverage. However, the effect or degree of this alcoholic taste largely depends on how pure the tequila is. The cheaper variants of tequila which have mixers added to them, have a much stronger alcoholic taste.

This is the reason they feel harsh when you drink them. However, with good quality tequila, despite the high alcohol by volume content, the alcohol taste is actually really mellow. You get stronger hints of other flavors rather than a harsh taste of alcohol. 

Is Tequila Sweet Or Bitter?

Let’s face it, most of us don’t like a bitter flavor. Yes, there are certain ingredients that are used in the culinary world that are naturally bitter and yet taste delicious. However, with alcoholic beverages, quite a lot of us do get repulsed by a bitter flavor as it tends to be really harsh.

So, there are some people, like me, who prefer sticking to sweet beverages. Now you all know that tequila does contain a lot of alcohol. But does that really account for it to have a bitter flavor?

Most good-quality tequilas have a sweet flavor. This sweet flavor is accompanied by earthy flavors and also fruity, citrus, caramel, and honey.

Some of these flavors are sweet, which really compliment the sweetness of the tequila. However, if you do try a tequila of a lower quality, there can be chances of it having pungent and bitter flavor notes. 

Is Tequila Sweeter Than Vodka?

Vodka is also an alcoholic spirit with a high alcohol by volume. It can sometimes be harsh and really pungent. However, the same rule applies to vodka as it does to tequila. It all comes down to the quality, how and where the vodka is made, what ingredients are used to make it, and the complementing flavors.

So you know that good tequila has a sweet taste. But how does this compare to the flavor of vodka? Let us find out. The flavor of pure vodka is extremely neutral. You do get that little pungent flavor that you do from any sort of highly alcoholic drink.

But, the overall flavor still remains neutral and almost flavorless. Tequila, on the other hand, when made with pure blue agave, will naturally have a sweet flavor. This sweet flavor can also be sweeter than flavored vodkas. So yes, tequila is sweeter than vodka. 

Does Tequila Taste Like Whiskey?

The overall flavor of whiskey can very largely depend on the ingredients that are used to make it. Whiskey can be made with different types of grains, like rye or corn.

The expected base flavor that you would get out of whiskey, however, remains the same in any case. So, does this flavor really compare with the flavor of tequila?

Whiskey, despite the grain used to make it, will have an oaky flavor with hints of spices. This is mainly because whiskey is aged in barrels, which adds a lot to the flavor. However, most types of tequila have a sweet flavor with other flavor notes, which are not the same as whiskey.

So, most tequila does not taste like whiskey. However, there is a type of tequila called gold tequila, which does have an oaky flavor and can have certain taste notes similar to that of whiskey. 

Does Tequila Taste Like Gin?

Pure tequila does have a clear look to it, which is very similar to how gin looks. There are people who are hardcore lovers of gin because of the complex flavors that it provides.

So, for them, it may be easier to compare the flavor of tequila with the flavor of gin. However, let me tell you that tequila actually tastes nothing like gin. The flavor of gin is citrusy and pine-like, with a mild amount of bitterness.

The flavor can differ slightly depending on the type of gin. However, this is usually the base flavor that you would get out of it. This flavor comes from juniper berries, one of the main ingredients used to produce gin.

Tequila has very different ingredients used for production and lacks the dominant flavor of gin, the flavor of juniper berries. So, tequila and gin actually taste very different from each other. 

What Does Tequila Taste Good With?

Most people associate drinking tequila with having it straight out of a shot glass. But actually, tequila actually tastes really good with a range of mixers. Most of you may have associated adding mixers to tequila with a margarita mix.

But tequila is so much more than just margaritas! There are various ingredients that you can use with tequila. I have mentioned some of the best ones below. 

  1. Milk – The thought of mixing alcohol with milk may sound strange. But, there is actually a drink called ‘Leche Mexicana,’ which mixes tequila with milk. The sweet flavor of pure tequila actually compliments the flavor of milk really well. 
  2. Grapefruit Juice – A drink called Paloma mixes grapefruit juice and tequila together. The sweet and sour flavor of the juice mixes well with the sweetness of tequila. You can alternatively also use grapefruit soda. 
  3. Club Soda – Club soda has a mineral-like flavor that compliments the flavor of tequila. This works with both flavored and unflavored tequila. 
  4. Orange Juice – Another citrus juice added to the list. Orange juice has a complimenting sweet and citrus flavor of its own. Combining this with the same flavors of tequila will definitely leave you satisfied. 
  5. Tomato Juice – Ever had a bloody mary? If yes, then you would know that tequila and tomato juice go really well together. You can add some tabasco and Worcestershire sauce to this concoction to make an actual bloody mary. 

Tequila V/S Mezcal | Difference In Their Taste

Tequila and Mezcal are both distilled beverages that are made from the agave plant. So, they are quite often confused with each other. However, tequila is made with blue agave, whereas Mezcal is made with a different type of agave.

This accounts for the differences in both their flavors. They are also made in slightly different ways, resulting in differences in flavor. As tequila is mostly made with the blue agave plant, it results in it having a sweet and citrus flavor. The flavor of Mezcal can vary depending on the type of agave plant used.

Moreover, mezcal production involves roasting the agave leaves, which gives it a much smoky flavor compared to tequila. Mezcal also has a sweet and fruity flavor, but the smoky flavor does stand out, which makes it different from the flavor of tequila. 

Different Types Of Tequila And Their Different Taste

Although we may see different types of alcohol to be just one unit, they all do have various sub-types within themselves. These sub-types have flavors that vary from each other. With tequila, there are many factors that affect the flavor of each different type.

Mostly, these include aspects like how and where the tequila was made, how it was distilled, what it was aged in, and so on and so forth. Let me tell you about some of the most common types of tequila and what each of them tastes like. 

Type Of TequilaFlavor
Joven TequilaSweet with notes of vanilla and cinnamon
Blanco TequilaSweet with notes of citrus and spice
Anejo TequilaOaky with fruity and peppery notes
Extra-Anejo TequilaSmooth with chocolate and oak notes
Reposado TequilaEarthy notes with vanilla and caramel
Gold TequilaBold flavor with a sweet undertone

Top Tequila Brands And Their Variations Available

There are a lot of brands of tequila in the world that are really popular. Out of these brands, some truly do stand out to be the top ones. These brands do offer tequilas of different types, so there is no specific flavor profile when it comes to a particular brand. 

However, all these brands have tequila that is made from all blue agave, without any mixers added. So, you can expect a lingering sweet and smooth flavor out of them all. Given below is a list of all the top-selling brands of tequila in the world, along with the variations they have available.

Tequila BrandPopular Flavor Variations Available
Don JulioBlanco, Reposado. Anejo
OchoReposado, Añejo, Extra-Añejo
PatronReposado, Anejo
Jose CuervoReposado, Anejo
El JimadorReposado, Anejo
Olmeca AltosReposado, Anejo
EspolonBlanco, Reposado, Anejo
Calle 23Blanco, Reposado, Anejo

Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Tequila

Although most spirits don’t really go bad per se, considering their really high alcohol by volume content. However, if not stored properly, even the quality of an unopened bottle can go down.

So, there are some important points worth remembering before the first time you buy a bottle of tequila for yourself. So, to make it easy for you to choose how to buy your tequila bottle to get the best quality, I have shared some tips below that are worth considering. 

1. Check The Label

Make sure you check the label of the tequila to see whether it is a genuine product or not. Usually, a good brand of tequila will mention all relevant information on the label. This information should include where the tequila was made, the alcohol by volume content, and even the type of tequila.

2. Buy Tequila That Is Made With 100% Blue Agave

As I had mentioned before, only tequila that is made all with blue agave is actually genuine and good quality tequila. This sort of tequila will have a sweet flavor with a smooth finish. They will also be a little bit on the costlier end. The label of the bottle will provide you with all of this information. 

3. Tequila Does Not Necessarily Have To Be Really Expensive

Yes, tequila that is of good quality will be more expensive than lower quality tequila. But, that does not necessarily mean that all types of good quality tequila have to be overly expensive. There are also good quality tequila bottles that are available in the market that are reasonably priced. 

4. Consider The Type You Would Prefer

By now, you know that tequila has a lot of types, all with varying flavors. So, to select the best tequila for yourself, it is quite integral to know the taste you would prefer. It is best to buy a taste of your choice to avoid disappointment with the flavor. 

How To Store Tequila Properly?

As I had mentioned earlier, even the quality of an unopened bottle of tequila can go down if proper storage norms are not followed. Moreover, most types of tequila can be more expensive compared to other types of alcoholic beverages.

So, to save your tequila from not tasting up to the mark, it is really important to know how to store your bottle properly. Here are some storage tips that you can follow for tequila. 

1. Store It In A Cool And Dry Place

The best way to store tequila, or any type of spirit for that matter, is to store it in a cool and dry place. Make sure this place is completely away from direct sunlight as that can alter the flavor of the tequila. Moreover, make sure there is some sort of temperature control in that area for it to not get too hot. 

2. Store It In The Refrigerator

With spirits, it is not really necessary to store them in the refrigerator. However, in case you do prefer your tequila to be chilled, you can store it in the refrigerator about one or two hours prior to when you plan to serve it. 

3. Do Not Store It In The Freezer

Tequila has a really high alcohol by volume content. So, storing it in the freezer will not really freeze the drink. However, if you do store tequila in the freezer, it will alter the taste a little bit.

You will get a very subdued flavor and will not really be able to enjoy the real flavor. So, it is advisable not to store tequila in the freezer. 

4. Do Not Store Tequila In A Plastic Bottle

In case you do want to get rid of the glass bottle before the tequila is over, my suggestion would be to wait until it is over. If transferred to a different bottle, especially a plastic one, the flavor of the tequila will get affected. 

5. Do Not Store An Opened Bottle Of Tequila For A Long Time

You can store the tequila bottle once it is opened. However, it is important to have some sort of time frame around it. Storing an opened bottle for years together will bring the flavor of the tequila down. 

Best Tequila Cocktails You Should Try

Most people associate tequila with just one cocktail and that’s margaritas. However, there is so much more to this whole niche! There are a lot of different cocktails made with tequila, all having a distinct flavor of their own.

Moreover, the sweet flavor of tequila does get complimented by various other flavors. So, here I present some of the most popular and best tequila cocktails that exist. 

  1. Margarita- Of course, the most obvious tequila cocktail tops the list. This cocktail is made with orange liquor, lime juice, and tequila. The rim of the glass it is served has salt added to it. The entire concoction gives a sweet and sour flavor, which is really refreshing. 
  2. Tequila Sunrise- Tequila sunrise is made with tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup. The mixture gives the drink a sweet flavor, along with the citrus flavor of orange juice. It also looks like a sunrise, hence the name. 
  3. Bloody Mary- Bloody mary is another popular choice of cocktail made with tequila. Consisting of tomato juice, tequila, tabasco sauce, and Worcestershire, bloody mary will make you look at tomato juice like never before!
  4. Paloma- Paloma is actually one of the most popular tequila cocktails in Mexico, even more than a margarita. A Paloma consists of tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda. These ingredients together will surely give you a refreshing experience. 
  5. Siesta Cocktail- A siesta cocktail is made with tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and grapefruit. It has a similar tart and sweet tasting notes as a Paloma does. 

Health Benefits Of Tequila

Most alcoholic drinks can be good for health and have potential health benefits. However, it is important to remember that these health benefits can only be applicable if you drink in moderation.

As per research, one glass a day for women and two a day for men is the recommended intake. Given below are some of the potential health benefits that you can get by drinking tequila in moderation. 

1. May Promote A Healthy Gut

Some researchers say that the consumption of tequila can promote a healthy gut. Tequila has prebiotics that can stimulate the growth of probiotics in the colon. Overall can improve the overall health of the gut. 

2. May Promote Heart Health

Some evidence suggests that tequila can help reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. This, overall, can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. However, overconsumption of alcohol has directly been linked to developing heart disease. 

3. Suitable For People With Diabetes

Tequila does not contain any added sugar but contains natural sugars present in agave. These natural sugars have been linked to reducing blood glucose levels. This, all in all, makes it safe for people with diabetes to have moderate amounts of tequila. 

4. Can Promote Weight Loss

Some studies suggest that a natural form of fructose present in tequila can accelerate the process of weight loss. There have been studies carried out about the same. However, there is also more research required. 

5. Can Promote Healthy Skin

Agave present in tequila has been linked to improving skin quality. Moreover, agave sap can actually be used to treat skin conditions. It helps clean pores and also tightens the skin. 

Nutritional Content Of Tequila

I always believe that, at least for health fanatics, it becomes very integral to know the nutritional content present in anything. Knowing the nutritional content does help you better decide whether you would actually like to drink tequila or not.

So, to make it easier for everyone, I have shared the nutritional information about tequila in the table below. 

Calories97 kcal
Alcohol14 grams
Protein0 grams
Fat0 grams
Carbohydrates0 grams
Sodium0.42 milligrams
Water28 grams


Tequila is a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant. It was made in Mexico, near the city of tequila. It is a spirited alcoholic beverage with a high amount of alcohol by volume content. The flavor of tequila generally varies based on the type of tequila. 

However, the base flavor you would expect out of tequila is sweet, with other notes of flavors, again depending on the type. It is important to store tequila in a proper way to make sure its quality remains intact. Moreover, tequila also has some potential health benefits. 

However, the only way to get the health benefits out of tequila is to drink it in moderation. Any alcohol, regardless of its taste, should always be consumed in moderation. So, happy and safe drinking to all of you! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is tequila?

Tequila is a distilled alcoholic beverage. 

Where is tequila from?

Tequila is from Mexico, first made around the city of Tequila, also where it gets its name from. 

What does tequila taste like?

Tequila has a base sweet flavor, with varying flavor notes based on its type. 

Why does tequila taste harsh?

Tequila that is not made with all blue agave but has mixers added to it has a harsh taste. Pure tequila has a smoother finish. 

Does tequila contain a lot of alcohol?

Yes, tequila does have high alcohol by volume content. 

Is tequila healthy?

Tequila does have some health benefits attached to it if consumed in moderation. 

How much tequila can you drink in a day?

The recommended amount of tequila in a day for a woman is one glass and for a man is two glasses. 

Is tequila stronger than vodka?

Yes, tequila is 12% stronger than vodka. 

Does tequila burn fat?

Some researchers have proved that drinking moderate amounts of tequila can increase metabolism.

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