Agave plants, native to the highlands of Mexico, are used to produce a variety of distilled spirits called mezcal. If that distilled spirit is produced using only blue agave plants, it’s called tequila, and you’ve probably had a bad experience with it. Traditionally, tequila is served neat and sipped, as a Scotch. In North American bars, it’s often served as a shot, with a chaser of salt and lime. Because of this, many drinkers are averse to tequila. But it’s the base for some fantastic classic and modern cocktails.
For mixing, we recommend keeping two types of tequila — blanco, which is an unaged tequila that is more spirit-forward; and reposado, which is aged for a period of three months to a year in oak barrels, resulting in a smoother, more subtle flavour.