Everything you need to know about reposado tequila, including its origins, flavor profile, and how to enjoy it in cocktails.
Discover the best mixers and food pairings for reposado tequila and learn about some of the top brands on the market
What is Reposado Tequila?
Coming from the Spanish word "rested", resposado is a tequila that is allowed to rest and mature in the aging process. It is aged for at least 2 months and is in between blanco tequila and the darker, richer añejo tequila. It is made in Jalisco, Mexico where most tequila is made.
Reposado tequila has a unique taste that is influenced by the aging process in oak barrels. The flavor profile can vary depending on the type of oak barrel used, the length of aging, and other factors such as the altitude and climate where the agave was grown.
Generally, reposado tequila has a mellow and smooth taste with a noticeable oak flavor that comes from the barrel aging process. The oak also adds notes of vanilla, caramel, and toasted nuts to the tequila. The aging process also adds a light golden color to the tequila, which is darker than blanco tequila but lighter than añejo.
In addition to the oak flavors, reposado tequila also retains the distinctive taste of the agave plant, which gives it a slightly sweet and earthy flavor. It has a warm, slightly spicy finish that is smooth and enjoyable.
Overall, the taste of reposado tequila is complex, nuanced, and highly enjoyable, which is why it has become a popular choice for sipping on its own or as a key ingredient in cocktails.
How Is Tequila Reposado Made?
Reposado tequila is made from the blue Weber agave plant, which grows primarily in the Jalisco region of Mexico. Here are the basic steps involved in making reposado tequila:
- Harvesting and Cooking the Agave: The agave plant is harvested and the leaves are removed to reveal the core, or piña. The piñas are then roasted in a brick or stone oven to break down the complex carbohydrates and create a sweet juice.
- Milling and Fermentation: The roasted piñas are crushed to extract the juice, which is then fermented with yeast to convert the sugars into alcohol. The resulting liquid is a low-alcohol beer called "mosto."
- Distillation: The mosto is then distilled at least twice in copper pot stills to increase the alcohol content and remove impurities. The resulting liquid, known as "ordinario," is around 55-60% alcohol.
- Aging: The reposado tequila is then aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months and up to one year. The type of oak and the length of aging can vary, but generally reposado is aged in barrels that were previously used to age bourbon or whiskey.
- Blending and Bottling: Once the aging process is complete, the reposado tequila is blended with other barrels to ensure consistency of flavor and bottled.
Overall, the process of making reposado tequila is a combination of traditional and modern techniques, and requires careful attention to detail at every step of the way to ensure a high-quality and delicious product.
Different Types Of Tequila
Blanco (Silver) Tequila
This is the most common type of tequila and the least aged. Blanco tequila is clear and typically bottled immediately after the distillation process. It has a strong and pure taste of the agave plant, with hints of citrus and pepper.
Reposado tequila is aged for a minimum of two months and up to one year in oak barrels. The aging process gives it a light golden color and a mellow, smooth taste with notes of oak, vanilla, and caramel.
Añejo tequila is aged for a minimum of one year and up to three years in oak barrels. It has a darker color and a rich, complex flavor with notes of vanilla, caramel, and spices.
Extra Añejo Tequila
This is the newest category of tequila, established in 2006. Extra Añejo tequila is aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels, giving it a very dark color and an extremely smooth, complex taste with flavors of chocolate, coffee, and nuts.
Difference Between "Puro Tequila" and "Mixto Tequila"
In addition to the different types of tequila, there are also variations in the percentage of agave used in production.
Tequila that is made with 100% agave is known as "100% Agave Tequila" or "Puro Tequila", while tequila that is made with a minimum of 51% agave is known as "Mixto Tequila." Mixto tequila may also contain other sugars such as corn syrup or sugar cane.
How Is Reposado Tequila Different From Other Tequilas?
- One of the most significant differences between reposado tequila and other tequilas is the aging process.
- Reposado tequila is aged for a minimum of two months and up to one year in oak barrels, while blanco tequila is unaged and añejo tequila is aged for a minimum of one year.
- The oak aging process adds a distinct flavor and color to the tequila, giving it a mellow, smooth taste with notes of oak, vanilla, and caramel.
- Blanco tequila is clear, while reposado tequila has a light golden color that comes from the aging process. Añejo and extra añejo tequilas have a darker color due to longer aging periods in oak barrels.
- Reposado tequila has a unique flavor profile that is different from other tequilas. It has a mellow, smooth taste with a noticeable oak flavor and notes of vanilla, caramel, and toasted nuts.
- It also retains the distinctive taste of the agave plant, which gives it a slightly sweet and earthy flavor.
- Reposado tequila is more versatile than blanco tequila and can be used in a wide range of cocktails and mixed drinks.
- It is also smoother and more sippable than blanco tequila, making it a popular choice for drinking on its own or as a key ingredient in cocktails.
Best Mixers For Reposado Tequila
- Citrus Juices: The slightly sweet and earthy flavor of reposado tequila can pair well with the tangy and acidic flavors of citrus juices like lime, lemon, and grapefruit. A classic Margarita, for example, is made with reposado tequila, lime juice, and a sweetener like agave nectar or triple sec.
- Ginger Beer: Ginger beer is a popular mixer for reposado tequila, as it adds a spicy kick that complements the slightly sweet and earthy flavors of the tequila. A popular cocktail that uses ginger beer is the Tequila Mule, which is made with reposado tequila, lime juice, and ginger beer. Try this low sugar option.
- Cola: Reposado tequila can also be mixed with cola for a classic cocktail known as the Tequila and Coke. The sweetness of the cola balances the slightly bitter and earthy flavors of the tequila, creating a smooth and refreshing drink.
- Pineapple Juice: Pineapple juice can add a tropical and fruity twist to a reposado tequila cocktail. A classic cocktail that uses pineapple juice is the Pineapple Margarita, which is made with reposado tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice, and a sweetener.
- Vermouth: A classic Negroni cocktail can be made with reposado tequila instead of gin, using sweet vermouth, Campari, and orange peel.
Easy Cocktails Made with Reposado Tequila
Reposado tequila is a versatile spirit that can be used in a variety of cocktails, from classic Margaritas to more complex and nuanced drinks. Here are five easy cocktails made with reposado tequila:
The Margarita is a classic cocktail that is simple to make and highlights the flavors of reposado tequila.
To make a classic Margarita, combine 2 oz of reposado tequila, 1 oz of fresh lime juice, and ½ oz of agave nectar in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice.
The Tequila Sunrise is a refreshing and fruity cocktail that is perfect for a warm summer day.
To make a Tequila Sunrise, combine 2 oz of reposado tequila and 4 oz of orange juice in a glass filled with ice. Slowly pour in 1 oz of grenadine, allowing it to sink to the bottom of the glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.
The Paloma is a simple and refreshing cocktail that combines the flavors of reposado tequila and grapefruit.
To make a Paloma, combine 2 oz of reposado tequila and 3 oz of grapefruit soda in a glass filled with ice. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge.
The Spicy Margarita is a twist on the classic Margarita that adds a spicy kick.
To make a Spicy Margarita, combine 2 oz of reposado tequila, 1 oz of lime juice, and ½ oz of agave nectar in a shaker with ice. Add a slice of jalapeño pepper and shake well. Strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice and garnish with a slice of jalapeño.
Tequila Old Fashioned
The Tequila Old Fashioned is a sophisticated and nuanced cocktail that uses reposado tequila as a base spirit.
To make a Tequila Old Fashioned, muddle a sugar cube and a dash of bitters in a glass. Add 2 oz of reposado tequila and a large ice cube. Stir well and garnish with an orange twist.
What Pairs Best With Reposado Tequila
Spicy Foods - The slightly sweet and earthy flavors of reposado tequila can balance out the heat and spiciness of spicy foods like Mexican, Thai, or Indian dishes. The sweetness in the tequila can help to counteract the spiciness in the food, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
Grilled Meats - The smoky and charred flavors of grilled meats can complement the slightly smoky and caramelized flavors of reposado tequila.
The bold and rich flavors of grilled meats like steak, pork, or chicken can be balanced out by the sweet and slightly bitter flavors of reposado tequila.
Chocolate - The rich and sweet flavors of chocolate can pair well with the complex and earthy flavors of reposado tequila. Dark chocolate, in particular, can complement the oak and vanilla notes in the tequila, creating a decadent and sophisticated pairing.
Cheese - Creamy and salty cheeses like goat cheese, feta, or queso fresco can pair well with the slightly sweet and earthy flavors of reposado tequila.
The acidity in the cheese can balance out the sweetness in the tequila, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
Citrus Fruits - The tangy and acidic flavors of citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, or lemons can complement the slightly sweet and earthy flavors of reposado tequila.
The citrus flavors can help to bring out the flavors in the tequila, creating a refreshing and vibrant pairing.
Best Tequila Brands
- Patrón is one of the most popular and well-known tequila brands, known for its smooth and high-quality tequila. It comes in a variety of styles, including blanco, reposado, and añejo, each with its unique flavor profile.
- Casa Noble is a premium tequila brand that uses traditional distilling methods and high-quality ingredients to produce some of the best tequila available. It is known for its smooth and complex flavors, with notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak.
- Don Julio is another premium tequila brand that is known for its smooth and flavorful tequila. It comes in a variety of styles, including blanco, reposado, and añejo, each with its unique character and flavor profile.
- Herradura is a tequila brand that has been around since 1870 and is known for its high-quality and traditional tequila. It uses 100% blue agave and traditional distilling methods to produce tequila with a rich and complex flavor profile.
- Casamigos is a tequila brand that was created by George Clooney and Rande Gerber and has quickly become one of the most popular and recognizable tequila brands. It is known for its smooth and flavorful tequila, with notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak.