January 28, 2024

What is tequila and is it kosher?

We all know tequila is the hottest spirit on the market. But what is it? And is it kosher?

What is tequila and is it kosher?

So what is tequila?

In simple terms, tequila is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant 🪴. After about 10 years of growing, the plant is baked in a steam oven, crushed to extract the juice, fermented to convert the sugars into alcohol 🥃 , and of course distilled.

And as with many spirits, in order for it to be called “Tequila,” it must be made in certain areas of Mexico, with most being made in the state of Jalisco 🇲🇽

There are 5 categories of tequila, but 3 are most popular:

  1. Blanco: Clear in color, unaged, and ideal for cocktails such as the margarita.
  2. Reposado: Aged in oak barrels between 2 months - 1 year. Suitable for both mixing and sipping.
  3. Añejo: “Extra Aged” for at least one year in oak barrels. Best for sipping neat.

So now that we know what tequila is, is it kosher?

As per the CRC: “Unflavored tequila is recommended without hashgacha unless the label indicates that is was aged or finished in sherry (or other wine) casks.” So yes, most tequila is kosher.

“Can you recommend some good bottles to buy?”

Sure. But here’s the main piece of advice you need to know when purchasing tequila:

Only purchase tequila which states “100% agave” on the label. Many cheaper tequilas are not distilled solely from the agave plant (typically sugar cane or corn 🌽 is added) and are called “mixtos.”

Onto the bottles:

  • Best cheap sipping tequila: Kirkland Signature Tequila Añejo - $20/1l (available exclusively at Costco)
  • Best cheap mixing tequila: Espolòn Tequila Blanco - $25/750ml
  • Best high end Añejo: El Tosoro Añejo Tequila - $75/750ml
  • Best high end Reposado: Clase Azul Reposado Tequila - $160/750ml

What are you waiting for? Go pick up a bottle, get behind the bar, and make a wicked Margarita!