Tequila leads a double life. Most Americans know it as the wild child of the bar scene, the one that never knows when to stop and ends up staying out a little too late. In a Margarita, or with a lick of salt, quick toss back of the head, and bite of lime, it's also the one most likely to end up dancing on the table.
But this indigenous Mexican spirit has a serious alter ego, and in recent years Americans have come around to tequila's sophisticated side. Distilled not from a root, grain, or fruit but from the swollen core of the agave plant (which is a succulent but not a cactus), tequilas range from crystal-clear blancos, whose flavors hint at fresh sage and tropical fruit, to toasty long-aged añejos, which can approach the color and complexity of a fine Scotch. Some restaurants are even breaking out the snifters to encourage sipping and savoring high-end tequilas, which reflect the fastest-growing segment of the tequila market, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. Our prediction for what's next? Tequila sommeliers.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment