If You're New To Drinking Tequila, Begin Your Journey With A Blanco

If you're a fan of margaritas, one of the most popular cocktails out there, then you definitely know that it's made with tequila. Perhaps your love of margaritas has inspired you to learn more about tequila and maybe even drink it on its own. This can be daunting, so Tasting Table spoke with an expert about how to get started. The expert in question is Jaime Salas, who is the Head of Advocacy, Agave at Proximo Spirits.

Salas suggested that new tequila drinkers start with blanco tequila, otherwise known as plata or silver tequila, which he noted is the most common type of tequila found in margaritas. Salas said, "These unaged expressions have a clean and crisp agave flavor that's unique to tequila but versatile to be enjoyed in cocktails, as well as a chilled shot."

Two blanco tequilas that Salas recommends for beginners are Gran Centenario Plata and Cuervo Tradicional Plata. Salas said, "Both offerings are delicate and agave-forward, making them the perfect companion to enjoy in a delicious margarita or even as a crisp, cool shot on their own." Not only does he think they're great for beginners, but they're also two of his personal favorites.

For a more complex flavor, opt for a reposado tequila

Once you've tried out quite a few blanco tequilas and feel like you've gotten familiar with them, you may want to move on to a tequila that is a bit more complex. For this, Salas suggests going for a reposado tequila. Reposado tequilas have been aged between two months and one year, usually in oak.

Salas explained, "[Reposado tequilas] generally have an additional layer of flavors due to its contact with oak. The added complexities from time spent aging in wooden barrels lend hints of light spices, nuts, and oak flavor to your favorite cocktails." If this flavor profile sounds intriguing to you, Salas has some suggestions — two reposado tequilas he recommends are Cuervo Tradicional Reposado and Gran Centenario Reposado. To see which kind of tequila you like better — blanco or reposado — you may as well try both, perhaps by making your own margarita or tequila sunrise.