In the Clear

Old tequila that looks like new

Meet the Raquel Welch of your liquor cabinet.

A new breed of sipping tequilas is changing what we know about aged spirits, proving that despite time spent in the barrel, they can be as crisp and clean as unaged ones.

But in this case, the trick isn't plastic surgery, it's a high-tech filtering process. With the harsh edges of time stripped away, only the richness of wood and the purest notes of agave are left. These tequilas are round, smooth and easy to sip.

On the younger end of the spectrum, there's Casa Dragones, in which a predominantly unaged base of blue agave is mixed with a dash of extra añejo, then filtered for clarity. Maestro Dobel blends reposado, añejo and extra añejo tequilas, each aged in Balkan oak barrels before the color is removed.

And out later this year, Don Julio 70 dubs itself "Añejo Claro," thus giving a name to this fledgling style. For 70's filtering process, magnetized particles are introduced to the liquid and form bonds with the colored molecules. These particles are then carefully filtered, offering all the complexity of an añejo in the form of a crystal-clear blanco. What appears like water in the glass is the product of 18 months spent in American white oak.

Cher, take note: to turn back time, just look to your glass.