Is Tequila Gluten Free? Decide Whether to Party With Tequila or Not
Are you a tequila lover? Do you like to drink it straight or in a margarita? Whatever your preference, tequila is a delicious drink that can be enjoyed in many ways. But have you ever wondered how this popular beverage is made? Today, we’re going to determine if tequila is gluten-free and take a look at the process of making tequila.
Is tequila gluten-free?
According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all distilled spirits are gluten-free, including tequila. This is because the gluten proteins are too large to be carried over during the distillation process.
However, some tequila brands may add flavoring or other ingredients after distillation that contain gluten.
Therefore, it’s important to check the label of any tequila you’re considering purchasing to make sure it doesn’t contain any gluten-containing ingredients. Fortunately, there are many high-quality tequilas on the market that are safe for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. So whether you’re looking for a smooth sipping tequila or a fiery shot to start your night, you can rest assured that there’s a delicious and gluten-free option out there for you.
All tequila starts with the agave plant. The blue agave plant is native to Mexico, and it takes approximately 8–12 years to mature.
Once mature, the plants are harvested and the piñas (the core of the plant) are removed. The piñas are then chopped into small pieces and cooked in large ovens or autoclaves. This cooking process breaks down the complex carbohydrates in the piñas into simple sugars that can be fermented.
After cooking, the piñas are mashed and put into fermentation tanks, where they will sit for several days as yeast is added to begin the fermentation process. During fermentation, the sugar in the piña mixture converts into alcohol. Once fermented, the tequila is distilled to create a clear liquid.
The final step in making tequila is to add water to reduce the alcohol content and add flavorings like oak or fruit, depending on what type of tequila is being made. At this point, the tequila is ready to be bottled and enjoyed!
Types of Tequila
Tequila can be classified in a few different ways, but the two most common are blanco/silver and aged. Blanco or silver tequila is also sometimes called white tequila or plata tequila. This type of tequila is typically unaged or aged less than 2 months, so it retains its original clear color.
Blanco tequilas are known for their fresh, grassy flavors with hints of citrus. Silver tequilas are commonly used in mixed drinks like margaritas because they allow other flavors to shine through while still providing a smooth base liquor.
Aged or gold tequilas spend more time in barrels, giving them a golden hue and more mellow flavors due to exposure to wood particles found in the barrels. Anejo (aged) tequilas must be aged for at least 1 year but no more than 3 years, while extra anejo (extra aged) must be aged for a minimum of 3 years.
Reposado (rested) falls somewhere in between blanco and anejo, as it must be aged for at least 2 months but no more than 12 months. You’ll find reposado used frequently in mixed drinks as well because it has picked up additional flavors from barrel aging but isn’t as intense as anejo varieties.
Tequila is a delicious beverage enjoyed by many around the world, either straight or in mixed drinks like margaritas.
Through the distillation process, spirits including tequila are gluten free. However, it is important to check the ingredients because flavored tequilas can have additives that contain ingredients with gluten. Now that you know a little bit more about how this popular drink is made, go out and enjoy some responsibly! Salud!
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