Tequila for Beginners, Contributed by @anonymous
A little-known fact about tequila is that it's a type of mezcal. A mezcal can use any kind of agave plant, but to earn the designation of "Tequila," blue agave must be the only plant used.
However, even if you use blue agave, you're not allowed to call it tequila unless it's made in specific locations in Mexico, including the state of Jalisco and some designated municipalities in a few other states. Therefore, if you use a blue agave plant, but you make your tequila in the Mexican state of Guerrero, you can't call it tequila. It's now called mezcal.
Various types of tequila
Blanco or Plata
Blanco (white) or plata (silver) is stored immediately after distillation or aged for less than two months. Blanco tequila has harsher flavors and is the least smooth of the four kinds.
Aged for more than two months but less than a year in oak barrels. The size of barrels doesn't matter.
Aged for 1-3 years in small oak barrels.
Aged a minimum of 3 years in oak barrels.
The longer the tequilas are aged, the more they take on the flavors of the wood. As they get older, they become smoother and are typically easier to drink. If you're wanting the less harsh, aged tequila, you can expect to pay more for it.
Ways to drink tequila
This is the most common way to drink tequila in Mexico. Drink it straight with no added ingredients.
Neat plus salt and lime
If you aren't able to drink it neat, you can take it with salt and lime. You'll first lick the salt, which will help to lessen the sting of the tequila. Next, you take the shot of tequila and follow it up by sucking on the lime, which is said to enhance the flavor of the tequila.
7 parts tequila
4 parts Cointreau (or triple sec)
3 parts lime juice
Many people will substitute the lime juice for a pre-bottled margarita mix, but trust me on this one, the flavor is so much better if you use freshly-squeezed lime juice!
Shake up all of the ingredients with ice and pour over ice to serve it "On the rocks."
These are just a few of the many ways you can drink your tequila, but they're the most common. Use this advice to enjoy your tequila the customary way, but remember to drink it responsibly.