How to Order Tequila in Mexico

Tequila bottles
Tequila bottles | © Steven Guzzardi / Flickr
Stephen Woodman

Tequila still has a global reputation as a party drink to be downed with lime and salt, or consumed in a syrupy cocktail such as a Tequila Sunrise. In Mexico, however, there are more popular and sophisticated ways to drink tequila. Here’s our guide to ordering and enjoying Mexico’s national drink.


Asking for a straight shot of tequila, or a derecho, is still the most popular way of ordering the drink in Mexico. Nevertheless, before choosing a tequila it is important to have a clear idea of what you are asking for beforehand. Just as there are single malt Scotch whiskies and blended whiskies, there are also essentially two different types of tequila. As a general rule, higher quality tequila is made with 100% agave, while less refined tequilas are made with 51% agave mixed with sugar cane juice.

Tequila shots

Four different ages

The tequila aging process also creates different types of spirit. Tequila blanco or plata (white or silver) is the unaged or barely-aged spirit. This harsher, bolder tequila is best accompanied with olives or Oaxacan cheese.

Reposado, or rested tequila, is aged in oak barrels for at least two months, which tends to give a fruity finish. This is an ideal tequila to drink along with, or after, a plate of seafood. Añejo (vintage tequila) is aged for at least a year and boasts complex, nutty or cherry flavors. Extra Añejo (extra aged) tequila is that which has been aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels. This category takes on the flavors and aromas of the wood, while the alcohol gently mellows. Tequila connoisseurs often like to accompany this premium category with a desert such as a chocolate mousse or a honey-caramelized apricot.

Tequila should never be cooled but always stored at room temperature. The best spirits can be drunk alone, although a chaser of mineral water can enhance the experience.

Tequila blanco

Mexican Cocktails

Visitors to Mexico should avoid ordering Tequila Sunrises, or even margaritas. The most interesting and delicious tequila cocktail is the blood-red vampiro, a blend of tequila, grapefruit soda and sangrita — a spicy blend of orange juice, red chili, salt and lime. The drink originates from the village of San Luis Soyatlán, in the western state of Jalisco. Every weekend, tequila enthusiasts descend from far and wide to sample the town’s iconic cocktail. Hawker stands line the town’s main street, selling liters of the blood-red cocktail in plastic bags.

Another popular way of drinking tequila is from a big clay pot. These cantaritos pots are typically filled with a powerful blend of tequila, lime and fizzy grapefruit soda. Visitors to Tequila often buy cantaritos pots when they visit and keep the empty clay pot as a souvenir of their trip.

Cantaritos of tequila
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Keen to explore the world?

Our passionately curated premium small-group trips are an invitation to connect with like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.