Tequila is widely appreciated for its incredible taste, and you can have it either neat, on the rocks, or in various cocktails. But the difference between gold tequila and silver tequila is not always so obvious to everyone.
However, after you get through this guide, you will know exactly why gold tequila is not the same as silver tequila, and you will be able to choose the best version for your preferences!
The main difference between these types of tequila is that silver tequila is bottled soon after the distillation process is over or after a short aging process of just a few months.
On the other hand, gold tequila is aged more and in wooden barrels that give it the gold tint. This difference generates differences in taste as well.
Gold vs Silver Tequila
|Characteristics||Silver tequila||Gold tequila|
|Color||clear||Shades of gold|
|Taste||Harsh, pure tequila taste||Smoother, sweeter and fruity notes|
|Ingredients||Blue Agave, sometimes mixed with corn syrup, molasses and sugars||Blue Agave, sometimes mixed with corn syrup, molasses and sugars|
|Production||Bottled after distillation or within 60 days||Aged between 2 months and 11 months|
|Uses||Shots and mixed drinks||Shots and mixed drinks|
What is silver tequila?
Silver tequila is also referred to as white or blanc tequila and it is considered the purest form of tequila. It has a clear color just like vodka, but there are no similarities in taste or flavor between the two drinks.
Also check: How Many Tequila Shots to Get Drunk?
This drink is bottled as soon as the distillation is over or in the next two months. When this tequila is aged, producers use stainless steel contains so they don’t alter the pure taste of the drink.
This drink is great for mixes such as Margarita and Tequila Sunrise as it brings an intense agave taste to the final cocktail without altering the way the mixed drink looks. Silver tequila has an ABV of 40% and it is a great drink as a shot or as an ingredient in cocktails.
What is gold tequila?
Gold tequila is generally the type of tequila that is aged between two months and 11 months. But this type of tequila may also get its gold shade from caramel coloring.
Also check: Best Blanco Tequila
Aged tequila has shades of gold that are close to amber and darker gold. You know a gold tequila has the gold hue thanks to the aging process if the ingredients say it is made of 100% agave, without any caramel coloring that might wrongly make you assume the darker color comes from aging when it comes from such extra ingredients.
You will notice that gold tequila is mostly used for shots and it comes at a higher price than silver tequila. When your gold tequila is aged for several months and contains only 100% agave, it would be a waste to mix it with other ingredients in a cocktail. This is why gold tequila shots are so appreciated!
Taste, production, and history
The differences between gold tequila and silver tequila are many and they are all worth discussing so you know which one to choose and why.
Because silver tequila is either unaged or aged for a very short period, it has a more defined taste than gold tequila which some people find even harsh.
Even so, silver tequila or blanc tequila also has notes of fruits and spices that consumers love. Due to its stronger taste, silver tequila is more often consumed with lime or lemon. You will still taste the blue agave plant in this tequila but without the sweetness that is present in the gold tequila.
In comparison, because gold tequila is allowed to age more, it acquires a sweeter flavor and it tends to be more appreciated by consumers. It has the rich taste of agave, noticeable sweetness and it has fruity and earthly notes.
The longer the tequila was aged, the more notes can be distinguished in it, depending on the brand as well as the ingredients and production means. Some tequila drinks come with notes of honey, vanilla, and even caramel and citrus taste.
The difference in color between silver and gold tequila is maybe the most obvious one. You will notice at first glance that silver tequila, or blanc tequilas, has a clear color, just like vodka. On the other hand, the gold tequila comes in different shades of gold, depending on how long it was aged.
The tequila we know today became part of the Mexican identity and its production is a significant segment of the national economy of the country.
The production means for this drink were modernized since the 1600s when it first started, but the concept remained the same and the taste was uncompromised.
Tequila is made of the blue agave plant, which is a very succulent plant. The plant is also known as tequila and it is similar to the aloe vera plant, with a very different type of juice, though.
Inside the agave plant, there is a bulb known as piña and producers harvest this bulb to use it as the main ingredient in tequila. The bulb is baked before the juice is taken out of it and fermented with yeast. The fermenting process takes place in barrels to become the tasty tequila.
Silver tequila is bottled after the distillation process is done or within 60 days of aging. This type of tequila is not aged for more than two months. Gold tequila, however, can be aged between two and 11 months, which has a significant impact on its final taste and color.
The main and many times the only ingredient in tequila is 100% agave. But there are brands of tequila that contain 51% agave and other ingredients such as corn syrup, caramel, and different sugars. But the most appreciated tequila remains the one made only of blue agave.
The history of tequila, be it gold or silver, is one of the longest and most interesting histories in the industry of alcoholic beverages. It goes back to the Aztec civilization in the 250-300 A.D. when they created a fermented juice from agave. This juice was used as a wine consumed on special occasions, called the “pulque”.
When the Spanish armies invaded Mexico in 1519, they tried to convert this fermented juice into a glass of real wine. After several tries, the Spanish successfully distilled this agave juice into the tequila we know today.
This early version of tequila was called “agave wine” and it was made in the city of Tequila and around this area of Mexico. But agave wine was not called tequila until the 1890s when a complex and successful industry had developed around the production of this drink.
Since then, for tequila to be considered an original drink, it has to be produced in the city with the same name or the nearby regions of it.
In 1902, tequila was known as the tequila we appreciate today not only in Mexico but in other parts of the world as well. And its popularity kept growing until the present day.
However, it wasn’t until 1974 that tequila was declared officially, intellectual property of Mexico, by the national government. The declaration also stated that tequila had to be made only in the Mexican areas of Guanajuato, Nayarit, Jalisco, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas.
It also created a council to regulate the production of tequila, known as Consejo Regulador de Tequila, or CRT. The council made sure that tequila respects certain standards and regulations including ingredients, aging, and ABV. It also supported tourism in the regions where tequila was and still is produced.
Gold vs silver tequila price
Silver tequila is more affordable than gold tequila which is also why it is also more sold on a worldwide scale. The reason for this is the fact that producing silver tequila takes less time and resources since the drink will not be aged as much as the gold version of it.
Gold tequilas can range in price from $12.99 to $54.99 while silver tequila can be $12.99 to $35.99 for bottles of 750 ml. the more your tequila was aged, the higher its price will be.
In general, you can get a better price for your tequila if you purchase it in larger quantities such as packs. And if you like this type of alcoholic beverage, it might be a great option to do so as you will always have your favorite drink available in your home.
Ordering your tequila online might also give you better deals as some stores come with period discounts that are worth to consider.
Gold vs silver tequila calories
Both silver tequila and gold tequila contain a similar number of calories per shot of 1.5 ounces, which is the traditional measure for a tequila shot. Depending on the brand of tequila, your favorite drink could have between 96 and 99 calories per shot.
However, you can still find tequila brands such as Hornitos Reposado that have 103 calories per shot, or Milagro Silver and Cazadores Reposado with 104 calories per 1.5 ounces.
What’s better gold or silver tequila?
While both silver and gold tequila has an inviting flavor and they bring the same amount of ABV to the table, there are still people that recommend using them differently. Which one you like best will come down to your personal preferences.
Generally, silver tequila is best in different cocktail mixes while gold tequila is better in plain. This recommendation comes from the different tastes that these two drinks have as well as the different colors.
In terms of ABV, they both come with 40% of alcohol content so this is not a criterion to differentiate them.
Ultimately, which tequila you choose will be up to you and your taste. However, beginners might appreciate gold tequila better as it is less harsh and it is easier to drink neat.
Is gold or silver tequila better for shots?
Gold tequila tends to be more appreciated in shots thanks to its sweetness and richer variety of flavors. But experienced drinkers like silver tequila shots as well.
For silver tequila shots, lime is a must have as it compliments its flavor nicely and it can make it easier to drink, especially for beginners.
Drinking tequila shots regardless of the type of tequila you choose is a ritual that involves lime and salt. The rule you have to remember is “lick, shoot, suck”.
Place some salt on the side of your hand, on the opposite hand from the one you use to hold your tequila shot, and a slice of lime or lemon cut in half. Lick the salt, drink the shot, and such the lemon.
Silver vs gold tequila for Margaritas
Silver tequila is considered to be a better choice for cocktails such as Margarita. It has a clear color which doesn’t affect the way the mixed drink looks and its strong taste blends perfectly with other ingredients.
Many local bars and restaurants will only use silver tequila for their cocktails and save their gold tequila for the shot orders. So, if you want to have your homemade cocktails taste like those in your favorite local bar, keep a bottle of blanc tequila precisely for such mixed drinks recipes.
Now that you know the difference between the two main types of tequila, silver and gold tequila, you will find it easier to choose the one that is more suitable for your preferences.
However, it is recommended to taste them both as separate shots to see which one you like most and to get an idea of how you can mix these spirits into your more complex cocktails.
No type of tequila will disappoint you considering the strict regulations such a drink has to follow. But don’t be surprised if you prefer one over the other. Make sure you choose an original kinds of tequila, made in Mexico and with at least 51% blue agave as its main ingredient.