How many times have you taken a closer look at something you initially thought was simple only to discover a web of complexities so vast that you are left astounded, amazed that, somehow, society left you so bereft of even a hint at the full extent of the topic?

Tequila has blown my mind over the last few months, and not only by drinking it.

I, like most of the people I know up here in the frozen north, find the extent of our tequila knowledge encapsulated in shots, principally of Patron (when we’re feeling fancy) or Jose Cuervo (when we’re reconnecting with our college days). Lime and salt and up and down and move on. Sipping spirits consisted of scotch and bourbon, gin, rum, and vodka were cocktail fodder. Tequila had margaritas, but those were often so sweet or loaded with flavored mix that you could have thrown just about any booze in there and it wouldn’t have mattered.

However, thanks to Nicole’s recent dive into the depths of tequila, and a Mexico honeymoon spent generally avoiding well-known tequila brands, I can say that the agave-based spirit is puts up a good fight against its darker brethren for complexity and style. We’d have blancos, occasionally with a bit of tomato juice on the side, as refreshing cleansers in warm afternoons or on the beach. Anejos and reposados carried more intense flavors, brushing awful close to their Kentucky cousins, and bid a fond Buenos Noches to our days. We have at least five different bottles at home, which we’re sipping through.

If the thought of trying tequila without a filler is daunting, try cutting a bit of lime to suck on after a taste – it’ll help kill the burn, but you’ll still get a general idea of the tequila’s flavor. But don’t shoot the stuff (unless, of course, that’s your goal) – enjoy it, the same as you would wine, or a single malt. Who knows, you might find a new staple in your boozy rotation. We did.

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