However, the confusion about light and dark tequila, and which is the proper choice for a margarita, is a mutual problem among novice margarita makers. If you love margaritas, but have no clue which kind of tequila to use, you are not alone.
Continue reading to learn the difference between silver and gold tequila, and some tips on using them to make margaritas.
Gold tequila is colloquially referred to as dark tequila, or aged tequila. This version is made by distilling the juice from a blue agave plant and turning it into a liquor. Most dark tequila brands that are not aged are not 100% pure agave. They are usually mixes that only contain around 51% agave tequila.
Dark tequila can get its color from two different places: wood barrels or caramel additives. For instance, Reposado (rested) in 200-liter white oak barrels for at least 2 months, while Añejo (aged) tequila is aged for 12 months. Reposado and Añejo are the only tequilas that have to be aged according to regulations.
Aside from wood barrels, the dark color can also come from caramel coloring and sugar that is added to the batch before fermentation. Most of the time, these additives are for the purpose of mimicking the gold hue of high quality aged tequilas. However, they are also attributed to giving the tequila a smoother taste, which is why they are the preferred choice for taking shots.
Silver tequila is also known as light, white, or blanco tequila since it has a clear, transparent color similar to vodka or gin. It is distilled in stainless steel containers, and can be either 100% pure agave or a mix. Similar to dark tequila, it is derived from the blue agave plant and distilled into a liquor, but the rather than aging, it is usually bottled right after distillation. In fact, it is rarely ever aged, and if so, only for a very short amount of time. This makes many tequila drinkers believe that it has a harsher taste, given that it is not aged like higher quality tequilas.
When it comes to making a great, classic margarita, the truth is that both light and dark tequilas are well-suited for the job; it really comes down to personal preference. But if you were to ask the professionals, they will likely tell you to go for the Gold. Gold tequila tends to have sweeter notes and a smoother finish, making them especially perfect for frozen margaritas.