What Every Tequila Connoisseur Should Know About Additive-Free Tequila

Do you know what’s in your tequila? It may take a rocket scientist to identify the individual additives, but a pure, additive-free tequila will give even novice sippers an experience that stands out.

You may be surprised to find out that an estimated 70% (and likely more) of all tequilas sold have additives included in the product. If you’ve ever wondered how there are so many tequila brands with different flavor profiles, it’s often because of these additives. Additives in tequila are commonly used to alter the tequila's flavor, aroma, or appearance. 

Without the extra ingredients, additive-free tequila is healthier, with the purity that helps you avoid hangovers, and authentic. And these high-quality tequilas are booming in sales according to Market Watch, taking over sales of their “mixto tequila” counterparts, especially with health-conscious millennials.

So, before you plan your next soiree, make sure you’re serving your guests the best additive-free tequila for the most authentic experience.

What is Additive-Free Tequila

Additive-free tequila is free of added chemicals, sweeteners, flavors, and coloring. Additive-free tequila is considered “pure.”

Additives in Tequila

The Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), a government-certified organization that inspects and assesses tequila standards, allows some undisclosed additives in 100% agave tequila. However, if the additives make up more than 1% of the total liquid, it must be disclosed on the product label.

Additives in tequila are classified by the CRT into four categories. 

  • Glycerin—improves the smoothness
  • Oak extract—adds a barrel-aged taste and aroma
  • Caramel coloring—darkens the tint
  • Jarabes—adds sweetness

It’s common for tequila distilleries to use additives in tequila to adjust batches for consistency. For example, if a batch of tequila appears paler than usual, coloring can be added to make it appear more consistent with other batches.

However, some distillers use additives to shortcut the distillation process and create flavors in a cheaper, mass-produced way. In this instance, additive-free tequila is preferred for a higher quality and more authentic taste. 

How To Know if Tequila Has Additives

Now, you may be questioning the celebrity tequila brand you shoot back at your favorite local restaurant. Does Clase Azul have additives?!

If a tequila contains more than 1% additives, it should be disclosed on the label. Lab-tested and production-certified additive-free tequilas are also listed on Tequila Matchmaker, an independent testing program that tequila brands can invite to inspect their distillation methods.

However, you may want to learn how to know if tequila has additives without the label in front of you. If you’re in a pinch and want to test a tequila for additives on the go, you can pour a small amount of tequila into your hand and rub your hands together as you would with hand sanitizer. If the liquid sticks to your hands, it’s likely the tequila has additives. If the liquid maintains consistency and your hands feel dry, you most probably have an additive-free tequila.

Is Curamia an Additive-Free Tequila?

Curamia is a 100% additive-free tequila distilled using an environmentally-sensitive approach. The harmony that takes place during this distillation process produces an authentic, genuine tequila flavor that’s so smooth it doesn’t need the extra additives.

In our humble opinion, Curamia is the best additive-free tequila on the market—and we think you’ll agree.

Additives in Tequila - FAQs

Do all tequilas have additives?

Because 100% pure agave tequila can contain up to 1% additives without disclosing the additives on the label, it’s likely many contain trace amounts. However, there are many pure, authentic, and additive-free tequilas on the market, including Curamia!

What tequilas do not have additives in them?

Other than Curamia’s collection of four tequilas, there are several other authentic and genuine 100% agave additive-free tequila brands. The Tequila Matchmaker Additive-Free program, an opt-in certification program for brands and distilleries, lists a handful of options.

What is the best alcohol with no additives?

The purest spirit on the market is mezcal, which, like tequila, is made from agave. It must contain 100% agave with no additives or other products by law. 

Does 100% agave tequila have additives?

100% agave tequila can include additives up to 1% of the total liquid. 

How do I know if tequila has additives?

To find out if your tequila is additive-free tequila, read the label. Tequilas with more than 1% additives must disclose this on the packaging.

To test it for yourself at home, rub a few drops between your hands (like you would with hand sanitizer) and observe how the texture changes. Is it sticky? There are probably additives. Does it feel dry? It’s likely additive-free tequila.

To taste the difference in the best additive-free tequila with an authentic Mexican flavor, look for Curamia at your local bar or spirits shop. You can find a list of our stockists or buy a bottle (or two!) at

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