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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 ingredients, but a pure, additive-free tequila will give even novice sippers an outstanding experience.

You may be surprised 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. Unlike natural tequila ingredients, additives in tequila are commonly used to alter the tequila's flavor, aroma, or appearance. 

Without the extra ingredients, additive-free tequila is one of the few healthy spirits on the shelves, with a purity that helps you avoid hangovers and an authentic flavor profile from natural tequila ingredients—not chemical additives. 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, ensure you’re serving your guests the best additive-free tequila for the most authentic experience. Let us explain the difference.

What is Additive-Free Tequila

Additive-free tequila is free of added chemicals, sweeteners, flavors, and coloring. Additive-free tequila is considered “pure” and authentic as one of the few healthy spirits compared to counterparts injected with chemicals and flavorings. 

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 into four categories by the CRT. 

  • 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 higher quality and a more authentic taste from natural tequila ingredients, not chemicals. 

How Additives in Tequila Affect Your Health

Additives in tequila negatively impact your health in various ways. Whereas additive-free tequila has less sugar, carbs, and calories than other spirits, tequila with chemical additives can be high in sugar, calories, and other chemicals that wreak havoc on your gut, your weight, and tomorrow’s hangover.

Adding chemicals to tequila eliminates the possibility that the tequila is made with organic, natural tequila ingredients. The companies who use additives in their tequila are committed to mass-producing their tequila with the cheapest ingredients; therefore, it has a lower-quality taste and lacks authentic flavoring.

So, if tequila with additives is bad, what should you look for in a health-conscious tequila? Look for 100% authentic blue agave tequila created in one of the five approved Mexican regions (as noted by the CRT). Search for an organic, additive-free tequila—like Curamia Tequila! Not only will you find a more pleasurable, authentic sipping experience, but you’ll also benefit from health advantages such as low sugar, low carbs, low calories, and gluten-free properties of natural tequila.

Besides the diet benefits, you may also see surprising health benefits, as tequila is rumored to have advantages for digestion, insulin levels,  and metabolism.

How To Know if Tequila Has Additives

You may question the celebrity tequila brand you shoot back at your favorite local restaurant. Is it full of natural tequila ingredients or harsh, unhealthy chemicals?

A tequila containing more than 1% additives 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 should learn how to identify additive-free tequila without the label. 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 likely have an additive-free tequila.

Is Curamia an Additive-Free Tequila?

Curamia is a 100% additive-free tequila distilled using an environmentally-sensitive approach. As a health-conscious company, we strive to create a healthy spirit—not just in the ingredients we use but also with a focus on maintaining a healthier environment. The harmony during our unique 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 of the healthy spirits on the market, made from the most natural tequila ingredients—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, many pure, authentic, and additive-free tequilas are 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 several options.

What is the best alcohol with no additives?

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

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 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 Curamia.com.

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