What Makes the Perfect Tequila Sipping Glass?

Well-made, additive-free tequilas can take years, even decades to create – from the time the agave is first planted in soil to when it’s bottled and ready to drink. The result of this time-honored production process is a spirit defined by complex flavors and delicate aromas. But without the proper glass, subtle differences in a tequila’s taste and scent can easily go unnoticed, masked or diluted. That’s because different types, shapes, heights, materials and even brands of glassware have the ability to influence how you perceive the taste, aroma and mouthfeel of your tequila. 

Below, we explore how the perfect tequila glass can shape the tasting experience and significantly enhance your appreciation for fine tequilas, such as Cierto, the Most Awarded Tequila in History.

WHY DO TEQUILA GLASSES MATTER? 

While margarita glasses or highball glasses make sense if you’re enjoying a craft tequila cocktail, we don’t recommend standard cocktail glasses (or shot glasses) if you’re sipping neat. Instead, you’ll want to use glassware that’s shaped, designed and sized to showcase the tequila’s most important sensory aspects.

Glasses made specifically for tequila sipping and appreciation offer several benefits, including: 

  • They elevate the concentration of aromatics.
  • They provide temperature control when you’re holding the glass in your hand.
  • They allow for proper swirling and nosing before drinking. 
  • They maximize the pass-through of light to observe color.

Check Out: Cierto Tequila Wins Three Medals at the Tequila Aficionado Brands of Promise Awards 

QUALITIES TO LOOK FOR IN TEQUILA SIPPING GLASSES

When selecting tequila glasses, shape and material are the two most important qualities that will impact how your tequila tastes and smells as you sip it.

The Shape

In our experience, we’ve found that stemmed, tulip-shaped crystal glasses provide the best overall experience when sipping Cierto Tequila. (They’re also elegant in presentation and can help to elevate any occasion.)

The tulip shape, with a wider bowl and tapered rim, provides multiple benefits. First, they’re best for swirling, or gently spinning the glass to expose the tequila to air, releasing its aromas. 

A taller bowl will help the tequila’s aromas rise upward, gradually concentrating towards the narrower rim for nosing. Because well-made, additive-free tequilas can be quite delicate, this allows the nose to appreciate and enjoy more of the subtleties resulting from the agave’s terroir, the distillation process and barrel aging. 

The ideal tequila glass should also possess a thin-cut rim, allowing the tequila to flow smoothly onto the tongue. 

How you hold the glass matters, since room temperature (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) is optimal to enhance the components of a tequila. For this reason, we recommend glasses with longer stems, rather than tumblers or other stemless glasses. These require you to hold the bowl in your hand, the heat from which can make the tequila too warm. By contrast, a stemmed glass is meant to preserve the tequila’s ideal temperature for as long as possible.

The Material

In addition to shape, you’ll also need to consider the material of the glass. 

Blown glass is standard for most tequila glasses, but crystal is typically used in the production of high-end glassware. To appreciate an exquisite spirit such as Cierto Tequila, we prefer crystal, which provides better clarity (hence the phrase “crystal clear”). 

When you drink tequila from a crystal glass, you’ll be able to take better note of the spirit’s color and enhance the overall sensory experience. If you’re tasting and comparing a variety of tequilas at the same time, such as blanco, reposado, añejo or extra añejo, crystal glassware makes it easier to observe color variations among the individual expressions – typically a result of barrel type and length of maturation.

For example, a 4-year-old tequila aged in French oak ex-wine casks, such as Cierto Tequila Private Collection Extra Añejo, will embody a darker, reddish-brown color than a younger American oak ex-bourbon cask aged tequila. 

THE BEST TEQUILA SIPPING GLASSES

Drinkware manufacturers have used the label “tequila drinking glass” to market a variety of glassware types, but for us, there are two specific styles that stand out from the rest to provide a superior tasting experience.

Riedel Bar Tequila Glass  

The flute-shaped Riedel Bar Tequila Glass was created in partnership with over two dozen tequila producers, officials and connoisseurs and was designated the “Official Tequila Glass” by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT), specifically with tequila tasting in mind. With a slender stem, this flute’s narrow bowl diameter forces the aromas upward to the nose, allowing for a better appreciation of the complex layers of the tequila’s bouquet.

Made from crystal, its brilliant clarity and elegant silhouette make a sophisticated addition to any home bar.

Glencairn Copita Glass 

Crafted from lead-free crystal, the Glencairn Copita Glass is an ideal choice for evaluating and rating tequila. Similar to a sherry glass, the copita has a shorter stem and tulip shape, with a narrow rim and wide bowl for proper swirling. 

This clever design has become the preferred nosing glass of distillers and blenders around the world, including Cierto’s Master Distillers, Enrique Fonseca and Sergio Mendoza at La Tequileña distillery (NOM 1146), where Cierto is crafted.

Read About: Cierto Tequila Named Best Tequila at the Los Angeles Invitational Wine & Spirits Challenge

Choosing the right glass to pair with your ultra-premium tequila will always enhance your experience and your appreciation of this incredible Mexican spirit. Proper tequila glassware is designed so that you can swirl, observe, nose and savor the spirit’s nuanced flavors and aromatics – and is the best way to enjoy pure, additive-free tequila, such as Cierto.  

Ready to refill your tequila tasting glasses with the Most Awarded Tequila in History? Shop Cierto’s Private Collection and Reserve Collection today. 

Up Next: Cierto Tequila Wins Eight Medals at the L.A. Spirits Awards

About the Author

Jim Ruane is the Chief Growth Officer of Elevated Spirits and Cierto Tequila. During his 20-year beverage career, Jim has led some of the world’s most respected brands, has studied and taught the engineering, chemistry and cultural significance of spirits distillation and is one of the industry’s most dynamic leaders.

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