Each step in tequila production is essential for a drink with a lot of history and cultural significance, but the distillate is one of the most complexes. This article will analyze the difference between double and triple distillation.
For a product to be on the market as Tequila, the Official Mexican STANDARD NOM-006-SCFI-2012 regulates all the characteristics a product must meet. According to this regulation, Tequila must have at least two distillations, but in some cases, you can opt for a third distillation to obtain a higher quality product.
What is the double distillation process?
To comply with NOM-006, the Tequila must have a double distillation. At Casa Sauza, we call these two processes: destruction and rectification.
During shredding, the fermented must is placed in distillation columns to concentrate the alcohol generated during fermentation and remove water from the mix. The liquid obtained in this process goes to the second distillation, called rectification.
In the rectification, we distill Tequila in batches in a tool called an alembic to obtain the "heart of tequila." This is the highest quality product and will be transformed into Tequila. This step is where we choose the alcohol percentage content. Then, we make the necessary adjustments to reach the desired level, enhancing the flavors obtained during fermentation.
What characteristics does triple distillation have?
In the elaboration of Tequila, triple distillation is not necessary, but it is very effective to obtain better quality products.
At Casa Sauza, we reserve triple distillation for our Tres Generaciones tequila in its three varieties: silver, añejo, and crystalline añejo. The triple distillation results in a tequila that is much smoother on the palate and has a more refined taste.
We obtain a triple distillate in the rectification process by placing the heart back in the still. Then, the rectification process is repeated, getting a third distillate of the product.
What is the use of the distillation?
An essential process in the production of Tequila and required by NOM-006, the distillate aims to recover the alcohol generated in the fermentation and separate the highest quality product by transforming it into Tequila.
Each brand and variety of Tequila has its distillation process, through which it is possible to achieve different alcoholic graduations and enhance the flavors obtained during the entire process, from the extraction of agave juice to its cooking and subsequent fermentation.
Through careful distillation, the aromatic notes of Tequila can be enhanced, which can be citrus, floral, sweet, or herbal. Due to the choices made during the distillation process, it is possible to create tequilas with different profiles, characteristics, and varieties.
And for this reason, this process is fundamental in the production of Tequila, which must be taken care of in detail to obtain a high-quality drink with double or triple distillation.