About Jose Cuervo
Few spirit brands can claim to be family-owned by descendants of the founder, but Jose Cuervo Tequila can.
Jose Antonio de Cuervo started the brand in 1795 after his son had obtained a permit from King Carlos IV for tequila production. In 1812, the family founded La Rojeña, which is the oldest standing distillery today.
In 1880, the family brand became a pioneer in the spirits industry when they began to ship individual tequila bottles, facilitating their transport. By the 1900s, the brand had built a solid reputation.
The mysterious emergence of the Margarita cocktail a few years later further popularized the brand. As Cuervo launched memorable Margarita campaigns, many credited the brand with the invention of the cocktail.
Today the brand continues to do well internationally, making up a third of US tequila sales. Though London-based distributor Diaego had their eyes set on buying Jose Cuervo over the years, negotiations fell through as the family ultimately refused to sell.
Jose Cuervo tequila uses varying amounts of pure agave, depending on the type. Its popular Tradicional Silver is composed of 100% blue weber agave.
Cuervo’s mixto tequilas, which blend Blanco and Reposado, are approximately 51% agave, while the remaining ingredients are primarily sugars.
Regarding flavoring, many of the brand’s tequilas feature citrus notes such as grapefruit and orange, while most of the sugars used are from sugar cane. A variety of peppers and herbs can be found in the tequila too, contributing to its rich flavor.
Jose Cuervo Tequila Prices
The prices for Jose Cuervo tequilas vary depending on the type, size, and how long it has been aged. The following table gives a general overview of the different tequila prices and their location of origin and alcohol content.
|Jose Cuervo Especial Silver||Mixto||Jalisco, Mexico||2+ months||40% (80 proof)||375ml||$14.99|
|Jose Cuervo Especial Gold||Golden||Jalisco, Mexico||2+ months||35% (70 proof)||375ml||$10.99|
|Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver (Plata)||Blanco||Jalisco, Mexico||2+ months||35% (70 proof)||375ml||$14.99|
|Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado||Reposado||Jalisco, Mexico||2+ months||40% (80 proof)||375ml||$12.99|
|Jose Cuervo Tradicional Anejo||Anejo||Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico||1+ year||40% (80 proof)||750ml||$32.99|
Limited Editions Prices
The Jose Cuervo brand also has several special edition tequilas in the high-end price range.
To celebrate over 200 years of successful distribution worldwide, Jose Cuervo has designed new colorful bottles in collaboration with Spanish artist Ricardo Cavolo.
Cavolo created special characters for each bottle that hold special meaning for a particular period of the company’s history. The celebratory bottles can be found in stores worldwide today.
These special tequilas are aged in oak barrels from several months to several years.
The following table shows a comparison of the special edition tequilas.
|Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Reposado||Reposado||Jalisco, Mexico||10+ months||40% (80 proof)||750ml||$79.99|
|Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Extra Anejo||Anejo||Jalisco, Mexico||10+ months||40% (80 proof)||750ml||$170.99|
|Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Platino||Blanco||Jalisco, Mexico||3+ years||40% (80 proof)||750ml||$64.99|
|Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario||Gold||Jalisco, Mexico||3+ years||40% (80 proof)||750ml||$2,499|
Is Jose Cuervo Real Tequila?
Many people wonder about the authenticity of foreign spirits. In the case of tequila, to be considered “real” or authentic, it must be made from blue agave specifically.
The cactus plant from which it stems is called Blue Agave Tequilana Weber. It grows only in five Mexican states: Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacan, and Tamaulipas.
There are three characteristics a tequila must have to be considered authentic:
- It must be made in one if the five Mexican states mentioned above
- It must be made from Blue Agave Tequilana Weber
- It must have a special number identifier on the bottle, called Norma Oficial Mexicana, or NOM
Jose Cuervo tequilas are always made with 100% blue agave grown in Jalisco, Mexico, in the town of Tequila (the spirit’s namesake). The family, today called the Beckmann family, own land in the town where the agave is grown. It was granted to Jose Cuervo himself by the Spanish king at the time, Carlos IV.
Because Jose Cuervo tequilas meet all three of the criteria, it is considered 100% authentic tequila. Additionally, the brand is the only one to rely on artisanal traditions to craft their spirits.
Jose Cuervo Buying Guide
The most well-known tequila from the Jose Cuervo brand is the Especial label. Jose Cuervo Especial is also the most widely available. These are Mixto tequilas which are bottled at 40% ABV.
Jose Cuervo Tradicional is composed of 100% Blue Agave, unlike the Mixto types. This edition is smooth and moderately priced. The Anejo type is finished in Irish whiskey casks and contains more fruit notes.
Jose Cuervo Reserva de Familia is the most expensive Cuervo tequila and is considered a high-end tequila. It is also considered the world’s first Anejo tequila.
Each tequila type requires a different production process.
This type of tequila can be bottled directly after distillation without the need for aging. Alternatively, it can be allowed to settle for up to four weeks in stainless steel tanks. Because the flavor of this tequila is not as potent, it is best enjoyed in cocktails that add rich flavors or sweet ingredients.
Rested tequila means it has been stored in oak barrels from two months to a year. This is a moderately flavored tequila and can thus be enjoyed by both connoisseurs as well as those new to tequila.
Aged tequila requires a minimum of one year of storage in compact oak barrels. This gives the tequila a much bolder, richer flavor.
Extra-aged tequila requires over three years of aging and thus provides the smoothest flavor of all and the most complex. For those who enjoy the pungent flavor, this is one of the best tequila types to choose from.
The Best Way(s) to Drink Jose Cuervo
Jose Cuervo tequila can be enjoyed in many different kinds of cocktails. Because of the sweet notes many of these tequilas have, a lot of the best cocktails to make with them include fruits. Here are some of the best cocktails to make using Jose Cuervo:
- Cabo Wabo
- Bloody Matador
- Jose and Ginger
- Cranberry Margarita
- Jello Margaritas
- Gold Driver
- Tequila Sunrise
There are several variations of the above recipes you can make as well.
5 Best Things to Mix with Jose Cuervo
- Citrus: Lime, orange, and grapefruit fall under the citrus category of best things to mix with Jose Cuervo. Many of the tequilas already contain citrusy undertones, making this a perfect combination.
- Cranberry: The bitter cranberry will make a lovely combination with the sweeter, peppery hints of many Jose Cuervo tequilas.
- Cola: Coke or Pepsi beverages mix well with Jose Cuervo, and the combination can be used to create several cocktail recipes.
- Jalapeno: Tequilas go well with spices, and Jalapeno cocktails are not only delicious but provide an extra kick when made with Jose Cuervo.
- Tropical Fruits: Coconut and pineapple mix particularly well with Jose Cuervo and can create some delicious margaritas.
Tequila Alternatives to Jose Cuervo
- Casamigos: This tequila doesn’t have as great a reputation as the others on the list. It is, however, very inexpensive compared to the rest.
- Patron: Much like Jose Cuervo, Patron is known for making top-of-the-line tequilas. Patron is generally more expensive, however.
- Don Julio: Don Julio is yet another popular tequila brand around the world, and also makes great tequilas. The prices for this brand are generally considered steeper than most Jose Cuervo tequilas.
- 1800: Made by the same family that owns Jose Cuervo, this tequila is known for its high quality. The prices are similar to those of Jose Cuervo, though overall a bit higher.