If you came upon this article hoping it was the announcement of two new varieties of Goldschläger, it might be a letdown.
But please don’t leave because there is still going to be some great discussion on some fun spirits. For the unaware, Goldschläger is a cinnamon schnapps famous for floating gold flakes in its bottle.
While it’s undeniable that Tequila with silver or gold flakes floating around in the bottle would be visually striking, Tequila is doing fine on its own. To better understand the versatility of the drink, we will look at the debate between Gold vs Silver Tequila (hold the precious metals).
Gold Tequila or Silver Tequila
The Gold vs Silver Tequila contest should be easy to decide, right? Gold is worth more than silver, and a gold medal in the Olympics is for first place and a silver medal is for second place. Case closed.
If only life were that simple. In some ways they shouldn’t even be battling, they should be on the same team (Team Tequila). However, the battle of Silver vs Gold Tequila is one worth having, and there’s more to it than just the name.
While Tequila may seem like a newer creation due to the meteoric rise of bar culture and the world’s most popular cocktail – the Margarita, it has actually been around for a very long time.
Tequila’s roots go back to Mexico in the 1500s. For a long time, Tequila was primarily a drink that was enjoyed only in Mexico.
Tequila started making its way out into the world in the 1700s and 1800s. Big events like the 1893 World’s Columbia Exposition in Chicago, World War II, and the 1968 Olympics in Mexico all helped grow Tequila in the United States. Now Tequila is the second most popular spirit and quickly gaining on Vodka.
Silver Tequila is Tequila that is either aged for a very short time or not aged at all. This lack of aging results in it being clear and earning the Silver designation. Silver Tequila tends to be a bit harsher – but still smooth compared to Tequila which has been aged longer.
Gold Tequila on the other hand has a couple of definitions. Some Gold Tequila is also non-aged Tequila that has been mixed with other alcohol or coloring. Other Gold Tequila is a mix of Silver Tequila and aged Tequila (like Reposado or Añejo).
How Are They Made?
Silver Tequila production starts with the harvesting of the blue agave plant. After harvest, the large spiky leaves are cut off leaving the core, also known as the piña bulb. The piña bulb is baked in brick or steel ovens to bring out the sugar from the plant. The sugars are combined with water and yeast to start the fermentation which is the process that creates the alcohol. Once fermentation is complete the liquid is distilled to condense and clarify the Tequila. Some SIlver Tequila is aged in stainless steel tanks for a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Some Silver Tequila is not aged at all and is bottled immediately after distillation. Silver Tequila is the purest form of Tequila.
As mentioned above, Gold Tequila has two main definitions. The Gold Tequila that is mixed with some coloring or other non-agave-based alcohol shares most of the steps with Silver Tequila. The difference is that the add-ins are typically put into the mix before fermentation. The other Gold Tequila is made in the same exact way as the Silver Tequila right up until the end. At the end of the process, the SIlver Tequila is mixed with some amount of aged Tequila (Reposado or Añejo).
What Are They Made Of?
No matter what type of Tequila you’re dealing with, they all start with the blue agave plant. This is a plant that is native to Mexico that thrives in sandy soil and high altitude. The blue agave is a large plant with blue-green spiky leaves. Most Tequila is made with 100% agave (including Silver and some Gold). One version of Gold Tequila can also contain caramel coloring or some non-agave spirits. This is often to make up for not being made with 100% agave and gives the impression of aging.
How Are They Similar?
Gold and Silver Tequila are made in very similar ways. They can both be made relatively quickly as compared to aged liquor. They are both high-proof spirits made in Mexico. They can also be used for all the same functions even though some have their preferences on which are better for having straight or which one is better for Margaritas. At the end of the day, they are both Tequila which means they are a key component of having a good time.
Price, Size, Color, Alcohol Percentage Comparison
There are quite a few types or styles of Tequila, and Silver and Gold are probably the most popular versions.
This is owed to the fact that these are the two most available and affordable versions. The other versions of Tequila are all designated based on how long they are aged.
Silver, Blanco, or White Tequila is the pure non-aged or lightly aged version. Gold Tequila is a mixed version of other spirits or aged Tequila. Reposado Tequila means rested and is Tequila that is aged for between two months and a year in oak barrels.
Añejo Tequila means aged and is aged for one year to less than three years in oak barrels. Extra Añejo Tequila is the most aged Tequila and is aged for a minimum of three years. Silver Tequila is clear in color and the color goes from golden to amber as the Tequila is aged.
Gold and Silver Tequila is bottled in a range of bottles from very small to very large. Single 50 ml bottles like you’d see on an airplane or in a hotel room are common. The most common sizes you’ll see out in the wild are the 375 ml, 750 ml, and 1.75 L bottles.
Most Silver and Gold Tequila prices will make you smile because they are very affordable. Gold Tequila has a lower ceiling while there are some brands of Silver Tequila that are premium and more expensive. You may also have to spend a bit more once you get some of the versions with longer age.
For under $20 you can score a 750 ml bottle of Jose Cuervo Especial Gold, Jose Cuervo Especial Silver, Two Fingers Tequila Gold, or Sauza Hacienda Gold Tequila.
In the $40-$50 range, you can score some very nice Silver Tequila like Patrón Silver, Don Julio Blanco Tequila, 818 Blanco Tequila, or Casamigos Blanco Tequila. The last two listed are brands backed by celebrities Kendall Jenner and George Clooney if that does anything for you.
Gold and Silver Tequila are both strong spirits. At the low end of the spectrum is 80 Proof (40% alcohol by volume) which is also the most common strength. Some variations are 90-100 Proof but they are typically special editions.
How to Drink?
Tequila in all its forms is a very flexible spirit. In Mexico, it is traditionally consumed straight up. Around the world Tequila shots and cocktails including the Margarita are the most popular uses.
Here are two cocktails that feature Silver and Gold Tequila.
- 1 ½ oz Gold Tequila
- ¾ Cup Orange Juice
- 1 ½ oz Grenadine
- Lime & Maraschino Cherries (for Garnish)
Combine Gold Tequila and orange juice in a mixing glass. Fill a glass with ice, pour in the mixture, and then slowly pour in the Grenadine. Once the Grenadine settles to the bottom garnish with the lime and cherries.
- 1 ½ oz Silver Tequila
- 1 ½ oz Triple Sec
- 1 ½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
- Kosher Salt (for Garnish)
Moisten the rim of a margarita glass and dip them in kosher salt. Combine the liquid ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously, strain into a Margarita glass with a salted rim, and serve.
The quickest and easiest alternative to Silver or Gold Tequila would be another type of Tequila. Reposado, Añejo, or Extra Añejo may cost a bit more but they will scratch the itch.
If there is simply no Tequila to be found then turn to Vodka or White Rum. They are other versatile spirits.
Gold vs Silver Tequila FAQs
Which came first?
We’re going to have to give this title to Silver Tequila. Since Silver Tequila is non-aged or lightly aged then technically all Tequila was Silver at one point. This makes Silver the oldest of the two.
Which is more popular?
Silver Tequila is more popular. There is simply more of it out there and it has higher sales.
Which is stronger?
This is a tie. The Proof of Tequila varies between 80 Proof and 110 Proof regardless of the type.