Happy hour in San Diego! There’s no better place to spend it than here at Casa Sol y Mar. Our Cantina is the essence of Mexico with high-back bar stools custom-upholstered in festively colored handwoven Oaxacan wool and sturdy tables crafted from reclaimed wood with black iron framework. Our happy hour menus list an array of appetizers made daily from only the freshest ingredients and our margaritas that are like no other. For those aficionados of tequila, we stock our bar with premium, top shelf tequilas including Anejo and Reposada.

History of Tequila

Tequila and Mexico, they go way back – 2,000 years in fact, with tequila playing an essential role in spiritual rituals. Over the years, this potent distilled liquid, made from fermented juice from the blue agave plant, made its way out of ceremonies and into cantinas. It came to the United States in the late 1800s, but Mexico continues to place stringent rules on production.

Tequila Laws

Mexican law declares that all tequila produced in Mexico must contain at least 51% agave juice. Premium tequila is 100% agave, can only be produced and bottled in Mexico and must undergo government inspection. Because of the expense involved in meeting these stringent rules, few tequila distilleries (tequilleros) produce the highest quality tequila, and its scarcity makes it the most expensive type of tequila.

Less expensive is mixto which is 10% agave and blended with water and sugar during the distillation process. Mixto tequila can be produced anywhere in the world.

Types of Tequila

Tequila can be further broken down into four types (tipos)

Tipo 1: Silver (Blanco)

Silver tequila, as the name implies is clear and may be either 100% agave or mixto. It may be aged less than 60 days in stainless steel barrels or not aged at all. Silver is mostly used in fruit-based cocktails.

Tipo 2: Gold (Joven)

Gold tequila is unaged and may be either mixto or a blend. It gets its flavor and color from caramel which gives it a sweet, smooth character, making it perfect for shots. Gold tequila is also used in margaritas.

Tipo 3: Reposada

Reposada means rested. Each batch has been aged in a wooden barrel for a minimum of 2 months, reposadas of higher quality – 3 to 9 months. Reposadas are perfect for sipping.

Tipo 4: Anejo

Anejo or old tequila has been aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of 12 months, with better quality anejos remaining in the barrel from 18 to 36 months. The very best 100% agaves are aged for 4 years, and usually served in snifters to best enjoy their rich aromas.

Not every restaurant in San Diego offers all tipos of Tequila, but Casa Sol y Mar is proud to say we do.