Is Tequila Kosher For Passover?

Celebrating Exodus (when ancient Hebrews were liberated from enslavement), Passover is one of the most important Jewish holidays. Spanning seven to eight days, the celebration involves kosher ceremonial dishes and the drinking of four cups of wine at the Passover seder. Most observant Jews keep kosher, so those who enjoy sipping tequila or a classic margarita cocktail may wonder if they can drink this spirit during Passover. The good news is that you can — just with plenty of restrictions. 

It's not as simple as looking for the "K" or "U" label (known as a hechsher), as some tequila types are inherently kosher, according to the Chicago Rabbinical Council. For instance, unflavored tequila made from 100% pure agave does not require a hechsher. On the other hand, some tequilas that have preservatives or added flavors can still be considered kosher, depending on whether a Kashrut agency has certified that the ingredients and manufacturing process adhere to kosher standards. 

Although many tequila brands are considered kosher, only one is kosher for Passover, which requires a unique certification. In addition to adhering to year-round kosher standards, many Jews also drop bread products (chametz) and the grains used to make them (such as wheat, barley, and rye) from their diet during the holiday. If tequila is certified kosher for Passover, it does not contain any of those grains.

Which tequila brand is kosher for Passover?

Zarza is the only brand on the CRC's list that has OU-P certification, making it suitable to drink at Passover. Luckily, all three of Zarza's tequila varietals qualify, so you can enjoy Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo during Passover. Still, other tequilas may comply with Passover-friendly ingredients, and there may be appropriate-for-Passover brands unknown to the CRC. To tell whether a product is both kosher and kosher-for-Passover, look for a "K" or "U" on the label, followed by a "P" or the phrase, "Kosher for Passover," if in doubt. You can also look for these marks to help you find Passover-friendly ingredients to make a tequila-based cocktail.

If standard kosher rules are acceptable to you during Passover, you have many more options. Rancho Los Agaves, 1315, Rooster Rojo, and El Amo are just a few of the certified options. Interestingly, the popular tequila brand Patron qualifies as kosher without certification.