Use This Trick To Determine If Your Tequila Has Hidden Additives

When buying tequila, you probably trust that reaching for anything labeled "100% agave" means you're purchasing the best quality you can get. After all, you've done the research. Unlike mixto tequila varieties, which only require 51% of the sugars to come from the blue agave plant, 100% puro agave tequila is supposed to contain nothing but the distilled liquor made from blue agave (via Fine Cooking).

Well, it turns out that the "100% agave" label is a bit misleading. According to Vine Pair, tequila manufacturers are allowed to sell you tequila that contains additives like caramel-coloring, glycerin, and sugar syrups and still call it "100% agave," so long as those additives make up less than 1% of the liquid in a bottle. As a matter of fact, they don't actually have to tell you those additives are in there at all if they fall under that threshold.

Now, you may be wondering what the big fuss is. After all, aren't these additives approved by the FDA? While there isn't much research into the potentially harmful effects of consuming these in small quantities, some connoisseurs have found that these additives affect the overall quality and taste of the tequila itself. Plus, consumers may want to be wary of tequila brands that take liberties with their labeling. And if you're gonna be dropping the big bucks on something with that label, you want to make sure you're getting your money's worth.

You can pour tequila on your hands to check for additives

So how can you tell if what you purchased is 100% pure agave tequila, or 99% tequila with some additives? One way is to gauge its smell and taste. Taste Tequila shares that you should question any tequila with an unusually sugary aroma. Though agave syrup is sweet, tequila should not smell like something you could use as a sweetener for your coffee. Of course, when the number of additives is so small, it can be difficult to detect with your nose alone. That's when other methods come in handy.

The good news is testing your tequila for additives is even easier than pouring it into a margarita glass. Simply pour a tablespoon of the spirit on your hands and rub them together as if you were using hand sanitizer (via VinePair). If after five seconds, your hands feel dry, you're in the clear and can be assured you have a high-quality tequila. But if it soon feels like you accidentally melted a hard candy or syrup between your hands, chances are your tequila has some secret additives in it.

At that point, you can make the choice whether you want to keep or toss it (We're not judging!). But at least then you'll know for the future which type of tequila is the real deal. Margaritas, anyone?