Gold vs Silver Tequila: Difference Between Gold and Silver Tequila

Originating in Mexico, tequila is one of the most popular alcohols in the world. It is an alcohol that is distilled from the agave plant and is typically very strong. For this reason, most people prefer to enjoy tequila as a shot or in mixed drinks.

There are two main types of tequila, gold tequila and silver tequila. Gold tequila is tequila that has been aged in oak barrels for at least 60 days and has a smooth and mildly sweet flavor. Silver tequila is bottled immediately after it is distilled and retains the full flavor of the agave it was distilled from.

Although they are both tequilas, these two varieties have distinct flavors and should be used for different drinks. They also have a completely different price point which is something to consider the next time you’re buying alcohol for an event.

What Is Silver Tequila?

If you’re a casual tequila drinker, you may have heard of silver tequila before, but may not understand exactly what it is. 

Silver tequila, also known as white tequila, describes all tequila immediately after it is distilled. Freshly distilled tequila is completely clear because it has not been stored in barrels for an extended period of time. Silver tequila can be aged for a few months before it is sold, but for the most part, it is an unaged tequila.

Another thing to consider with silver tequila is that it has a much harsher flavor. This is because it has no additional flavors helping to cut the flavor of the tequila. This is why a lot of people take their tequila shots with lemon and salt. Doing this can reduce the burn that all tequila, but especially silver tequila, can have.

Silver Tequilas are Great for Mixed Drinks

Since silver tequila has a relatively harsh flavor, it is rarely chosen for sipping. Instead, most people prefer to drink their silver tequila in the form of shots. However, it has another lesser known use. Silver tequila is also the most common tequila used in mixed drinks.

Yes, you can use aged tequilas in mixed drinks, but you are more likely to notice the flavor of the tequila if you do that. To avoid having a strong aged flavor peeking through the mixed drink, most bartenders will use silver tequila for a mixed drink.

This will make sure that the flavor of the mixed drink stays true to the other ingredients and won’t just taste like watered down tequila.

What Is Gold Tequila?

Gold tequila starts out just like silver tequila fresh out of the distillery and completely clear in color. However, it doesn’t stay like this for very long. 

After the tequila is distilled, it will be placed in oak barrels and allowed to sit there for several months, if not longer. Sitting in these barrels is what gives gold tequila its signature amber color as well as the sweeter and smoother flavor. This is what makes true gold tequila a more popular tasting or sipping beverage.

However, despite its more pleasant flavor, aged tequila is very rarely used in mixed drinks. This is because the deeper and slightly sweet flavor from the aging process mixes with the flavors of the mixed drinks and can make it seem muddy. For this reason, it is best to use the more singularly flavored silver tequila for cocktails. 

When you’re looking at gold tequila, you may see two different types of tequila that fit this category. Aged tequila, usually labeled “reposado,” is aged in oak barrels and typically has a very dark amber hue. This will be the most expensive type of tequila since it takes the most time and effort from the distiller. 

If you can’t afford a true aged tequila, you may also find what is called “joven”, young in Spanish, tequila.

Joven (Gold Tequila)

Joven tequila is typically considered to be the budget version of a true aged tequila. This is because it is usually made using a base of silver tequila mixed with other ingredients to make it taste slightly better.

In the cheapest versions, you will find that this tequila is typically just made with food coloring and sugar to add a slightly sweet flavor. It may also have some other flavorings that further enhance the flavor of the tequila. 

A slightly more expensive young gold tequila will consist of silver tequila that has been mixed with aged tequila. This will give it a light golden color and slightly better taste than the cheaper version. To look for this type of tequila, make sure to pick one that says 100% agave and check the ingredients list for added sugar.

Difference Between Gold and Silver Tequila

Now it’s time to break down the differences between gold and silver tequila. The categories where you’ll find the most differences are in color, aging, distilling, flavor, uses, and the price.


The first, and most obvious, difference between gold and silver tequila is the color. You can notice this before you’re even close enough to read the labeling on the bottle.

Silver tequila should be completely clear in color. This is because the tequila is bottled immediately after opening and isn’t given time to age in oak barrels.

In contrast, gold tequila has been aged in gold barrels and will have some color to it. This can range from a very pale gold in the younger tequilas to a deep amber in tequilas that were aged for multiple months.


The next difference between the two is in how they are aged. Silver tequila is either not aged at all or it is aged for less than 60 days. If it is aged, this is usually done in steel containers instead of oak barrels. This helps to prevent the tequila from becoming stained by the tannins and keeps the flavor as pure as possible.

Gold tequila is aged for anywhere from 60 days to one year before it is aged. It will usually be aged in oak barrels which helps to give the tequila a nice smooth and slightly sweet taste. Some companies even age it in barrels that have previously been used for other alcohols, like whiskey and wine, to give it some extra flavor.


Normally, these two drinks are distilled the same way. Until you reach the aging process, they are the exact same beverage. It is the aging process that is able to completely alter the flavor of the tequila and change its uses.


The flavor of silver tequila is probably what you think of when you think about tequila. It has a sharp, spicy taste that burns on its way down. This is why it is usually used in mixed drinks and is rarely sipped. Some people like to use it for shots, but others can’t handle the bite.

Gold tequila has a much smoother and sweeter flavor. The bite of the tequila is greatly reduced meaning that it is easier to sip and is more popular for shots. The one place you won’t see gold tequila being used is in cocktails. Since it has more of a sweet flavor, this can impact the other ingredients and ruin the flavor of the drink.


Typically, silver tequila is used almost exclusively for mixed drinks. Its strong agave flavor is difficult to manage on its own, but makes a great addition to a mixed drink since there aren’t extra ingredients to impact the drink’s flavor.

Gold tequila has a much more tolerable flavor. It is popular for shots and some people even use it for sipping if it has been aged longer. 


Out of the two, silver tequila is typically much cheaper. This is because it requires minimal effort from the producer and the overall time that they have to handle the tequila is shorter.

Since gold tequila is aged for a minimum of 60 days, its price is usually much higher. This is because this type of tequila requires much more time and effort by the distiller to get to the final product.

Taste Difference between Gold and Silver Tequila

Silver tequila is not aged like gold tequila. Because of this, it will have a much sharper flavor and can burn your throat on the way down. However, this same characteristic makes it a great beverage for mixed drinks where it blends well with the flavors often found in drinks like the margarita.

Gold tequila is not recommended for cocktails because it has a much smoother and slightly sweet flavor. This flavor comes from the extended aging process that this tequila goes through. Instead, you’ll probably find people using this drink to take shots or sip on at tasting events.


The next time you take a trip to the bar, actually look at the different tequilas that they have on the shelf before just saying “whichever.” You will be able to greatly enhance your drinking experience by choosing the right tequila for what you’re drinking.

If you’d like a paloma or a margarita, make sure to pick a silver tequila. This tequila will best blend with the citrus flavors that you’ll find in both of these drinks.

If you’re buying a round of shots with friends, go for a nice gold tequila. This will be smoother and be easier to shot than silver tequila. For an extra smooth shot experience, try asking the bartender to chill the shots before you take them.