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Tequila vs Vodka: Key Differences (2022 UPDATED)

Last Updated on November 2, 2022 by Lydia Martin

A gathering surely feels incomplete without distilled spirits that bring out the “fun” in every celebration. Often, we compare tequila vs vodka, but only rarely do we arrive at a definite answer. 

In this article, our team rounds up their major differences and similarities to help you decide which among the two fare better in every aspect!

Vodka or Tequila: Which Is Better?

1800 Tequila Reposado

In the spirits category, the most common comparison lies between tequila vs vodka. We perceive vodka as an odorless, sleek, and neutral liquor. Besides vodka, tequila is another popular drink at parties. Usually paired with lime juice, we love every gulp of this sweet spirit! 

However, how do you decide which one of the two is better in terms of taste, price, and of course, the hangover that comes the morning after? 

How Do They Differ?

How Do They Differ?

History

Vodka drinkers believe that it originated from Russia during the 8th or 9th century [1]. Vodka is unique to the Slavic and Northern European countries. Vodka comes from the Slavic word “voda,” which means water.  

Unlike other spirits, vodka is like little water as it is clear, albeit with alcoholic content. On the other hand, the craft of making most tequilas started long before the Spaniards even introduced fermentation in Mexico.

Location

Drinking vodka was a custom in Russia and Northern European countries until these distilled spirits became popular in the United States and Europe. Like vodka, tequila is a distilled liquor originating from the Mexican state, Jalisco [2]. 

Most drinkers often mix it with Margarita cocktails, but the Mexicans prefer it raw, coupled with salt and lime. Many people across the globe love it. In fact, it ranks as one of the most consumed liquor worldwide.

Appearance & Taste

Tequila appears clear to golden in color. It often comes in 50 ml, 375 ml, and 1.75 L bottles. Extra Añejo, the most recent variant out in the market, is extra-aged, usually for about eighteen months in bourbon barrels. 

Chopin Vodka

Meanwhile, Blanco tequila is pure and colorless. Some vodka brands like Grey Goose taste better when paired with soft drinks and soda.

Sugar Content

Vodka usually doesn’t contain any sugar, cholesterol, or carbohydrates and only contains ethanol and water. 

On the other hand, a regular tequila may have high amounts of sugar, so make sure to watch out for your blood sugar levels whenever enjoying a bottle or two.  

However, a colorless Blanco tequila can be drunk even by people with diabetes. Tequila, initially, has soft sugar, but its distillation process breaks it down, lowering tequila’s calories and carbohydrates content.

Spirit Type

Another common ground between vodka and tequila is that they’re both clean, neutral, and sometimes flavorful spirits. Vodka is the most uncomplicated spirit, consisting only of water and ethanol. 

It is very versatile as you can infuse it into cocktails such as Bloody Mary, Moscow Mule, White Russian, or add it to gin and tonic. Mix it with soda or citrus juice, and you are good to go! Meanwhile, tequila also has its fair share of versatility as it is considered the star in Tequila Sunrise cocktails.

Health & Hangover 

In the spirits category, party goers dub tequila as the main culprit for the worst hangover. The premium ones, though, are more hangover-friendly. These premium bottles relieve the bad reputation of sipping tequila, as the distilling process is more sophisticated to keep its flavors neat, less intense, and more flavorful. 

Vodka Martini

However, if you are looking for a drink that will give you minimal hangovers, vodka is your go-to drink! 

Aroma & Flavor

The flavors and aroma of vodka or clear tequila make drinking more delightful. Vodka makers incorporate unique ingredients into their flavors, such as lemon peel, berries, buffalo grass, and peppercorns. Modern flavors of vodka also include fruits. 

On the other hand, Tequila’s flavor is typically sweet with a hint of spice, thanks to the natural flavors of blue agave. But, what does tequila really taste like?

Health Benefits

Surprisingly, drinking vodka and tequila is not all that precarious. A tequila drink has many health benefits for bone health, faster digestion, and aids in weight loss. It also contains low carbohydrates and helps prevent dementia in people of old age. 

Meanwhile, vodka is an antitoxin and antiseptic, which can help prevent health problems, increase blood circulation, and aids in weight loss. 

Base Ingredients

The makers of tequila ferments agave (usually the Blue agave plant), which is often characterized as spiky plants. This plant grows in large quantities in Mexico, and the base of the blue agave comprises honey water, making the agave tequilana sweet. The blue agave tequila is also quite popular because drinking it will not give you a hangover at all.

Meanwhile, the makers of vodka ferment potatoes, cereal grains, wheat, or rye to produce a bottle. The modern flavors of vodka feature fresh fruit extracts that suit the taste of every drinker.

Calorie Content

Some liquors are almost straight sugar. Those who want a healthier option prefer tequila more than any beverage because it is 100% gluten-free. It has a distinct sweetness due to the naturally sweet taste of agave plant extracts. 

Siete Leguas Tequila

Meanwhile, vodka contains fewer calories and no carbs at all. Its 96-calorie count per 1.05-oz shot can be attributed to its only two ingredients – ethanol and water.

Alcohol Content

Each bottle of tequila has an alcohol content that ranges between 40% to 50% ABV or about 80 to 100 Proof. Vodka is the most uncomplicated spirit because it consists mainly of just water and ethanol. Similarly, the alcohol percentage of vodka ranges from 35% to 95% ABV, but the most common bottle you can find has at least 40% concentration. So, is tequila stronger than vodka?

Price

The production of tequila is rare, but there is no stopping its popularity. Its average price per bottle is around $25.00 – $30.00. 

On the other hand, a vodka bottle costs about $15.00 to $50.00, depending on the brand. The indefinite price of a vodka bottle is attributable to many factors, such as its ingredients, production, brand, and flavor, and whether it is a budget, standard, or premium vodka.

How Are They Similar?

Both vodka and pure tequila are distinguishable from one another. However, the two drinks have distinct similarities, too. First, vodka and tequila drinks are clear spirits with about the same amount of alcohol percentage, which is around 40% to 50% ABV.

Aside from that, they can both be sweet and flavorful, depending on the variant. Albeit, we can consider tequila and vodka as alcoholic drinks as they both undergo a distillation process that helps in diminishing their strength and effect. 

FAQs

Does tequila get you drunk faster than vodka?

No. Generally, tequila has no such strong effect on anyone. Both tequila and vodka only have about 40% alcohol concentration. Technically speaking, it ranks far below the list of drinks that quickly make you drunk. However, there are other factors, such as tolerance, frequency, and the amount of consumption.

Why is tequila harder than vodka?

Tequila has a more complex effect because we drink it in just a short amount of time. We usually drink tequila in one straight shot, only with a bit of salt and lime wedge. On the other hand, vodka is usually mixed with other beverages such as soda or citrus juice. But, is it alright to mix vodka and tequila

Key Takeaways

Both tequila and vodka have a clear, distinct, and enjoyable flavor. Each drink has an appeal, especially to those with an acquired taste. Once you pop open a bottle, conversations become more enjoyable, and celebrations gain more life!

Many would argue that the alcohol in tequila, vodka, beer, red wine, and other alcoholic beverages affects the brain differently among individuals. However, it all depends on your personal drinking preferences and the type of drinks you enjoy. If your concern is the effect of flavored vodka or tequila agave on your bodily systems, all you have to do is watch your consumption of distilled spirit. 

The tequila vs vodka debate is long overdue. Each person has their preference which makes one option better than the other. Go for whatever suits your taste and budget, pop open a bottle, have fun, and drink responsibly! 

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/vodka
  2. https://www.delish.com/kitchen-tools/a36167100/history-of-tequila/

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