Vodka vs Tequila: What's The Difference?
Vodka and tequila are both very popular spirits throughout the world. While this is the case, they couldn’t be more different. When out at a bar or hosting a dinner party, it can be hard to decide which liquor is best. By having a better understanding of the differences and similarities between tequila vs vodka, you’ll have a much easier time deciding which alcoholic drink is best for you!
What is Vodka?
Vodka is an alcoholic beverage traditionally made from the distillation of fermented grains or potatoes. It is usually drunk neat and has a clean, slightly sweet taste. Vodka is considered one of the most popular alcoholic beverages around the world and is especially popular in Russia and other Eastern European countries. Premium vodka has a much more neutral flavor and doesn’t have a strong aroma. This makes it the perfect base for many mixed drinks, as its flavor won’t overpower any other ingredients that you might add.1
What is Tequila?
Tequila is a hard liquor made from the blue agave plant. It is mainly produced in the Mexican state of Jalisco and other parts of the country. It's distilled into a clear liquid and bottled, usually at 40% ABV. The flavor of tequila differs depending on the type of agave used. Tequila is known for its distinctive flavor and strong aroma. Tequila also offers more complexity and flavor, making it a great choice for sipping or using in mixed drinks. There are also many different types of tequila but the most popular are silver, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo.2
Similarities Between Vodka and Tequila
Although there are many differences between tequila and vodka, they are also a few similarities. Both spirits have about the same alcohol percentage at around 40% to 50% ABV. They also are both clear spirits and can have a sweet flavor depending on the type.3 Furthermore, both can be used as the base spirit for many popular cocktails and drinks.
Differences Between Vodka and Tequila
Vodka and tequila are two distinct spirits, with very different production processes. Vodka is a distilled spirit made from any fermentable material, including grain, potatoes, sugar, or even fruits and vegetables. The process of making vodka involves the fermentation of the chosen ingredients, followed by distillation and filtration to produce a clear, colorless spirit with a neutral flavor profile.4
Tequila is a distilled spirit made from the blue agave plant, which is native to Mexico. The production of tequila starts with the harvesting of the agave plant and its extraction of juice. The juice is then fermented and then double-distilled in copper pot stills. After this process, the tequila is aged in oak barrels for two months to up to five years depending on the type of tequila being produced.5
These different alcoholic beverages originated from very different places. Vodka was traditionally associated with Russia and Poland but is now produced worldwide. You can find vodka being made in the United States, Sweden, Finland, and Lithuania.4
Tequila, on the other hand, has to be made in certain regions of Mexico to be considered authentic. This popular liquor is produced in five regions of the country including Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.5 Because of its Mexican origins, tequila is associated with the Southwest United States, while vodka tends to be thought of as an Eastern European spirit.
Appearance & Taste
The appearance and taste of vodka and tequila are very different. Vodka is typically clear in color and has a very smooth flavor with no notable aroma. It is often described as having a neutral flavor.1 However, in order to maintain this flavor it is important that you know how long vodka is good for and how to store it properly.
Tequila can range from clear (blanco) to golden (reposado) to dark brown (añejo) and can have a strong smoky taste and smell. Tequila has a more complex flavor than vodka. It is often considered sharp and intense due to the agave used in its production.2 Tequila also has a distinct aftertaste that some people find to be quite unpleasant while vodka tends to leave a smoother feeling on the tongue.
When deciding between these two spirits take your personal taste preferences into consideration. If you prefer smoother drinks, then vodka is for you. If you want more of a kick then maybe tequila is for you. If you are wanting liquor that contains richer flavors like spice and oak, then you should consider whiskey. Learn more about the differences between vodka vs whiskey here.
The health effects of vodka and tequila vary as well. Vodka contains no carbohydrates, fat, or sugar, making it a low-calorie drink choice. It also does not contain any congeners, which are substances found in alcoholic drinks that are thought to contribute to the severity of hangovers. Moderate consumption of vodka is believed to help reduce stress and improve heart health due to its potential antioxidant properties.6
Tequila, on the other hand, has a unique advantage over vodka as it is made from agave, a plant that is high in dietary fiber and essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium. It also contains fructans, which are believed to be beneficial for gut health. Moderate consumption of tequila can help with inflammation, weight loss, digestive health, bone health, and much more.7
When drinking alcohol, many people are concerned with its after-effects. While vodka can be consumed neat or on the rocks, tequila must always be consumed with a mixer like orange juice or soda. Because these mixers are full of sugar and carbs, the tequila cocktail can lead to a worse hangover than vodka. In addition, some people who are sensitive to gluten may experience a worse hangover if they are drinking tequila that has been made with wheat. If this is a concern for you, look for brands of tequila that are gluten-free.
Ultimately, it is best to drink both vodka and tequila in moderation. Overindulging in either of these spirits can leave you feeling ill and foggy the next day. So be sure to always drink responsibly!
When it comes to calories, vodka and tequila can vary depending on the type you are consuming. Vodka usually contains about 100 calories per shot making it a relatively low-calorie spirit compared to other alcoholic beverages. It should also be noted that flavored vodka tends to contain more calories than unflavored vodka, due to the added sugar content.8
Tequila is considered to have a slightly higher calorie count at around 110 calories per shot.8 If you choose to drink pure agave tequila, it may be slightly less. However, when you mix these spirits with soda or juice, the calorie count can increase significantly. Common mixers including soda and juice, are full of added sugars. So be aware of what you are mixing your drink with.
Which is Best For You?
When choosing between vodka and tequila, there is no definitive answer as to which is “better” for you. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference. Both spirits have their pros and cons, so when considering which one to drink, it’s important to consider your taste and health preferences.
If you’re looking for something that’s lighter and less likely to give you a hangover, then vodka might be the better option. It’s also low in calories and relatively inexpensive. If you’re looking for something with a stronger flavor and more of a kick, then tequila might be more up your alley. Tequila drinks may have more calories than vodka but they also have some potential health benefits.
Find Premium Tequila & Vodka With Barbank
At the end of the day, only you can decide which spirit is best for you. Based on your personal taste and health preferences you can decide whether tequila or vodka is your favorite beverage. Or if you are looking for liquor with more herbs and spices, you could consider gin. Learn more about the differences between vodka vs gin to see if this would be the best liquor choice for you.
Here at Barbank, we deliver high-quality liquor straight to your door with our online liquor delivery services. We have all the brands you could need as well. Whether you are looking for Grey Goose and Titos or Casamigos and Patron, Barbank can help.
We have tequila and vodka stocked at all price points, allowing you to try the many exquisite flavors these alcohols have to offer. Cheers!
- ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. What is Vodka?https://www.abcfws.com/about-vodka
- Decanter. Learn About Tequila: Everything You Need to Know.https://www.decanter.com/spirits/learn-about-tequila-403851/
- Liquor Laboratory. Tequila vs Vodka.https://liquorlaboratory.com/tequila-vs-vodka/#How_Are_They_Similar
- MasterClass. How Vodka is Made.https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-vodka-made-from
- MasterClass. How is Tequila Made?https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-is-tequila-made
- WebMD. Vodka: Is It Good For You?https://www.webmd.com/diet/vodka-health-benefits
- Medical News Today. Are The Alleged Health Benefits of Tequila Real?https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/health-benefits-of-tequila#agave-health-benefits
- Health. The 12 Lowest-Calorie Alcoholic Drinks, According to Nutritionistshttps://www.health.com/nutrition/lowest-calorie-alcohol