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Walk down any tequila aisle. Most bottles will proclaim “100% Agave” somewhere on the label. However, it may be surprising to learn that this statement isn’t always entirely accurate.

A tequila brand may legally include up to 1% of its weight in additives and still label its products as 100% agave. Brands using less than 1% of additives are not required to disclose this fact. This rule, established decades ago, was originally intended to maintain batch consistency. However, many producers now use additives to alter the appearance and taste of their tequilas or to compensate for using immature agave, allowing those makers to increase production.

Tequila’s sharp rise in popularity over the last decade has made enthusiasts hungry—or thirsty, rather—for more information about the spirits they enjoy. Customers seek brands that use traditional production methods to create authentic, quality tequila. To meet this demand, Grover and Scarlet Sanschagrin created Tequila Matchmaker in 2012, an app and website offering detailed information about various tequilas, including production methods, distilleries, and tasting notes.

In 2020, they furthered this initiative by establishing the Additive-Free Alliance, aiming to promote transparency in tequila labeling and support natural tequila brands, and the communities that produce them.

Additive-Free Tequilas at Mike’s

Mike’s Wine and Spirits boasts one of the best selections of genuinely 100% agave tequilas in the Kansas City area. Close connections to producers in Mexico allow Mike’s to showcase genuine and authentic tequila on a regular and frequent basis. Check out some of our favorite additive-free tequilas below, available for purchase online or at any of Mike’s three locations.

Cazcanes Tequila – Named after the last indigenous people in Mexico to be conquered by the Spanish, Cazcanes Tequila is made with water from deep underground springs, agave, and yeast from that lost culture’s 300-year-old recipe.

Tapatio – The flagship brand of the famous La Alteña Distillery, founded by Don Felipe Camarena in 1937, Tapatio offers a range of expressions, from Blanco to Extra Añejo, each characterized by smooth, complex flavors based on its rich heritage.

Don Vicente Tequila – A newer brand from the El Pandillo Distillery and Master Distiller Felipe Camarena, son of Don Felipe Camarena, this highly acclaimed distillery produces several well-known tequilas, such as G4 and Volans.

Fuenteseca – A distinguished brand known for high-quality, traditionally crafted tequilas and rare releases, some aged up to 21 years. Critics and tequila aficionados alike praise Fuenteseca for its dedication to traditional methods and its innovative approach to aging.

Mi Casa Blanco Tequila – Mi Casa Blanco Tequila’s rich flavor and dreamy texture derive from only three ingredients: Michoacan Agave, Champagne Yeast, and Arandas water. (Please note: Though additive-free, this tequila is not part of the TMM Additive-Free Alliance due to its production date.)