Tequila vs Vodka – What are the Differences?

Tequila Vodka bottles

Tequila vs Vodka

Vodka and tequila are both distilled spirits, but their production processes and flavor profiles differ considerably.

Vodka is typically made from either grain or potatoes, while tequila must be made with blue agave to be classified as such.

Vodka can be nearly flavorless when it is made according to the traditional Polish or Russian recipes, while tequila has a unique sweetness and earthy taste that lingers on the tongue.

As far as alcohol content, vodka usually contains 40% ABV while some varieties of tequila may contain up to 55% ABV.

Vodka is also often filtered multiple times during its production process which reduces its flavor profile even further than what you get in an unaged or blanco tequila.

Tequila may also come in different styles with aging periods that range from silver (unaged) all the way up to extra añejo (aged for more than three years). Additionally, many choose to mix vodka into cocktails whereas tequilas are more commonly enjoyed straight or in margaritas or even mixed with margarita mix.


Tequila is a Mexican spirit made from the blue agave plant, whereas vodka is a neutral spirit typically made from grains or potatoes. Tequila has a distinct flavour and aroma, ranging from sweet to earthy and herbal, while vodka’s flavour profile is almost completely neutral.

The alcohol content in tequila can range anywhere between 35-55%, while vodka’s ABV usually falls somewhere between 40-46%.

Tequila also comes in different varieties depending on how long it has been aged; blanco tequilas are unaged and have the strongest flavours of agave, whereas reposado tequilas have been aged for up to one year in oak barrels which provide added complexity and sweetness.

In contrast, all vodkas are essentially the same with no aging involved. When it comes to mixing drinks with either liquor, both have their own unique strengths; tequila mixes well with citrus juices like lime or orange for Margaritas or Palomas while vodka works great as the base for creative cocktails such as Moscow Mules or White Russians.

Alcohol Content: ABV

ABV, or Alcohol By Volume, is a measure of the amount of ethanol in a given volume of beverage. Tequila and vodka both contain ethanol, but they differ significantly in their ABV content.

While tequila generally has an ABV between 35-60%, vodka is usually 40-50%. This means that vodka has a higher concentration of alcohol than tequila.

The difference in ABV can make for different levels of potency when the drinks are consumed; for example, one shot (1.5 ounces) of tequila may have less effect than one shot of vodka due to its lower percentage of alcohol.

Additionally, this difference may impact the flavor profile and intensity as well; many people find that the higher ABV content makes for a more intense taste experience with vodkas than with tequilas.

Lastly, it should be noted that some high-end types of either spirit may have ABVs above 50%, so drinkers should always check labels before consumption to ensure they know what they’re drinking!

Flavor: Taste & Aroma

Taste and aroma are two key characteristics that set tequila and vodka apart. Tequila has a distinct taste that is often described as earthy, herbal, peppery, or even roasted agave-like.

Aroma wise, it usually carries hints of citrus and herbs like black pepper and cinnamon. Vodka on the other hand tends to be much more neutral in both taste and aroma; there’s generally no strong flavor or smell associated with it. It is also typically sweeter than tequila.

Since vodka is a distilled spirit, its flavor profile is not as complex as tequila’s; however its neutrality makes it a great base for cocktails like a dirty martini since you can add any flavors you want to the drink without clashing with the spirit itself.

Production: Processes & Ingredients

The production processes for tequila and vodka, though similar in some ways, are ultimately quite different. To make tequila, the core ingredient is agave, a natural plant found mainly in Mexico.

The process of making tequila starts with harvesting the agave plants. The plants are then baked to extract the sugars and convert them into fermentable sugars or sugary liquid called “mosto”.

After fermentation, this mosto is distilled twice to create high-proof Tequila. On the other hand, vodka can be made from anything containing sugar or starch such as grains (wheat, rye or barley), potatoes or even fruits.

During its production process, these ingredients are mashed and converted into a fermentable liquid which is then distilled multiple times until it reaches its high proof level desired by producers.

In general terms both spirits undergo distillation to reach alcohol levels of 40% ABV (alcohol by volume).

Popularity: Culture & Availability

Tequila and vodka are two of the most popular liquors in the world. The popularity of each spirit is largely determined by culture and availability.

Tequila has become increasingly popular in North America, particularly as a shot or as an ingredient in cocktails such as margaritas. It’s also a staple at Mexican celebrations, such as Cinco de Mayo, where it’s often served with lime juice and salt.

Vodka is more widely available across the globe than tequila, making it easier to access for anyone looking to stock up their bar cart or liquor cabinet.

Additionally, many countries have strong cultural traditions associated with vodka consumption—such as Russia where it can be enjoyed neat or alongside zakuski (small bites).

Both tequila and vodka offer a wide range of flavors that make them great choices for mixing into drinks or sipping on their own.

Health Benefits: Nutrients & Calorie Counts

Tequila and vodka are two popular distilled spirits. When it comes to health benefits, both contain very few nutrients, but provide a calorie count. Tequila is made from the blue agave plant and contains 68 calories per 1-ounce serving.

Vodka is typically made from grains or potatoes and has similar caloric content at 65 calories per 1-ounce serving.

Tequila also contains small amounts of potassium and calcium, while vodka does not offer any nutritional value. Both contain no fat or carbohydrates and are gluten free.

Finally, taste can be another factor to consider when it comes to choosing between tequila vs vodka for health benefits.

Tequila is known for its signature agave flavor that can range from sweet and fruity to smoky and spicy depending on the type chosen; whereas vodka has a more neutral flavor profile that often takes on the characteristics of whatever other ingredients were used in its production such as grain or potato flavors.


In conclusion, both tequila and vodka have their own unique flavor profiles and can be used to create a variety of cocktails. What makes each one special is the distilling process and where it’s made.

Tequila is made with agave sugars in Mexico, while vodka is usually distilled from grains or potatoes, often in Eastern Europe.

Vodka has a neutral taste that allows for a lot of mixability, while tequila offers a smooth sweetness that gives drinks an extra kick.

Ultimately, choosing between these two spirits comes down to personal preference – so go ahead and explore them both!