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Additive-Free Tequila Certification Added to CRT Endorsement Marks: Here’s What We Know So Far

Updated: May 29, 2023


Additive-free tequila has become a buzzword in the tequila industry – for good reason. The ability to add extra flavoring and additives has historically been a blurry area in the CRT’s regulations. Shawn Miller of the PKGD Group has been working with us as an agave spirits business correspondent and he gave a big update last night: The CRT has (slyly) added another certification to their list. This one focuses on the common discrepancy in additive regulations. It’s called “Naturaleza Libre De Aditivos Producto Certificado” or the “Natural and Free of Additives Certification”.

What Additives are Allowed in Tequila by the CRT?

Additives in tequila affect whether or not a tequila is authentic, traditional juice (and how it’ll make you feel the next morning). There are four additives allowed by the CRT: glycerin, sugar-based syrup, caramel coloring, and oak extract. The CRT allows a total of 1% of additives in tequila without disclosing any information.

Without getting too much into the weeds, many large-scale brands use young agaves in their tequila, which they then try to mask with additives in order to taste like a true, palatable tequila. Others use coloring and oak to enhance the “age” of the extra anejos.

All of this is okay. If you prefer the taste of added sugars in your tequila, that 100% alright – I like my sweet tea packed with sugar; we all have our preferences. The issue arises when these brands use additives and lack transparency about what they’ve put into the recipe. Using glycerin and then slapping “traditional” on the label is deceiving the consumer. Additive-free certifications aim to halt any deception.

Lucas Assis dives more into the nitty gritty rules and why he prefers additive-free in his recent article about the regulations of additives in tequila.

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