What's the Difference Between Vodka and Tequila?

What's the Difference Between Vodka and Tequila?

Did you know that vodka and tequila are the most popular liquors in the U.S.? In 2023, vodka sold for $7.2 billion and tequila for $6.5 billion. But apart from their popularity, what are the differences?

Vodka is a clear water spirit consisting of distilled spirits and water and was first produced in Russia and Poland. Today, it is very popular in America. Unlike tequila, manufacturers extract vodka from cereal grains like wheat.

Tequila has specific climatic requirements, which Mexico provides. Hence, it is where tequila is primarily produced from a spiky plant native to Mexico called Blue Agave. Tequila has deep traditional roots and has been part of the country’s culture for generations.

Are They Similar?

Although they are two different spirits, they share some characteristics. For instance, both require fermentation and distillation and are called distilled liquids. Likewise, their alcoholic content ranges from 40-50%.

Both vodka and premium tequila are clear, versatile spirits you can drink on the rocks, as shots, with seltzer, and make cocktails.

They have another similarity. Can you guess it? Both vodka and tequila are ideal for making cocktails. Now that we have discussed the similarities, let’s learn about their differences.

The Differences Between Vodka and Tequila

The Differences Between Vodka and Tequila


  • Vodka: Both vodka and tequila have traditionally been used for centuries. You can trace back the origin of vodka to the Middle Ages. Even though it was primarily made in Eastern Europe, today it is made worldwide.
  • Tequila: Tequila may be as old as 1000 B.C. among the people of Olmec. It has been part of their culture and tradition ever since. Tequila is not made anywhere else on the planet.


  • Vodka: It is typically colorless and clear, and although available in various colors, pure vodka is colorless.
  • Tequila: It can be a clear spirit like vodka or sport a rich golden hue because it is of many types. Blanco tequila is the purest form of tequila and is colorless, whereas the other four types are Joven, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo.


  • Vodka: Vodka is flavorless. Whatever flavor you experience comes from organoleptic compounds.
  • Tequila: Tequila has an earthy and slightly sweet taste.

Main Ingredient

  • Vodka: Different manufacturers use different ingredients for vodka. While wheat, rye, potato, and corn are popular, crops like rice, barley, molasses, and soybeans are in the grain category. Some make it using potatoes, while others use fruits like grapes and apples.
  • Tequila: What makes tequila different and special is the Weber blue agave plant unique to Jalisco, Mexico. Although other parts of Mexico manufacture tequila from blue agave, they are not called tequila but mezcal.

Preparation Process

  • Vodka: On the contrary, the companies do not roast the crops but macerate them with enzymes and add yeast. Different producers have different distillation methods, with the process repeating itself up to 18 times.
  • Tequila: After harvesting the agave, manufacturers roast and macerate it with yeast before distilling it twice.

Which is Better to Avoid Hangovers: Vodka or Tequila?

People usually say tequila is less likely to cause hangovers, but it is debatable. The purity of the alcohol, the amount consumed and the duration in which that amount is consumed, what you mix the liquor with, and the presence of congeners help determine whether you will get a hangover, be it vodka or tequila.

The Takeaway

There are no winners but pure preference. What type of taste do you like? What kind of cocktails stir your senses? If left to us, we choose Tequila Travesuras over anything else any day. But do try both and feel the similarities and differences for yourself. And hey, do not forget to drink responsibly.

Must Read: Blanco Tequila: Purity in Every Sip

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