Whether you’re out at the ball game or enjoying a quiet dinner with that special someone, tequila is a wonderful liquor no matter what the celebration. Pair a shot with a beer while hanging out with your best friends or use it as a base for a pleasant cocktail with your significant other. Either way, you’ll be having a good time, but you should know these five important rules to follow when drinking tequila.

Know Before You Go

Not all tequilas are created equally. Like a fine scotch or bourbon, tequila can offer various flavors, textures, and aromas. Most drinkers will miss the liquor’s subtleties, so do yourself a favor and educate yourself. Silver or blanco tequila has the simplest flavor while anejo tequila is aged at least one year in oak barrels and offers a more complex flavor profile.

The Worm Is A Gimmick

Started as a gimmick to sell “authentic” tequila to tourists, the worm is never found in real tequila. In fact, tequila, like champagne, is a regional drink. It’s produced from the agave cactus in the city of Tequila, Mexico, and a few other areas. The “tequila” with a worm is actually mezcal, a harsher-tasting liquor made from the Maguey plant.

Leave The Salt And Lime At The Bar

Most of us first encountered tequila at the local bar after we’d reached the minimum drinking age. That lack of drinking experience has led most of us to believe that tequila is best taken as a shot with a little salt and a wedge of lime. While the salt and lime are fine for margaritas, it’s best to drink tequila neat, with nothing between you and its complex flavors.

Slow Down, It’s Not A Race

Again, when we’re young and don’t know any better, we’re pounding tequila shots by the fistful, missing all of the subtleties and nuances of the drink’s flavors. Next time, instead of asking for a round of shots, order a tequila flight. Any reputable bar will offer various tequilas and will allow you to sip and savor to your heart’s content.

Take A Lesson From Wine Connoisseurs

Emulate your wine-loving friends and learn to appreciate tequila’s complex flavors by using a tasting glass or wine glass. You’ll be able to put your nose to it and take small sips to allow the tequila to open up. Most locals in Mexico drink tequila chilled and without any extras. Drink it in a relaxed atmosphere, note the aromas and flavors you experience, and you’re well on your way to becoming a tequila connoisseur.