If you blithely follow the interwebs, you may have come to the conclusion that tequila is a miracle drink. In the past year, stories have bounced around about the wonders of Mexico’s most famous spirit: It’ll help you lose weight, improve the bacteria in your gut, lower blood sugar levels, fight cholesterol and even reduce your chances of developing dementia. Most of these claims, unfortunately, are boneheaded. And, honestly, declaring any 80-proof liquor to be “good for you” is mighty suspect in the first place.
However, there is a tiny shred of truth to the idea that tequila won’t damage you as cavalierly as some other spirits might. One hundred percent blue agave blanco tequilas—which, unlike reposados or añejos, aren’t aged in wood—are low in congeners, the chemical impurities that are hard for your system to process and can exacerbate hangovers. Also, since these tequilas are made solely from a succulent plant and not a grain, the gluten-averse among us can relax. But will tequila make you thinner? Well...it has no fewer calories than any other spirit of equal strength. But if you drink it straight, at least you’re not adding any calories. And our favorite bottles all taste fantastic in a glass by themselves, with a rock or without.