Don is the editor of Thirst magazine.
They say there are two constants in life, but really there are three: death, taxes and the fact that everyone has had a bad experience with tequila at some stage.
No drink has developed a reputation for mayhem quite so badly as tequila, which is an absolute shame, because there are some astonishingly good versions out there.
Made from the blue agave plant, tequila comes in three basic forms: silver or white, the unaged "white lightning" that gives it the reputation; reposado, or rested, an older, more golden form of tequila; and anejo, or aged, tequila.
Frankly, the only use I've ever found for white tequila is in a margarita, smothered with lime juice to take the edge off it. Anyone who drinks shots of tequila is in need of therapy and possibly a long stretch in a secure unit.
Anejos can be pretty expensive, so if you want to see what decent tequila can taste like, try the reposados. These warm golden spirits can be as complex as whisky and rich as rum, but they have unique flavours of their own and half the fun is finding one you love.
Golden tequilas are smoother and more satisfying and can be drunk straight or on the rocks as well as in cocktails. And they make much better cocktails than white tequila, too. I noticed the ever-youthful Frankie Walker on TV over summer teaching people how to make a decent margarita and he was using Cuervo Gold.
Herradura Reposado, RRP 700ml $86.99
One for the whisky drinkers, with a nose full of cereal sweetness and a few floral notes. In the mouth it's spicy, with a nice peppery bite and more than a hint of clove. Lovely rich, savoury finish, reminiscent of salted butter. A fantastic sipper, or equally good in cocktails.
Casa Noble Reposado, RRP 750ml $142
Aged for a year in oak, this has a serious agave nose, full of capsicum, coriander and chilli. Smoky, spicy and prickly on the palate, there is also a glorious earthy note. The finish is elegant and accomplished; a lovely tequila.