In four days we will be celebrating the Tequila Day, and people who love the drink the world over will get the fun out of lime, salt and shots of Tequila.
Tequila is a special drink from Mexico made from agave plants.It takes its name from a small town of Tequila in a valley west of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico. It was called mezcal wine before the coming of Europeans to Mexico.
Many names on labels today were the very first commercial producers of tequila. Jose Antonio Cuervo held the first license for manufacturing tequila, courtesy of the King of Spain. He was friends with Don Cenobio Sauza and Félix López, also producers of tequila, whose businesses continue in some form today.
The drink can be enjoyed straight like a good whisky, or mixed in cocktails. However, while you stretch out to enjoy your tequila on the 24th of July, here are a few secrets about the drink you should know:
What Tequila Really Means
Tequila is not just gotten from the name of a village, it has meaning that is somewhat linked to what it is made from. The name comes from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word which means “the place where plants are harvested,” or possibly “the place where a lot of work is done.”
Not all agave-based spirits are tequila
All tequilas must be made in the Mexican state of Jalisco and in some municipalities in Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Any agave-based distilled spirit outside those regions are called “mezcal.”
How is Tequila made?
Tequila is made from the fructose-rich pina (heart) of the agave succulent, which resembles a pineapple. It is then roasted or steamed to release sugars for fermentation.The piñas are cut into similar-sized pieces, by hand, to ensure even baking. After that, they’re tossed into small brick ovens, where they’re slow steamed for 79 hours per oven. To get to the juice, the agave is crushed using two different methods to diversify flavors.
Tequila does NOT contain psychedelic properties
As against the 1950s claim by California residents that tequila contained psychedelic properties, the drink does not. They were merely confusing mezcal (which is what tequila is) with mescaline (which is the psychoactive alkaloid of the peyote plant).
Tequila also gets better with age
Just like wine, whiskey and cognac, tequila also gets better with age. When unopened, a bottled tequila can stay up to three years and still fresh on the palate.
Tequila has no worms
The claim of worms in tequila bottles started in the 1940s. A few brands started claimed that worms in tequila bottles acted as aphrodisiacs and had magical qualities as part of a marketing ploy. As you can guess, tequila does not have a worm in its bottle. The worm, or gusano, is associated with mezcal.
Tequila is equal to blue agave alone
All tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila. Tequila can only be made from the blue agave, or agave tequilana, but mezcal can be made from over 30 varieties of agave. However, it does not have to be 100% agave. Many tequilas will advertise themselves as ‘100% Blue Agave,’ but the legal requirement is 51%.