On July 24 grab a lime and the salt. It’s National Tequila Day!
Made from the blue agave plant, tequila has a deep and storied history. Named after the small town of Tequila in a valley west of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico, the spirit was known as mezcal wine about the time the conquistadors came to the continent.
- In Mexico, legislation protects the manufacture of tequila. The law states tequila is only tequila if it is produced within Jalisco. The law limits production to regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. However, the same ingredients distilled anywhere else cannot be labeled tequila.
- Pulque, the ancestor of tequila, was consumed in Teotihuacan, a civilization that predates the Aztecs, as early as 150 B.C. Researchers believe it was a significant element of the diet.
- Around 1600, Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira, began mass-producing tequila at the first factory in the territory of modern-day Jalisco.
- Jose’Antonio Cuervo held the first license for manufacturing the favored beverage, courtesy of the King of Spain.
- Don Cenobio Sauza and Félix López, also producers of tequila, whose businesses continue in some form today.
- John Paul DeJoria, founder of Patrón tequila, also owns Paul Mitchell hair products.
- Some tequila is aged in barrels. Many are aged up to 30 years to create the perfect flavor.
- Over 50 million liters of tequila are consumed in America annually.
- Studies have shown that consuming tequila can cut your risks of dementia by 37%.
- It also has a component that can help lower LDL levels, aka bad cholesterol
- A 1918 flu epidemic led to a tequila boom in Mexico. Doctors advised ailing patients to drink tequila, lime, and salt as a remedy.
- Tequila has health benefits. Experts say that a shot before lunch can stimulate the appetite, and one after a big dinner can aid digestion. Pairing that shot with a glass of water is a good way to go.
- According to researchers, the sugars found in agave plants, and thus, tequila, may be linked to weight loss.
- It’s Gluten-Free
- In Mexico, Tequila is drunk neat: without lime and salt. When it comes to lime and salt with their Tequila, Mexicans go for margaritas. Shots of tequila are drunk without the extras.
- Agave plants are pollinated by bats. Agave plants are chiropterophilous, meaning that they’re pollinated by bats as opposed to insects or birds.
- Tequila was first produced in the 16th century near the location of the city of Tequila, which was not officially established until 1656.
- Real tequila is distinguished by its age and distillation process. It is divided into three categories: Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo. Blanco or silver tequilas are the base form of all tequilas. It is undiluted and unaged for the most part. Reposado tequilas are rested in oak barrels for two months up to a year, while Añejos are aged for 1 to 3 years.
- Although it’s a common misconception, tequila never contains a worm in its bottle. Only certain mezcals, usually from the state of Oaxaca, are ever sold con gusano (with worm). They are added as a marketing gimmick and are not traditional. The worm is actually the larval form of the moth Hypopta agavis, which lives on the agave plant.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most expensive bottle of tequila sold was the Platinum & White Gold Tequila bottle. Sold by Tequila Ley .925, the bottle cost $225,000.
- Many people claimed to have created the Margarita, the world’s favorite tequila cocktail. It probably evolved from an earlier drink known as the Daisy (Margarita is Spanish for ‘daisy’), likely thanks to an Irishman named Mr. Madden who ran a bar in Tijuana.
- The town of Tequila is home to the National Museum of Tequila.
- Fancy glassmaker Riedel created a glass dedicated to bringing out the scents and flavors of tequila: they retail at around $10.