Today my friends, we celebrate tequila, my favorite liquor!
DID YOU KNOW??? The Mexican government allows labeling something as tequila if it has at least 51 percent agave-derived sugar—the rest can be cane or corn sugar. Mexican law says that for a spirit to be considered to be tequila, it also must be manufactured in one of five Mexican states: Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, Guanajuato, or Tamaulipas.
True tequila came about when the word was first printed in 1795. José María Guadalupe Cuervo was given the first commercial license to produce it, from the king of Spain. The popularity of tequila in the US didn’t arrive until the 1960s when…you guessed it…college students in California began drinking it. It wasn’t until then that sales began to grow, and it became popular for its wonderful use in making margaritas.
- Tequila ranges in alcohol content, from about 31% (62 Proof) to 55% (110 Proof).
- There are five classifications of tequila: Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo. My favorite is Blanco although I keep Reposado and Añejo on my bar as well.
- In Mexico, tequila is usually sipped, while here in the US we take it as a shot, with lime and salt, to either get the party started or keep the party going.
- A “classic” way to drink it, sometimes called the “Mexican itch,” consists of taking a straight shot of tequila, along with some crushed worms from the agave plant, which are contained in a salt shaker. San Antonio: City in the Sun(1946) described it by saying, “You gulp the Tequila, sprinkle the mummified condiment on the back of your hand, swallow it, suck on a small piece of lime, and then sit down for awhile to recover your senses.” The worm, which is really a caterpillar or a larva, is sometimes placed in bottles of some mezcals. This is a marketing gimmick and not the traditional way that tequila was drank. Eww…I’m going to pass on this one (until I go to Mexico…)
So today enjoy some tequila. Whether it is shots, a nice mixed drink or a magarita. Enjoy and drink responsibly!! I’m sure I will be WGW later!
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