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Mexican Tequila

Mexican Tequila

One of the most famous spirits in the world, that grows in popularity year after year is Mexican tequila. Named after the town of Tequila, located in the Jalisco region and is one of the only regions that tequila is legally allowed to be produced. Through the use of internal laws and international agreements, the Mexican government has been able to protect the production of tequila, thereby protecting Mexico’s national spirit.

Tequila is created using a plant called blue agave which is grown primarily in the region of Jalisco. It is a slow growing crop and takes several years of growing before the agave is matured enough to harvest for its sugar to be cooked and mashed into a juice that is then fermented and distilled. The flavour of tequila very much depends on the distillation process used, as well as the blue agave crop. The flavour of agave can vary dramatically depending on how and where it was grown, with agave being sweeter than others depending on the altitude it was grown at.

If you are looking for a great tequila to try it is recommended that you get one with 100% agave meaning that the tequila has had no added additives.

History of Tequila

The large production of tequila started back in the 1600’s when a distiller under the name of Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle saw Spanish soldiers trying to distil pulque in order to replace the brandy they had already drank.  Towards the end of the 1800’s, tequila started to get be exported internationally by Don Cenobio Sauza who owned the brand Sauza. It was Don Cenobio Sauza’s grandson who started the rule that only true tequila was to be made in Mexico where agave was produced.

Modern History of Tequila

It used to be that tequila brands were family run businesses, passed down the generations. Whilst there are a few family run businesses, many brands have now been sold off to large international alcohol companies.

Types of Tequila

There are two types of Tequila categories:

1. 100% Pure Agave – This tequila contains 100% agave with no added additives.

2. Mixto – This tequila uses no less that 51% agave with sugar (both glucose and fructose) making up the rest of the percentage.

While the type of tequila can affect the taste, it is the aging of the tequila that really results in the final flavour. To help people determine the variety of the tequila, there is a category system in place to display which aging method was used in its production. 

The categories of aging include:

-Blanco (white) – A tequila that has either not been aged or is less than two months aged within wood barrels.

-Joven/Oro (young/gold) – A tequila that has not been aged but has been flavoured with caramel.

-Reposado (rested) – A tequila which is aged anywhere between two months to a year within any sized oak barrels.

-Anejo (aged) – A tequila that is aged anywhere between one to three years in small oak barrels.

-Extra Anejo (extra aged) – A tequila that is aged for at least a minimum of three years.

How to Drink Tequila

There are several ways to drink tequila including the traditional Mexican way which is to drink it neat. However one of the more traditional, international, ways of drinking tequila is in the form of a shot with salt and a slice of lime on the side.

Tequila can also be served with a mixer or in a cocktail however this is best done with Blanco tequila.

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