History and Facts about Tequila

[caption id="attachment_1113" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Tequila! Photo Credit: Josh Kenzer[/caption]
TEQUILA! TEQUILA! TEQUILA! Man, do I get excited when we talk about tequila! Tres hurras por el tequila!
Oh, glorious tequila, where do we even begin?? Well, let's take a quick recap of some historical background of this world famous, highly intoxicating drink:
Tequila was first produced in the 16th century near the location of the city of Tequila (go figure!), in the state of Jalisco, a city that was not officially established until 1666. Long before the Spanish arrived in the year of 1521, the Aztecs had been making a fermented beverage from the blue agave plant. When those conquistadors ran out of their brandy, they started to distill these blue agave plants into an enjoyable alcoholic drink (by their standards, of course).
[caption id="attachment_1115" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Agave plantation Photo Credit: Pepe-Antonio[/caption]
The tequila we know today, however, was first made in the early 19th century in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Municipal President of the Village of Tequila from 1884 to 1885, Don Cenobio Sauza, was the first person to export tequila to the United States. So if you're American and you love tequila, you may want to thank him in prayer and say “God Bless Don Cenobio Sauza!” ANd wouldn't you know it! He was also the founder of Sauza Tequila! The efforts of his grandson, Don Francisco Javier, gained international attention, and led to the rule that states real tequila can only come from the State of Jalisco.
[caption id="attachment_1114" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Sauza Tequila Photo Credit: Lloyd Morgan[/caption]
In the past 20 years the purchase of the Sauza and El Tesoro brands was made by the massive holding company called Fortune Brands. Another notable big company buy was the purchase of Herradura by Brown-Forman. Additionally, in 2006 a new category of tequila was created, called "extra añejo" or "ultra-aged" which must be aged for a minimum of 3 years. There are currently over 100 distilleries that make over 900 brands of tequila in Mexico and over 2,000 brand names have been registered. Some brands are still made by family owned businesses in Mexico, but most brands are made by huge companies.
In Mexico, the most traditional way that people drink tequila is neat, without any lime, salt, or ice. A variety of cocktails are made with tequila, especially in the USA, including the margarita. The margarita is actually the cocktail that made tequila popular in the United States. To make a margarita, tequila is mixed with sour mix, lime juice, chilled, and served over ice in a glass that has lime and salt on the rim, although there are many variations of the drink. Tequila sunrise is another uber popular drink in the bars.
If you haven't familiarized yourself with tequila yet, make sure to get on the bandwagon, 'cause you're missing out! Just be careful. One common side effect of tequila is drinking too much of it. And one major side effect of drinking too much of it is... well, just not pretty.
Regardless, grab a bottle of some Jose Cuervo or Don Julio today and try out some darn good tequila!
For a quick rundown on some more tequila history tidbits, check out the video below!

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