As one of the great icons of Mexico Tequila has a very interesting history. Here are a few fascinating facts about tequila.
Technically tequila is mezcal, but mezcal is not tequila. Confused? The difference between the two is the plant. Tequila must be produced using the blue agave plant, whereas a variety of agave plants can be used to make a single mezcal batch.
The story goes that the origin of tequila came during a storm, when lightning struck a maguey plant and it began to give off a sweet scent. The smell came from the core of the plant being burned by the lightning. The local people decided to try what made the plant smell so good. As the days passed, they realized that the plant produced a foamy substance from the core with a much richer flavour. The foam was taken from the plant and this is how consumption began. For the indigenous people, this drink was a gift from the Gods.
The original franchise to produce distilled tequila was granted to Jose Antonio Cuervo in 1758.
Tequila derives its name from its origin. This means that it can only be called tequila if it is produced in the town of Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, much like true Champagne must be produced in France. The Western states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas are also accepted these days.
The word tequila comes from the Nahuatl word “tequitl” meaning job, and “tlan” meaning place.
Tequila is one of the few drinks that can accompany almost any food.
Perhaps more widely known than the actual tequila is the worm crawling around the bottom of the bottle. Truth is the worm, or gusano, originates with tequila’s “lower-quality” cousin, mezcal, An oversight that turned into a clever marketing ploy, the gusano is the larvae of a type of moth that lives on the agave plant.
Unopened a bottle of tequila can last for Years. However, once the bottle is opened you have one to two months before oxidation and evaporation lower the quality of the tequila and destroys the agave profile. So it’s best to drink up within 3 to 6 months, thereafter it becomes more like bourbon.
It’s said that the shot glass, from which you drink tequila originated from the bull’s horns that were used in the factories for sample drinking.
The most of expensive bottle of tequila sold was called Aztec Passion, and sold for one million dollars!