Here tell you all you need to know about Tequila. The history of the spirit, some fun facts and of course which cocktails you should make with it. Tequila has a bad reputation in some parts of the world. We want to change that. It's an amazing spirit and hopefully, this article will change your mindset just a bit.
Please let us know if there is any facts or history which is wrong or if something isn't totally clear. We do listen to your feedback and we will edit the article!
Brands we recommend in flavoured Cocktails:
Tres Jose, Calle 23 etc.
Brands we recommend having neat or in a Margarita:
Casa Noble, Sangre De Vida, Don Julio, KAH or Calle 23.
Sharing is caring! Let your friends know that now you can't only drink more Tequilas than them, you can also brag about the history while you do it!
Everything you wanted to know about the Tequila
When was it invented?
It's important to understand that the history of spirits and cocktails is full of rumours and stories. The true facts are few and we can only guess about what really happened. Tequila was first invented in 15oo's. The Spanish sailors came to Carribean and Mexico in 1521. However, the Aztec people (a religious group of people living in Mexico) had produced alcohol from the agave plant in many years before that. A spirit they called Pulque. It's not similar to Tequila though. After the Spanish conquered Mexico they soon ran out of their Brandy. One story goes that they were desperate to find a new spirit to drink. Therefore they experimented with the Agave plant and water. Mezqal was then invented.
Tequila has to be distilled and produced in Jalisco in Mexico. It's unclear how the rule came up. It was probably the first distillery in Tequila in Jalisco who made the rule. The Spanish aristocrat and "father of Tequila" Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle opened the large distillery in around 1600. Since then Tequila has been well produced in the region.
Where is it from?
It's from Jalisco in Mexico. There is a town called Tequila. Are you going to Mexico on vacation? Then this town and area should be on your to-do list.
What is the base ingredient?
Tequila is made from the agave plant. It has to be made from blue agave which is a specific sort of agave. First, you plant a seed, then you treat it like a baby until the agave plant is full grown. Then you harvest it. It's important to understand that the process of harvesting is still manual. It's also important that you harvest at the right time. If you do it too late or too early then the agave plant will consist of enough carbs used in the fermentation process (sugar or carbs is alfa omega here).
The difference in the taste of brands depends on the quality of the agave plant. How well do they take care of it? Where is it being planted? Are they mass producing? It's all important questions. Lowland Tequilas will etc. be more earthy tasting while Highland Tequilas are sweeter and with a fruity flavour.
Which Cocktails are made with this spirit?
Many great cocktails are made with this spirit. Margarita is the number one classic.
The 70's Tequila Sunrise or Tommy's Margarita are also classics that many know. Other not as know classics are the Paloma made with Grapefruit soda and strawberry based El Nino.
How to use it in Cocktails?
It all depends on quality. Tequila Sunrise and blended Margaritas may not require a high premium spirit. However, we do never recommend using bad products when mixing cocktails.
If you are making a classic Margarita, Tommy's Margarita or enjoying it neat then we highly recommend a quality brand. You'll notice the difference and appreciate it.
If you want more tequila cocktails then try to make twists such as a Sour, Espresso Martini or a Negroni with the spirit.
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Jose Antonio Cuervo was the first licensed manufacturer producing the spirit. He got some land in 1758 from the King of Spain who ruled the country Mexico until it's independence in 1821. The rest is of course history and Jose Cuervo is now known as one of the biggest brands on the planet.
Many are confused between the difference of Tequila and Mezcal. It's important to notice that there is a difference in the producing process. Tequila can only be made in Jalisco in Mexico and from the blue agave. Mezcal can be made from any agave plant and anywhere in Mexico. Tequila is also distilled more than once (some brands even distil it three times).
A big difference is also the process of making mezcal. The heart of the agave plant (pina) is covered with palm fibre and then baked over charcoal.
These differences make it two different spirits. It's very easy to taste difference as well. Mescal has a smoky, strong and more spicy taste. You can taste all the rawness from the one-time distillation.
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