The History of the Well-Known Mexican Spirit: Tequila
July 21, 2022
Tequila is a type of hard liquor that is made from the blue agave plant. The liquor has been around for centuries and has a rich history.
Tequila is most commonly associated with Mexico, where it was first produced. The drink has Spanish origins, dating back to the 16th century.
The Aztecs Began by Fermenting Agave
The Aztecs first began fermenting agave over 1,300 years ago. They would roast the hearts of the agave plant, then grind them up and mix them with water. This mixture would be left to ferment for several days, and then it would be distilled. The Aztecs would then use the sap of the agave plant to make a drink called pulque.
Pulque was a sacred drink to the Aztecs and was only to be consumed by certain people. The process of making pulque is very similar to that of tequila, but instead of distilling the mixture, it is simply left to ferment longer. This resulted in a higher alcohol content and a more sour taste.
The Aztecs believed that the milky liquid, pulque, was a gift from the gods, and they would often use it in religious ceremonies.
Tequila wasn’t introduced to the rest of the world until the 16th century when Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico. The Spaniards liked the drink so much that they began exporting it back to Europe.
It wasn’t until the 18th century that tequila started to be produced in Mexico on a large scale. In 1758, Jose Antonio de Cuervo was granted a land grant by the King of Spain to grow blue agave plants. Cuervo is now the largest manufacturer of tequila in the world.
What is Tequila?
So what exactly is Tequila? Tequila is a Mexican spirit made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the western Mexican state of Jalisco.
Tequila is most often made at 40% to 50% alcohol content (80% U.S. proof) for consumption in Mexico, but can be produced between 35% and 55% alcohol content (70% – 110% U.S. proof).
Tequila is typically served neat in Mexico, meaning without any mixer. However, if you’re not used to the strong flavor of tequila, you can mix it with lime juice or soda water.
How Tequila is Made?
Tequila is made from the heart of the agave plant, which is called the piña. The piña is cooked for hours until it is soft, then it is mashed and mixed with water to create a sugary liquid called agave nectar. Agave nectar is then fermented and distilled to create tequila.
Tequila can be made from different types of agave, but the most common type is blue agave. Blue agave grows in the Mexican state of Jalisco, which is also where tequila was first created.
Tequila is typically clear, but it can also be amber or even green. The color of tequila depends on how it was made and how long it was aged.
The Different Types of Tequila
There are three main types of tequila: blanco, reposado, and añejo.
Blanco or Silver: Blanco tequila is clear and unaged, which means it has a light, crisp flavor. It’s perfect for mixing in cocktails or drinking on the rocks.
Reposado: Reposado tequila is aged for at least two months, but no more than a year. It has a golden color and a smooth, mellow flavor.
Añejo: Añejo tequila is aged for at least one year, but no more than three years. It has a dark amber color and a rich, complex flavor.
Get a Taste of Our Favorite Tequila’s at Hacienda Colorado
Our list of tequila’s consists of nearly 40 different kinds of tequila. Whether you like it neat, on the rocks, or in a margarita, we have the perfect tequila for you!
- 1800 (Reposado, Silver)
- Bosscal Mezcal
- Cabo Wabo (Blanco, Reposado)
- Camerana Silver
- Casa Noble Crystal
- Casamigos (Añejo, Blanco, Reposado)
- Cuervo Especial Gold
- Don Julio (Añejo, Reposado, Silver)
- Dulce Vida Blanco
- El Jimador Blanco
- El Mayor Blanco
- Espolòn (Blanco, Reposado)
- Exotico Reposado
- Herradura (Añejo, Reposado, Silver)
- Hornitos (Blanco, Reposado)
- Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado
- Lunazul (Blanco, Reposado)
- Milagro Silver
- Patrón (Añejo, Reposado, Silver)
- Sauza Conmemorativo Añejo
- Tanteo Jalapeño
- Tres Agaves (Añejo, Blanco, Reposado)
Celebrate the Rich History of Tequila on National Tequila Day
Tequila is now one of the most popular spirits in the world, and it is essential to any good margarita. So come sip on a delicious margarita and celebrate the rich history of this Mexican spirit on National Tequila Day, July 24th! Browse through our menu and find a location near you to join the festivities.
Common Questions About Tequila
What is the difference between tequila and mezcal?
Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, while mezcal can be made from a variety of different agave plants. Tequila must also be made in certain regions of Mexico, while mezcal can be made anywhere in the country.
What is the best way to enjoy tequila?
Although there are many ways to enjoy tequila, the best way is by sipping it neat. This allows you to appreciate the flavor and aroma of the tequila without any added flavors. Additionally, it’s important to choose a good quality tequila for the best experience.