Would you order a tequila on first date? Probably not… Or serve it at dinner with the in-laws…. Very unlikely. But why do Brits insist on only drinking tequila when we’re already drunk or if we’re on a crusade to not remember the rest of the night?!
The reality is, much like the world’s finest whiskys or even wines, there is a huge amount of artistry, heritage and hard work in the production of tequila and in Mexico it’s a family drink that was once even thought sacred!
To dispel a few myths and shake off a few preconceptions, here’s five top facts about the famous spirit…
Tequila Has Absolutely Nothing to Do with Cacti
Contrary to what you might believe (or imagine); tequila has nothing to do with the cactus plant, nada. Tequila is actually made from agave, and more specifically blue agave.
Harvesting Blue Agave Takes 8 Years
We should be devouring what’s in that bottle because each blue agave plant takes 8 years to mature to be harvested and, what’s more, once the plant’s heart is harvested it won’t grow another one meaning it has to be replanted. So it’s pretty hard work making tequila!
You Could Be Shot for Doing a Shot
Well, not actually shot, but serious tequila afficionadas wouldn’t dream of drinking their tequila in a shot – and would probably give you a death stare if you asked for lemon and salt. Instead, they sip it in a brandy style glass and occasionally a sweet juice is drunk as an accompaniment.
Proper Tequila Should Never Have a Worm
If your bottle of tequila has a worm in it then you have a confused tequila producer. ‘Mezcal’ is the general name given to a host of agave-based drinks (of which tequila is one) and some can carry the larvae of the ‘gusano’ that lives on the agave. But good quality tequila should NOT.
There Are Different Types of Tequila
Most of the tequila consumed by the UK is ‘young’ also known as Tequila Blanco or Joven. These are typically aged for only 0-2 months before they make their way across the sea to us. Reposado tequila is a little older and is aged for two months to one year. Añejo is the oldest ‘common’ tequila and is aged between one and three years, although ‘Extra Añejo’ is available and it’s aged over three (and pricey!).