What is tequila?


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There is probably no drink more associated with a good time and bad hangovers than tequila. We all know that one person who always orders that unneeded round of tequila shots that leave us hating the next day. Tequila’s tendency to be put in delicious, sugar-filled cocktails like the margarita and tequila sunrise doesn’t help its hangover reputation either. So what exactly is this fun, dangerous spirit? We’re back to give you some quick information on everything tequila.


Definition:

-A distilled drink made from the blue agave plant.

-Mostly in the region surrounding the city of Tequila, Mexico and the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico

-Runs between 32-60% ABV


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A brief history:

-Tequila in its earliest forms was first used a couple thousand years ago in rituals

-By the start of the seventeenth century, tequila was first mass produced by Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle—the “father of tequila”—in what is modern day Jalisco.

- The Cuervo family was the first to be granted a license to make tequila commercially in 1608 by Spain’s King Carlos IV

-However, it was the Sauza family who first exported the spirit to America and changed the name from “tequila extract” to simply “tequila.” 

-Tequila was originally meant to be appreciated as a neat drink. Unfortunately, Americans have fallen for crappy tequila and turned it into a fun shot to take at college parties. David Alan, manager of trade education and mixology at Patrón Tequila, told The Huffington Post: “The shooting ritual was a quick way to get it down the hatch so you didn’t have to taste it. You don’t need salt and lime anymore because there’s so much good tequila on the market.”


Tequila vs. Mezcal

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So, many of you have probably wondered, what’s the difference between these two? It can be a little confusing, especially considering Tequila is technically a type of Mezcal. Here are some of the main differences:

1. Taste: while tastes of both vary, Mezcal usually has a distinct smoky flavor and tends to be sweeter than Tequila.

2. Agave type: while both are made from agave, Tequila’s specification are more strict.

-Tequila can only be produced from the blue agave, while Mezcal can be produced from up to twenty-eight different types of agave.

3. Geography: Tequila can only be made in the Mexican state of Jalisco and in small areas of four other states. 

-Mezcal is mainly made in the city of Oxaca an its surroundings, although it can also be officially produced in Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, and Durango.


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If you get confused explaining the differences, just remember one rule:

"All Mezcal is Tequila but not all Tequila is Mezcal."


Of course, this was just a quick discussion on this delicious, dangerous spirit. We’ll get more into the different types of tequila and much more later on down the line! Thanks for reading, we hope you're learning along with us! As always...

Cheers from,

Happy Hour City