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What Is Tequila?

By Edited Dec 11, 2013 0 1

Tequila is a spirit mostly made in western Mexico in an area that goes by the same name; Tequila. Tequila is located roughly 65km northwest of Guadalajara. Tequila itself is made from the blue agave plant which is a native plant to Mexico. Blue Agave comes from the succulent family and is not a cactus contrary to popular belief.

Tequila has five different distinctions that separate them from each other based upon the time aged. The five different types of tequila are listed below:

  • Blanco/Plata (silver) - Blanco is a clear tequila that has been bottled directly after distillation or within two months of being aged in oak barrels
  • Oro (Gold) - Oro, or gold as it typically goes by in North America is a Blanco tequila with additives like syrups, glycerin, oak extract or caramel coloring mixed in to give it the coloring similar to more aged tequilas
  • Reposado (Rested) - Reposado is aged for a minimum of two month and no more than a year in oak barrels
  • Añejo (aged/vintage) - Añejo tequila is aged for at least one year in an oak barrel but never more than three years.
  • Extra Añejo (Extra aged) - Extra Añejo was only recently established as or March 2006 and signifies tequilas that have been aged in oak barrels for a bare minimum of three years.

Most tequilas range in alcohol from 38-40% however there are some more potent tequilas available that offer alcohol levels as high as 46%.

History Of Tequila

Tequila originated from the 16th century when the Aztec people created a fermented drink from the agave plant called octli or pulque. Eventually the Spanish showed up, roughly by 1521, and when they ran out of brandy, they decided to start distilling their own spirits from the blue agave plant. The result was the beginnings of Tequila.

It wasn't until the early 1600s when Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira started production of tequila in his Tequila factory located in Jalisco. The product evolved over the next two centuries, and in the early 1800s, the Tequila that is around today began mass production in Guadalajara Mexico.

Tequila today is more popular than ever with sales rates increasing as much as 8.6% per year since 2002 and doesn't appear to be losing speed thanks to all the premium Tequilas becoming available to the public.
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Comments

Jun 11, 2012 6:02pm
Marlando
Hi Ryan--Enjoyed your article--I lived in Mexico for seven years so you know I had my a experiences...I don't endulge anymore but the memories are great fun and I liked the information you share. Keep up the good work!
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