Ahh, tequila. We know we love it, especially when toasting all things vacation, but do you know where this beautiful beverage first came from?
It all began with the Aztecs, who created a frothy, fermented beverage out of the sap from agave plants. Known as pulque, this pre-Columbian drink is basically the 2,000-year-old ancestor of tequila.
So, how did modern tequila come to be? Long story short, Spanish conquistadors ran out of brandy. They started distilling an alcoholic beverage from the agave plant and, well, history was made. (Margs came later. Maybe around 1938. We’re not sure.)
Even though tequila has existed since the mid-16th century, it didn’t become officially official until 1795, when Spain’s King Carlos IV granted a family a permit to produce the drink commercially. The family’s name, by the way? Cuervo.
What’s amazing is that the process of making tequila has basically been the same since the earliest days. It’s all done by hand, as the jimador strips away the outer leaves and gets to the piña, the heart of the blue agave plant. It’s cooked, juiced and distilled, and the nectar is fermented anywhere from two weeks to over a year.
Want to impress your bartender? Pack along these facts about tequila:
- Just like champagne comes from Champagne, most real tequila comes from the area around the actual city of Tequila—the same region as the very first tequila distillery.
- The knife that the jimador uses to strip the plants is called a coa.
- All tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila.
- While we’ll never refuse a good margarita, a good, aged tequila (ask for reposado or añejo) is enjoyed neat–and sipped slowly.
And believe it or not, there’s still so much MORE to know and love about our beloved tequila. Join us and tequila expert Jay Schroder on an unforgettable tequila adventure in Mexico! You’ll tour the distilleries, learn the history and taste the nectar for yourself–you don’t want to miss out on this unique adventure. Cheers!