National Tequila Day
National Tequila Day
In the United States, July 24 is National Tequila Day.
According to Wikipedia, tequila was invented during the 16th century in Mexico by the conquistadors. The Aztecs had long made a fermented drink called pulque from the maguey plant (there are stone carvings from 200 AD which are believed to depict pulque). The discovery of tequila came when the conquistadors ran out of brandy and tried to make a liquor based on the same plant. Instead of pulque, they came up with tequila. They made the tequila from the sap of the blue agave.
The name of "tequila" comes from the name of a village that was very close to where drink was discovered. The town itself did not itself become established until 1656 but the name and association stuck.
Tequila is not fermented from a cactus. Cactus are not related to agaves. There is usually no worm in tequila. The worm is found in some mezcal and this tradition was only begun in the 1940s as a marketing ploy. Mezcals are related to tequila. Historically, tequila was known as mezcal wine or mezcal brandy. Today, there are considered distinct. Tequila comes from the Jalisco State in Mexico. Mezcal often comes from the Oaxaca.
Tequila first became mass produced in Guadalajara, Mexico in the early 1800s by Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira. It was first exported to the United States in 1884 by Don Cenobio Sauza, Municiple President of the Village of Tequila.
His grandon, Don Francisco Javier established the tradition that genuine tequila can only come from the State of Jalisco in Mexico. He is famous for saying "there cannot be tequila where there are no agaves."
There are five categories of tequila:
- Blanco ("white"): white and aged less than two months in oak barrels
- Joven ("young"): unaged blended with other tequilas and may have a caramel coloring.
- Reposado ("rested"): aged at least two months but less than a year in oak barrels
- Añejo ("aged"): aged a minimum of one year but less t han 3 years in oak barrels
- Extra Añejo ("extra aged"): aged a minimum of threes year in oak barrels
So, if it's July 24 when you read this, Happy National Tequila Day!