"This blog post was re-posted via a partnership with the SIP Awards"
You love to drink it, but how many interesting facts about tequila do you know? We could write a small book on all the interesting facts, but we compiled some of the best facts right here. And after this, make sure to check out how to make tequila here!
It’s Made From Blue Agave
Surprisingly, the agave plant is not a cactus; it’s part of the Agaviodeae family and is a succulent closely linked to the lily plant. Although regulations only require that a tequila be at least 51 percent blue agave, some distilleries do produce tequilas that are 100 percent. Also, in Latin, agave means noble, admirable, and illustrious.
Only The Agave’s “Piña” Is Harvested
The “piña” is the core of the agave, which is also referred to as the heart. It resembles a pineapple. Once the agave is harvested, it can no longer be used; a new agave plant must be grown in its place to continue making more tequila. The heart can weigh up to a few hundred pounds!
Are All Mezcals Tequila?
Most people think this is the case, but it’s not. Spirits distilled from the agave are labeled as mezcal. However, tequila can also be made from a variety of blue agaves. Tequila is mezcal but not all mezcales are tequilas. It seems confusing at first, but it’s just a technicality.
The construction of the American railroads helped bring tequila to the U.S. in the late 1800s. It wouldn’t be long before tequila populated the Southwest during the prohibition period and becoming a top-consumed spirit during the 13-year-period.
It Has Proven Health Benefits
According to the American Chemical Society, the agave within the tequila assists in absorbing calcium helps maintain the growth of intestinal flora (which fights aggressive microorganisms and keeps the immune system healthy) and regulates lipid absorption (fats that are absorbed through the small intestine).
Can Cook With It!
Most people drink tequila, but others took their love for this spirit and figured out how to make delicious plates with it. It can be made with guacamole, queso fundido, chicken fajitas, mustard-glazed skewers, tequila-flamed shrimp, oysters with tequila butter and spiked caramel corn just to name a few!
Tequila Can Only Age For So Long
Spirits like whiskey and brandy can be aged for what seems like an eternity, but this isn’t the case with tequila. Tequila maxes out at about 4 years when it’s barrel-aged and stop improving in flavor and quality.
Jalisco Is The Number One Producer of Tequila
This Mexican state takes top honors in terms of tequila production. And although this is the case, Mexican regulation allows tequila production in particular areas of four other Mexican states: Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas.
Blue Agave Takes Years To Grow
How long? EIGHT whopping years! Almost three times longer than it takes a tequila to age to maximum perfection. The process in its entirety can take up to 11 years.