If you are looking for a true taste of Mexico, start with tequila.
As a young man, my experience with tequila was probably a typical one…at a rocking and raucous party that featured many more than just one shot, salt, and lime, followed by a very difficult next morning. After that experience, I was introduced to the fine art of savoring, tasting, and slowly sipping the tequila experience. That is a far more enjoyable way to enjoy this Mexican national treasure.
By Mexican law, tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and limited regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Mexico has the exclusive international right to the word “tequila”. Tequila must be produced using the Tequilana Weber Blue variety of the Agave cactus plant. Please check out the attached video on the making of Tequila:
You might think that some tequilas contain a “worm” in the bottle. That is a misconception. Only certain mezcals, a fiery Mexican liquor, contain a “worm”.
Tequila is most often made at a 38–40% alcohol content (76–80 proof), but can be produced between 35–55% alcohol content (70–110 proof). Though most tequilas are 80 proof, many distillers will distill to 100 proof and then dilute it with water to reduce its harshness.
With 100% agave tequila, reposado and añejo are smoother, subtler, and complex, while blanco or plata is harsher. As with other spirits that are aged in casks, tequila takes on the flavors of the wood, while the harshness of the alcohol mellows.
Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories:
Blanco (“white”) or plata (“silver”): white spirit, un-aged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels;
Joven (“young”) or oro (“gold”): a mixture of blanco tequila and reposado tequila (Ex. José Cuervo Oro).
Reposado (“rested”): aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size;
Añejo (“aged” or “vintage”): aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in small oak barrels;
Extra Añejo (“extra aged” or “ultra aged”): aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels. This category was established in March 2006.
As of January 31, 2011, there are 142 registered tequila distilleries producing 1,155 certified brands.
A one-liter bottle of limited-edition premium tequila was sold for $225,000 in July 2006. The bottle which contains the tequila also has a two-kilo display of platinum and gold. The manufacturer received a Certificate from Guinness World Records for the most expensive bottle of spirit ever sold.
So, find some friends, good dance music, add food and gently stir in some Margaritas, Long Island Iced Teas, Tequila Sunrises or straight with salt and lime. and drink responsibly. The \”Ventures\” doing \”Tequila\”