Know Your Tequila—12 Fun Tequila Facts

Tequila shots hire a bartender in los angeles

Tequila is one of the most popular liquor choices for any social event, whether serving pool party margaritas, classy black tie Paloma, or a happy hour shot plus lime and salt. Here are some fun facts about one of the world’s most popular liquors that you can use to impress your guests--and even your bartender. 

 

Tequila and Mezcal are not one and the same: While the two are often used interchangeably in casual conversation, tequila and mezcal have several different requirements. Tequila can only be made from the Blue Agave, a plant found solely in and around Jalisco, Mexico, while Mezcal is less specific, able to be produced from several different types of agave. Therefore, while tequila is a type of mezcal, not all mezcal qualifies as tequila.

Another common misconception is that tequila is often sold with a worm in its bottle—this is another attribute specific to other forms of mezcal. 

Blue Agave can take anywhere from eight to ten years to harvest—so next time you sip or shoot tequila, think about how much labor went into producing it.

Drinking a limited amount of tequila can be beneficial for your health! Blue Agave  contains fructans, a polymer that supplies probiotics that can assist digestion in the human intestines. However, don’t use this as an excuse to drink tequila every day—drinking too much of the liquor has the opposite effect.

Jose Cuervo was the very first producer of tequila in the world. Jose Antonio de Cuervo y Valdes received land from the King of Spain in 1758 and used it to produce tequila. Three decades later, his son Jose María Guadalupe de Cuervo received the first charter to sell this tequila commercially. 

There are three main categories of tequila: Blanco (or silver), is the most popular and has the strongest taste of agave, as it is not stored before it is sold. Resposado (which means rest), is stored and matured in a cask for several months before distribution, when it picks up flavors that can be tasty but also distill the pure taste of the agave. Anejo tequila is stored for a significantly longer period of time (often over a year), picking up even more flavor.

Shots of tequila may be popular in the U.S., but Mexican drinkers prefer to savor the liquor’s taste by sipping it. They also tend to save the salt and limes for margaritas, preferring to drink the tequila straight. 

Like wine, tequila is a popular choice for both smelling and tastings. Different types of tequila have a range of smells and flavors from vanilla, pepper, and apples.

People are willing to pay top dollar for their tequila. The most expensive bottle of tequila ever sold went for $225,000 in 2006.

Tequilas are required—by law—to be distilled at least twice before distribution. Although some tequilas are distilled more times, each distillation risks neutralizing the flavor. 

Premium tequila tends to hover around 40% alcohol by volume, or 80 proof, while lower quality tequila, which is diluted with more water, is closer to 55% alcohol by volume, or 110 proof.

Some of the most popular tequila-based drinks are: Margaritas, Tequila Sunrises, Palomas, La Rositas, Jalisco Expresses,  and Bloody Marias.