Tequila is not just another alcoholic drink but a symbol of Mexican heritage and culture. It is something that Mexicans take pride in and consume on various occasions, such as birthdays, festivals, and celebrations. This drink has its roots deeply ingrained in Mexican history and tradition. It is an integral part of the Mexican lifestyle and accurately represents their rich cultural heritage. In this blog post, we will explore the origin of Tequila, what it is, the different varieties, the difference between Tequila and mezcal, how to drink it, and finally, we will talk about some famous tequila and mezcal brands produced by Mexican women and celebrities who have spoken about their favorite brand of Tequila.
Tequila is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the blue agave plant native to Mexico. ‘Tequila’ originates from the Nahuatl language and translates to ‘the place where plants are cut.’ According to Mexican folklore, a Spanish nobleman built a distillery in Tequila in the Jalisco state of Mexico. The origin of Tequila dates back to the 16th century when the Spaniards first arrived in Mexico. They found that the locals were already fermenting the sap of the agave plant to produce a drink known as ‘pulque,’ still favored in Mexico today.
Authentic Tequila consists of at least 51% blue agave, grown in specific regions of Mexico. The remaining 49% contains other sugars, such as corn or sugar cane. There are two types of Tequila: 100% blue agave tequila, which is made entirely from the blue agave plant, and mixed Tequila, distilled with up to 49% of other sugars.
There are five categories of Tequila classified based on their aging process.
They are: blanco, joven, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo. Blanco or silver tequila is unaged and bottled immediately after distillation. Joven or gold Tequila is a blend of Blanco and reposado tequila. Reposado tequila ages for a minimum of two months in oak barrels; Añejo is aged for a minimum of one year in oak barrels, while extra añejo stays for a minimum of three years in oak barrels.
Many people often confuse Tequila with Mezcal; however, these are two distinctly different beverages. Mezcal, made from different varieties of the agave plant, is produced in the Southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Mezcal production is less regulated than Tequila, meaning producers may use various agave. It is also typically smokier in taste and distilled using traditional methods.
Tequila should be drunk neat, in a nosing glass that opens up the beverage’s aroma. Alternatively, people enjoy Tequila in one of many cocktails, such as a margarita, Paloma, or the Tequila sunrise. Mexicans typically drink Tequila with a small pinch of salt and a slice of lime called a ‘tequila shot.’ The lime and salt help mask the harsh taste of the Tequila.
Many famous women have taken the lead in introducing their Tequila and Mezcal brands to the world.
For example, Bertha Gonzalez co-founded Casa Dragones, considered one of the finest Tequilas in the world. She is also the first woman to become a tequila master taster. Another famous mezcal producer is Mireida Cortes, who founded Satryna Tequila after observing the lack of high-quality Tequilas for women. Moving on to the master distillers, several women have revolutionized the tequila industry with their unique blends and production techniques. One of the most famous faces in Tequila is Sophia Espinosa from Casa Noble. Espinosa was one of the earliest female master distillers and worked tirelessly to develop Casa Noble’s signature triple-distilled tequila. Today, the brand is known worldwide for its smooth and aromatic Tequila.
In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of all-female organizations like Yola Mezcal, an all-women-owned collective producing mezcal. They offer fair wages and direct payments and even provide childcare for their workers. Their commitment to social justice and women’s empowerment is evident in every bottle of mezcal they produce.
Lastly, we’ll talk about Stella Anguiano, the master distiller of Prospero Tequila. Stella is the first woman to become a certified tequila expert in the Jalisco region of Mexico, where Tequila is predominantly produced. She has over 20 years of experience in the tequila industry and is renowned for her unique aging process, which involves using French and American oak barrels. The result is a high-quality tequila that has earned her numerous accolades and awards.
Furthermore, celebrities such as George Clooney, Justin Timberlake, and Dwayne’ The Rock’ Johnson have all created and/or endorsed well-known Tequila brands. Clooney co-founded Casamigos, which was sold for $1 billion, while Justin Timberlake owns Sauza 901. Finally, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson recently launched Teremana Tequila, also considered one of the best brands in the market.
In conclusion, Tequila is a celebration of Mexican culture that has been an essential part of their heritage for centuries.
Tequila has an incredible history, from its humble beginnings as pulque to becoming the world’s most famous and beloved beverage. The world of Tequila is vibrant and dynamic, and women are making their mark every step of the way. From the jimadors to the master distillers, these inspiring women are improving the tequila industry. Recognizing and celebrating their contributions can create a more inclusive and diverse industry that reflects Tequila’s rich history and culture. The beverage is so ingrained into Mexican life that it has become part of their national identity and culture. Tequila is a drink that deserves to be drunk, savored, and celebrated by everyone.
So the next time you raise a glass of Tequila, remember the women behind it and all the hard work and dedication that goes into every bottle. Salud!
Written by The GNL Editorial Stadd