Tequila, scorpion honey, harsh dew of the doglands, essence of Aztec, crema de cacti; tequila, oily and thermal like the sun in solution; tequila, liquid geometry of passion; Tequila, the buzzard god who copulates in midair with the ascending souls of dying virgins; tequila, firebug in the house of good taste; O tequila, savage water of sorcery, what confusion and mischief your sly, rebellious drops do generate!
– Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker
How many times have you heard, “Tequila is my worst enemy,” or “Don’t eat the worm, dude!”? Thousands of tequila consumers have undoubtedly experienced a rough night while drinking the spirit and an even rougher morning after. These traumatic experiences that may or may not have landed them in jail or ruined a romantic relationship, most likely spawned from their choice of tequila in the first place and their belief of several myths surrounding the spirit. Don’t worry if you are that person, we are here to help!
Tequila 101 is designed to help you become an educated tequila connoisseur who can appreciate it for what it is; a fine spirit with endless character, history and class.
A. Tequila – is, literally and figuratively, the spirit of Mexico. A true tequila is made entirely from sap extracted from the baked heart of the blue agave plant. The heart resembles a pineapple and is called a piña. They are grown and distilled mainly in the Jalisco state of Central Mexico. The agave plant is often mistaken as part of the cacti family but is truly more akin with a lily. There are many different types of tequila and close to a thousand different brands.
1. Blanco, Silver, Plata, White, Platinum
2. Reposado or Rested
4. Extra Añejo/Reserva
6. Oro, Gold, Mixto
B. Drinking Tequila – The very best way to drink a fine tequila is to sip, savor and enjoy it just the way it is at room temperature. Blancos, Reposados and Mixtos a can best be enjoyed in a caballito or “little horse.” Caballitos are cylindrical glasses that have a wider mouth than base and typically hold an ounce of tequila. They are the evolved versions of cut and hollowed out bull horns, called cuernitos, that were kept in factories to taste the tequila. Through time the pointed end was flattened, the tapered wide mouth shape remained, and the caballito was born. Mezcals are traditionally served in caballitos as well but the spirit is accompanied by a plate of ground up larva mixed with salt and chilies. Añejo and Extra Añejo tequilas can best be enjoyed in a snifter. Some people prefer to sip their tequila with a side of sangrita, a spicy tomato and orange drink. We, at Diablitos, make our very own sangrita, and we suggest you try some as well! Others prefer to shoot tequila quickly with lime and salt. This method originated around 1930 when a Spanish flu broke out and a physician’s number one cure was tequila. They instructed the patient to take the tequila with lime and salt and an undying trend was introduced to the world!