Drinko de Mayo: A Brief History of Tequila and Popular Mixes
What are the major periods in the history of tequila?
- 1000 B.C. to 200 A.D
- The 1400s to the 1600s
- The birth of modern tequila: the 1700s to the 1800s
- The year tequila became the intellectual property of Mexico
- The rise tequila mixes of popular
Tequila is one of the most popular liquors in the world, it’s among the highly consumed liquor in the Philippines and its origins is much shrouded in mystery and myth. The famous Mexican liquor is widely known for its spicy and fruity flavor, its taste is undeniably Mexican and it has been the same taste for centuries. As a staple of Cinco de Mayo, it is among the liquor drinks that hold rich stories to tell due to its bold history.
Throughout the course of history, the style of which tequila is consumed has changed, from the all-time 70s classic, Tequila Sunrise, to today’s salt and lime tequila combination, it has truly stood the test of time with various forms. The variety of ways tequila can be consumed makes it popular for many people. Mexico’s native spirit is distilled with a set of stringent rules in order to provide the best quality for each bottle produced. This involves producing each bottle with the best ingredients and more importantly, in the proper location. Both reposado and añejo variants of tequila require different storing times. To get the best quality, aging tequila with the right amount of time is essential.
Today, the tequila in margaritas is so deliciously paired with tacos and enjoyed by people all over the globe. But let’s go back in time to know where it all started. Where one of today’s most famous liquors came from and how it thrived.
1000 B.C. to 200 A.D
The Aztecs were popularly known to have crafted tequila, but during their time, it wasn’t called tequila. It wasn’t even a drink that they drank during parties and celebrations, which is typically the main reason why people drink tequila today. The Aztecs would ferment their own liquor known as pulque. To create this, they made use of the sap of agave plants, this technique of fermenting agave sap into alcohol could be traced all the way back to the civilization of the Olmecs, around 1000 B.C.
The Aztecs were even known to have worshipped two gods which were known for their relationship with this prized spirit; Mayahuel, the goddess of the maguey and Patecatl, the god of pulque. The drink was sacred to the Aztecs. Though barely any documentation of the drink exists today, it was first recorded during the 200 A.D. when the Spanish visited Aztec grounds. From then on, the drink started to grow in popularity.
The 1400s to the 1600s
Multiple stories and theories about the beginning of agave distillation make it difficult to pinpoint when the modern form of tequila arose. Though there is a mutual telling which involves the use of primitive mud stills from the invasion of Spain on Mexican land.
Prior to the introduction of tequila to the Spaniards, the colonizers were heavy consumers of brandy; during their expedition to Mexico, the Spaniards couldn’t do without their brandy. When a shortage of alcoholic supplies arose, they improvised to craft their own drink with mud and agave. What they made wasn’t exactly tequila, but mescal. Though close in relation to tequila, not all mescals are tequila, but all tequilas are mescals.
During the mid-1500s, the Spanish government initiated a trade route between Mexico and Manila, which became an important part of tequila’s exposition to the world. In the 1600s, the first large-scale distillery of Tequila, Jalisco was first built by the Marquis of Altamira.
The Birth of Modern Tequila: the 1700s to the 1800s
In 1758, the Cuervo family began distilling tequila commercially, and the name started to become one of the biggest and most popular brands in the liquor industry today. This was then followed by the Sauza family in 1873 and many more tequila distilleries. This was the era when blue agave was known to produce the best tequila, something that Don Cenobio Sauza was responsible for identifying. By this point, some brands would last for centuries to come, those that produced the best quality.
The Year Tequila Became the Intellectual Property of Mexico
In 1974, the Mexican government declared the term “tequila” as its own intellectual property. After establishing their ownership of tequila, Mexico made it necessary for the said liquor to be made and aged in certain parts of the country. This ownership also stated that it would be illegal for other countries to produce and sell their own tequila. Mexico even established a Tequila Regulatory Council which helps promote and preserve the culture behind the spirit and ensure the quality of every tequila produced in the country.
Popular Tequila Cocktails
Despite the many varieties of margaritas, there is only one true margarita recipe. It’s a famous bar drink, and it’s easy to make from scratch and is a world favorite and go-to drink for many. The refreshing flavor can be enhanced by using the best quality tequila.
Crafting your own margarita takes no practice at all, you just have to find the right balance of flavor for you. What’s great about this drink is that it can be served in multiple ways, straight up, frozen, or on the rocks. You can rim your glass with salt or simply leave it bare. The many different ways of drinking a margarita make it fun and enjoyable.
Tequila Sunrise is a cocktail icon known across the globe. You wouldn’t miss this on the menu of a bar’s drink section. It is one of the most popular tequila mixes and among the best cocktails in the world. There are many reasons to love this cocktail, it’s easy to make, its appearance is beautiful, it’s refreshing, and it’s stunningly flavorful. However, the popular version of Tequila Sunrise, made with orange juice and grenadine, is not the original version of this famous cocktail. The original recipe is made with lime juice, club soda, crème de cassis, and of course, tequila.
Plainly put, Tequini is martini made with tequila. Among the list of tequila cocktails, the Tequini is of dry taste, something that may be different than other tequila cocktails. It may not be your usual refreshing and fruity tequila mix, but it certainly stands out and uniquely amazing.
Since the recipe is simple and only makes use of a dash of bitters and dry vermouth, making use of quality tequila truly makes a Tequini shine. To suit your personal taste, you can adjust the proportion of tequila to vermouth. Garnishing the Tequini, you may add olives, a lemon twist, or a chili pepper slice.
The Sangrita is one of the more fun and interactive ways to enjoy tequila. The traditional form of a Sangrita involves the use of orange juice. What makes this drink enjoyable is that it’s a two-part shooter. That means that you’ll have to prepare two glasses, one with a fruity juice drink mix and one tequila shot. The orange juice mix is made up of orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, and chili powder. Optionally, you can add a slice of jalapeño pepper to add to the peppery taste of the juice mix. All you have to do is take a shot of tequila and drink the juice mix as a chaser.
From small gatherings with friends to full-blown Cinco de Mayo parties, tequila is among the world’s most popular liquors and is Mexico’s finest spirit. With a controlled production only within the border of Mexico, rest assured that high-quality tequila will always be authentic. Luckily, Alcoline has access to the best tequila brands. Click here to check out our products and our list of the best liquors in the Philippines.