Yes, tequila has a bad rep. But to be honest, a terrible hangover is not really what is hiding at the bottom of that bottle. In Mexico, tequila translates into party, pride and complicity amongst friends.

Mexicans drink tequila to celebrate success and to shrug off failure, to remember good old times and to revive unforgettable moments.

In fact, tequila is not only a drink; there is a culture around it that involves much more components than just the fiery liquid we swallow on Friday nights.

Here are some facts you probably didn’t know:

 

1. Good tequila doesn’t give you hangovers

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Tequila made from 100% blue agave is smooth to the taste and can even be enjoyed in zips like any whiskey. The problem is that most tequila out there is only 50% agave and 50% cheap sugar-cane based liquor – so no wonder you get pounding headaches next morning.

 

2. Tequila was a goddess

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Mexicas indigenous people adored the Agave because they considered it to be the representation of Mayahuel, goddess of inebriation.

 

3. Tequila is a place

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Located in Jalisco state, Tequila was declared as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site in 2006.

Here, thousands of agave leaves rise towards the sky, blue blades piercing the horizon.

All the tequila worldwide (which amounts to around 200 million litres) is produced in a region that comprises Jalisco, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Michoacan and Tamaulipas. Anything produced outside that region is not real tequila.

 

4. There are four different types of tequila

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Depending on how long they have been aged for.

Tequila Blanco is only distilled (so it makes an excellent choice for margaritas and other cocktails but probably won’t do for a shot), Reposado has been aged for less than a year, Anejo is kept in barrels from one to three years while the rare Extra Anejo is aged for longer than three years.

 

5. There are more than 200 species of agave

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With such diversity, it should come as no surprise that tequila is not the only thing you can distil from it: mezcal and pulque (other signature spirits from Mexico), paper, candy, honey and sugar can also be produced from agave.

 

6. Tequila is a train too

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The Tequila Express departs from the colonial city of Guadalajara and stops at the most prestigious Tequila Haciendas in Jalisco, where visitors can learn and witness first-hand the process of making tequila.

“The Tequila Route links several communities that craft this unique spirit.

You will be able to unwind at magical boutique hotels, savour gourmet Mexican dining while listen to live mariachis, watch traditional dancing and enjoy several tastings of tequila as part of this comprehensive cultural program”, says Ted Dziadkiewicz, Director and Founder of Contours Travel.

Yes, probably you have already tasted tequila, but savouring the taste of its roots is a whole new experience. Are you up for it?

 

About us

Contours Travel is the longest running Latin American operator in Australia. It has 40 years of experience designing tailor-made, small group itineraries and special interest tours throughout the region. See more at: http://www.contourstravel.com.au

What’s your worst tequila memory? Come on be brave…