Tequila, that daring elixir from Mexico, has been around for over a thousand years prior to the 1950s when it became the hip thing in California. The myths, history and romance that surround this ancient drink are many and today, create a cult following. But just where did tequila come from?
By the time the Conquistadors arrived from Spain, pulque was already an ancient liquor made from the maguey agave plant. The Spaniards brought the knowledge of distilling to the Old World and soon they were roasting the cores of agave plants to produce a sweeter concoction.
Tequila was born when Jose Maria Guadalupe de Cuervo made his ‘honey water’ in the town of Tequila in 1795. Cuervo was granted the very first license to create tequila and sell commercially.
Don Cenobio Sauza was the first to export tequila to the states. However, it was Don Sauza’s grandson that is responsible for the name ‘tequila’ only allowed for that which is produced in the Jalisco region where the Weber blue agave is mostly grown.
So now you know the two biggest names in tequila were the two families that started the sensation.
Of course, today there are over 100 distilleries and tequila has become like wine or a fine scotch – described as such and tasted with reverence and appreciation.
Next… how is tequila made?