Dispelling Tequila Myths

Tequila has long had a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding it, which has resulted in it having a certain reputation. But now it’s time to clear up those myths so that you can enjoy tequila in all its glory.  

The Worm

Contrary to popular belief, a bottle of Tequila should never have a worm in it. Some low-quality mezcals contain worms, but it’s best practice to never drink any bottle with a worm in it. By the way, in reality, the worm isn’t really a worm at all, it’s the larvae from a butterfly caterpillar. The more you know.

Tequila is Guaranteed to Give You a Hangover  

No, only bad Tequila is more likely to do that (and only if you drink too much of it, which you should never do). There are two main ways to make tequila: one where 100% of the alcohol comes from the agave plant (100% de Agave Tequila), and another where only 51% of the alcohol needs to come from agave (Misto). It is the Misto that can make your head hurt, mostly because the non-agave alcohol content is frequently of poor quality to keep the price low.  The moral of the story: always buy 100% de Agave Tequila (and if you could make it Tres Agaves, that would be nice) 

You should only use Blanco for cocktails:  

While a Blanco is most popularly used in cocktails, really any Tequila varietal can make a great cocktail.  Try mixing our Reposado in your margarita for a little darker, smokier taste. You can also sub in. tequila for other alcohols in cocktails: try making a Manhattan with Añejo instead of whiskey. 

Tequila is produced from any agave, anywhere in Mexico 

It’s actually a lot more specific than that. Tequila can only be made from the Blue Weber agave, which (by the way) is not a cactus but a member of the lily family, and closely related to yucca, beargrass, and sotol.  What’s more, there are only five states legally permitted to produce Tequila.  While the majority of Tequila comes from the state of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas have municipal districts sanctioned to produce Tequila.  

All Tequila Tastes the Same 

Definitely not! Just like wine, Tequilas have terroire, an element of taste that comes from the environment where the agave was grown. Tres Agaves is made from agave grown in the Tequila Valley. The plants are older, the soil is more volcanic, and the weather is hotter and wetter. This results in spicier tequilas with a strong citrus element. In contrast, Los Altos (The Highlands) area, has soil that is rich in iron and weather that is both cooler and dryer. This results in slightly sweeter tequilas with hints of vanilla and fruit.   

There you have it – a few of Tequila’s most popular misbeliefs dispelled. Check out our products, we sell organic 100% de Agave Tequila and organic cocktail mixers. We have dozens of delicious cocktails recipes to step your bartending game up, as well! Salud.

Tequila History: Part Two

Blue Weber Agave before being harvested and turned into 100% de Agave Tequila

And here continues the history of Tequila. In June, we explained the roots of Tequila in the Aztec civilization and how the Spaniards distilled agave spirits to create a brandy-substitute. Now let’s see how Tequila came to be known as ‘Tequila” and the Mexican government’s promotion of the spirit.

The 1700s to 1800s AD: 
In 1758, the King of Spain granted Senior José Antonio Cuervo the rights to cultivate land in Mexico, laying the foundation of the Jose Cuervo brand, the largest producer and exporter of Tequila today.  In 1858, Don Cenobio Sauza fell in love with agave farming, founding Sauza Tequila and beginning the great rivalry between Sauza and Cuervo. During the mid-1800s, the Blue Weber agave was identified as the ideal plant for Tequila and insisting the spirit can only be made from this strain of agave.  Previously, various types of agave species were used; today, many of those agave species are distilled into mezcal. In 1873, Tequila was first exported to and made its debut in the United States, thanks to the work of the original Tequila families.  After Mexico gained independence in 1823, Tequila became a symbol of national pride, as European spirits were cast aside. The popularity of the spirit grew outside of Mexico as Prohibition in the US pushed American imbibers to smuggle the agave spirit into the US, and again during World War II when the decreased supply of European spirits.  As a result of this growing demand, the Mexican government created new regulations and two government bodies to oversee production and exportation.

The 1900s AD:
Mexico, aware of Tequila’s international renown, declared the term “Tequila” as its intellectual property through various treaties and international agreements, giving the country the unique right as the only country with legal rights to produce “Tequila”.  With Mexico now the sole exporter of Tequila, the industry boomed. To protect the fast-growing industry becoming symbolic of the country, the Mexican government instituted regulations ensuring a high level of quality in Tequila production. One of the most important rules is the guidance that, to be called Tequila, the spirit must contain at least 51% Blue Weber Agave. Agave-distilled spirits with only 51% Blue Weber Agave are called mixto – the remaining 49% of the spirit is made from low-quality sugars.

A true, high-quality Tequila should be made with 100% Blue Weber Agave. Tres Agaves is proud to use single-source, 100% de Agave Tequila. Now you’ve read the history of Tequila, how it grew from its prehispanic, ritualistic roots, to become the symbol of Mexican national pride it is today. It’s time to sip some yourself! Find our 100% de Agave Tequila near you.

History of the Sangrita


While one typically thinks of salt and lime when imagining what should accompany Tequila, there is another authentic Mexican companion to the 100% de agave spirit.  Sangrita (“little blood” in Spanish) is a citrus-heavy mixture of orange, lime, and pomegranate juice, powdered chiles, and other spices, and was born in Jalisco, Mexico, the same state Tequila calls home. 

Sangrita is believed to the result of a mixture of leftover juices from pico de gallo, a fruit salad popular in Guadalajara.  When the salad was consumed, the leftover juices were poured into small clay cups and imbibed alongside the post-meal Tequila, a well-noted digestif. As Sangrita has made its way north in the United States, the recipe has adopted a more savory flavor profile. Americans have added tomato juice to meet the level of citrus juices. 

Sangrita isn’t meant to muffle the strong citrus and herby flavors of Tequila. It is meant to sip alongside the spirit, so its savory and citrusy flavors can amplify Tequila’s terroir.  When drinking our award-winning, organic 100% de agave Tequila, we can’t recommend Sangrita enough.  If you’re looking to cover up sting of low-quality Tequila, stick to salt and lime. 

Mexican recipe:
Ingredients

  • 8 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 4 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 5–10 dashes hot sauce (more or less to taste)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt

Directions
Combine all ingredients and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

American recipe:
Ingredients

  • ¼ medium white onion
  • ½ dried ancho chili
  • 1 jalapeño, halved
  • 4 ounces tomato juice (Sacramento)
  • 4 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 3 ounces fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon Maggi seasoning
  • ½ stalk of celery
  • ¼ medium cucumber
  • Salt

Directions
On a grill or in a cast iron pan, roast onion, ancho chili and half the jalapeño for 4–5 minutes, until onions begin to char. Remove from heat and place in a blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, and salt to taste. Let sit for 10 minutes. Strain finely before serving.

Recipes from: Dylan Garret, Senior Digital Editor of WineEnthusiast (https://www.winemag.com/gallery/a-tale-of-two-sangritas/#gallery-carousel-1)