Uno, Dos, Tres Agaves on National Margarita Day

While many debate the origins of the most popular American cocktail, the Margarita, we know one thing for certain – Tres Agaves was born with a mission: to make the freshest, most authentic and delicious Margarita the world’s ever tasted, and the reason is simple:  We keep it simple.

100% pure agave Tequila.  All-natural Agave Nectar.  Fresh lime juice. 
 
NO corn syrups. NO food coloring. NO artificial sweeteners. 

 
Just pure Margarita greatness.
 

In honor of National Margarita Day, Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011, Tres Agaves is here to remind you that all it takes is Uno, Dos, Tres.

Uno – 2oz Tres Agaves Tequila
Dos – 1oz Tres Agaves’ All-natural Agave Nectar
Tres – 1oz Fresh squeezed lime juice

The result = Perfecto.

Our suggestion: pop down to your local Hispanic or specialty food store and ask for ‘Mexican’ or ‘Key’ limes (different than your standard ‘Persian’ limes). They’re a little smaller in size and it may take a little extra squeeze-action to get your 1oz – but the juice offers a really special tart/bitter complement to the Tequila and Agave Nectar. There’s a reason they only use Key limes in traditional Mexican Margaritas!

Tequila Talk: What’s with the Worm?

In a recent episode of the hit show ‘An Idiot Abroad’, Ricky Gervais’ new project featuring his friend Karl Pilkington (the idiot) traveling the 7 wonders of the world, Karl is forced to eat the worm resting at the bottom of a bottle of ‘Tequila’.

Let’s take this time, however, to make a few points clear. First off, Tequila has zero tradition of including a worm in the bottle. That practice is reserved for Mezcal, Tequila’s cousin. Distilled from the Maguey plant, rather than the Blue Weber Agave, Mezcal sometimes include small insect. But it is not a worm–it’s (usually) the moth larvae hypopta agavis. The ‘worms’ are also known as hilocuiles, chinicuiles, tecoles or gusanos rojos (because of their red colors), and impart a distinctive hue and flavor to the drink.

You are probably thinking, “ok, but why are they in my Tequila…I mean Mezcal?” Take a closer look at the latin name, hypopta agavis (emphasis on agavis), and we find our answer. These organisms begin their lives when their mother plants her eggs in the heart of the maguey plant. They then eat their way out, feeding on the leaves, or pincas, until they form a cocoon, emerge as butterflies and flutter away.

Getting hungry? The mature caterpillars are considered a delicacy in parts of Mexico, and are used in local cuisines. You might also see them deep fried with some salsa picante, wrapped in a tortilla. A 100 gram serving packs almost 700 calories.

Eric Rubin’s Journal: Tequila Interchange Project

Should foreign ownership of Tequila brands be allowed? Some argue no, but Eric Rubin disagrees with this view. In his most recent blog, Eric shares his thoughts on his trip to Mexico with the Tequila Interchange Project…

Ok, so I recently took part in the 2nd trip of the Tequila Interchange Project.

For those of you not familiar with the Project, I’ll let their mission statement do the talking:

“We’re a network of professionals engaged in promoting the education of the culture of Tequila in their local communities and abroad. We strive to create a highway of knowledge between teachers, workers, and connoisseurs of the culture of tequila, from the agave fields in Mexico to the cocktail bars across the USA. We are a network of connections and partnerships. We are both professor and pupil. We are the bridge of communication towards the future of tradition for tequila culture.”

I was fortunate to be selected and had a blast with my fellow team members. I admit that the radical leftist views of Latin American professors took me a little surprise, proposing no foreign ownership of Tequila brands! – but their knowledge, passion, and connection to the region were all very impressive.

The education and conversational aspect of the trip is what I found the most interesting, but I did feel that some of the goals expressed – while rooted in good intentions – could be problematic if not impossible to implement, and may be unfair to the large producers; not to mention small producers that are just starting to forge their own path…

Friday Fact: Etymology of Tequila

Everybody knows Tequila is a (tasty) spirit. Surprisingly few know that it’s also a place.

The town of Tequila (site of Tres Agaves Tequila’s distillery) is nestled comfortably in the valley of Tequila, below the Tequila Volcano.

By my count, that’s four different things, all going by the same name.  Why is everything in sight down there called ‘Tequila’, and what does it mean? The authorities differ on this point.

Most agree that the term comes from an ancient Nahuatl word. It has been variously taken to mean ‘place of tribute’, and ‘place of work’ on one end of the spectrum, and ‘place of taxes’, ‘place of tricks’ on the other.

Other theories of the word’s original meaning center around the Tequila Volcano that looms over over the town. For instance, some believe that Tequila should be translated as ‘the rock that cuts’, a reference to the obsidian that is abundant in the area. At least a few others think Tequila is a corruption of ‘tetilla’, implying that the locals thought the mountain looked like a small breast.

Tequila isn’t Nahuatl’s only contribution to modern parlance. According to Wikipedia all of the following words and more can be traced back to this indigenous Mexican group of languages:

achiote, aguacate, cacahuate, chile, chipotle, chocolate, coyote, guacamole, jícara, jitomate, mezcal, mezquite, mole, nopal, popote, pozole, quetzal, tamal, tomate.

Tequila Talk: Yeast

You throw out the term “yeast” and it’s gonna mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

More than just making the dough rise, yeast is also key to the fermentation process that results in some mighty fine Tequila. While many people know that yeast is important to the process you may not know how. Yeast is a living organism that consumes sugar and converts it into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The remaining liquid is then distilled to form Tequila among other spirits.

Yeast working it's magic.

Want to know more about yeast? Check out home distiller.com

Tequila Talk: the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) Gets Social

The Consejo Regulador del Tequila, commonly shortened to CRT, is the regulatory body for the Tequila industry and sets the standards for all things Tequila.

Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

  • The Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT), A. C., is an inter professional organization comprising all actors and production staff associated with the Tequila production. The aim of the CRT is to promote the culture and quality of this beverage that has gained an important place among the national identity symbols.
  • And they’re all business. If you needed any proof just get a load of this pic taken of the main board room. It’s like the the UN of Tequila.

    Where it all happens at the CRT.

    It’s easy to get the impression from the submissions above that they are just about facts, figures and regulations. In short, that they are just another formal regulatory body that pushes rules to their audience.

    They’re not. One look at their website and you will instantly know that they want to be more. They want to be part of the ongoing conversation about Tequila. They want to reach out, engage and encourage feedback. In fact, their website site is one of the most “social” sites I’ve ever seen. It’s all right there on the home page. The CRT home page features three main elements: a Facebook feed, a Twitter feed and a YouTube feed- featuring the reigning Miss Universe no less. (Wanna see the Miss Universe video? Click here.) In addition, they have social links at the top of the page to encourage you to spread their news so others can “join the conversation”.

    I personally love that the CRT has a Facebook page. Anyone care to “like”? I just did.

    A lot of companies, both B2C and B2B, could learn a few things from the CRT. It’s about using all their online channels to stimulate conversations. Case in point, via this post, it’s working.

    As an aside, I would love to see the DPT or the DMV adopt the same format that the CRT has. Imagine the fun of joining in on one of those conversations? Think of the live pot hole tweets and cam shots of road repairs and delays. Seriously, the DPT and DMV could use some real time feedback from their customers. (I’m just saying…)

    Tequila Talk: Appellation of Origin

    Think Champagne and you are likely to think of bubbly wine produced from some place in France – just like non-bubbly Burgundy or Bordeaux wines. The same goes Kobe beef. And Tequila spirits. They are all products officially designated by their specific origin. Think of Appellation of Origin as a trademark to protect and validate the designated product as authentic. There are also marketing advantages.

    Case in point: Would you rather have Champagne or sparkling wine? Let’s face it “sparkling wine” doesn’t carry the same loftiness of Champagne. And because sparkling wine doesn’t come from the Champagne, with the region’s unique characteristics, it’s not (to use a popular 70’s phrase) “the real thing”. Officially, it’s a different thing that also has bubbles.

    CRT Building in Guadalajara, Mexico.

    Wikipedia defines Appellation of Origin this way: A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country). The use of a GI may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.

    Want more info as it pertains to Tequila? You can get the history of appellation of origin at Tequileros.

    Tequila Talk: La cuidad de Tequila

    Everybody knows about Tequila but not everybody knows that Tequila is actually geo-denominated spirit named after the city of Tequila. This namesake town is a surprisingly untouched town located in central Mexico about an hour’s drive from Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. In 2006 it was named a world heritage site for being the largest producer of agave spirits but there’s more to the city than just shots, limes and agave plants. Although you wouldn’t guess that by the monument that greets you as you enter the city. Get a load of this:

    Sure. You should sample the juice. It’s delicious. And there’s a wide range of distilleries you can visit that range from small and quaint to full-on mass production houses. Yet, if you want to see what Mexico is like away from the beaches and high-rises and hotels Tequila would nonetheless be a good stop. It’s authentic Mexico where everyday folk come to work, socialize, shop, and go to church. It’s away from the hubbub of beach vendors or the bright lights of the big city. If it’s not about big business it is about the community’s business. And there’s nothing like waking up to the quiet on the main plaza and the Church of Santiago Apostol at sunrise- before business gets started.

    Here’s some other facts about charming and rustic city:

    Population: 26,809 (according to Wikipedia) Other sources have it around 35,000 (Still surprisingly small given that it’s only 27 miles from Guadalajara, which has 5 million inhabitants.
    Elevation: 3,996 feet (higher than I would have guessed, especially since it’s in the “lowlands” Tequila region.
    Industry: Corn, bananas, agaves plants and Tequila production (with more acres devoted to corn than agave)
    Other names: Santiago de Tequila, Pueblo Mágico

    Want to know more about the city of Tequila? Click on these links:
    http://www.mexicomapxl.com/land-and-people/cities/tequila.html
    http://www.chapala.com/chapala/ojo2008/tequila.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tequila,_Jalisco