Surrounded by myths, legends, and lore, tequila fills as many cups as Starbucks’ coffee. Tequila’s rich history as one North America’s first distilled spirits, dates back to the 15th century near the location of the city of Tequila, Mexico.
The Aztec’s began distilling the fermented beverage derived from the Agave plant and perfected it after the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in 1521. Mass production of tequila started in a factory near modern-day Jalisco by Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, and by 1608, Spain’s King Carlos IV granted the Cuervo family the first license to commercially make tequila.
The succulent agave plant has a lifespan of 8-15 years, with leaves reaching 5-8 feet tall. With over 136 species of agave in Mexico, to be officially named a tequila, the spirit must come from the state of Jalisco. In addition any tequila made 100% from the blue agave, Agave Tequilana Weber Azul, may not be flavored in any way.
Playing a larger role than the source for the Mexican spirit, the agave plant is deeply rooted in Mérida’s history. Its leaves are used to create henequen (“sisal”), a hemp-like fiber used to make mats, clothing, rope, and paper. For over 90 years, the port of Sisal was the world’s leader in henequen trade.. The henequen/sisal boom resulted in Mérida’s massive wealth that continues to shine in the majestic streets and haciendas today.
The Mexican spirit has weaved its way through much of Mexico’s history and folklore.
Reaching its global prominence in 1821 after Mexico gained its independence, tequila made its mark as a major export business. Today there are over 100 distilleries making over 900 brands of tequila in Mexico. Cuervo remains a major manufacturer of tequila today.
Do you know how to properly taste tequila?
Hold your glass to your heart, lower your chest, and inhale the fragrance through your nose, and then take a sip.
Rosa-Lime Margarita Recipe
Created by Abelardo Chim, Senior Bartender @ Rosas & Xocolate Luxury Boutique Hotel
1 ½ oz. Tequila
½ oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Lime Juice
A touch of lime zest
½ oz grenadine syrup
Shake all the ingredients thoroughly on ice in a cocktail shaker and serve on a glass.
*Put salt on a small plate, rub rims of the glass with lime wedges and salt.
Decoration: One lime wedge on the rim of the glass.