This Cinco de Mayo, tap into your south-of-the-border roots and celebrate a country that birthed one of America’s favorite beverages: Tequila.
Native to the land of Mexico and distilled from the agave plant, tequila originally offered more than a fiery, throat-burning spirit; the leaves of the plant were once woven into mats, clothing, and paper, and it also served as a nutrient-rich brew called pulque.
A man, whose name sounds familiar to most readers, first utilized a license to manufacture tequila in 1758; his name was Jose Antonio Cuervo. From the time he secured a parcel of land to grow over three million agave plants, Cuervo quickly became the largest manufacturer of tequila, and still is today.
During the years of the Spanish Revolution in 1936, tequila stood as a national symbol of pride as the Mexican people upheld their own goods above French-made products. Later, in the years of the US prohibition, tequila again rose in popularity as die-hards smuggled it across the border. Again in World War II, when European spirits proved difficult to import, tequila replaced former beverages as the new drink of choice.
In 1944, measures were taken to regulate the production of tequila. Bona fide tequila must be derived from no less than 51% blue agave, distilled in the Mexican state of Jalisco. While variations in the taste of tequila exist, they all point back to their Mexican roots. Younger tequilas, known as “blanco” tequilas, hold a distinct agave flavor, while sharper versions are distinguished as “reposado.” The smoothest tequila, añejo, offers a woodier taste.
For this woody añejo effect, use Moonshine Distiller’s charred oak chips to further age your tequila for a smoky flavor. Or, for a similar taste without the long, drawn-out process, try our additive known as “Moonshine Distiller’s Tequila Reposado Essence.” You’re sure to discover for yourself why Americans have wholeheartedly adopted this native Mexican drink throughout tequila history.
If you are interested in making your own agave spirits, try one of our home distilling kits today!