Tequila is one of the most popular spirits to drink in the US, thanks to celebrity brands and party life branding. Unfortunately, many do not appreciate this Mexican spirit in a way that honors its origins.
My first experience with tequila involved a countless number of shot glasses at a chaotic summer party. Many people will agree that tequila shots are notorious for their favorability among youthful party goers.
The shot taken with salt and a slice of lime may be exhilarating, but it isn’t the best way to enjoy the spirit. As a result, we’ve done some research on appreciating tequila appropriately as per its Mexican culture.
The Origins Of Tequila
Tequila has gained a reputation as a party spirit, especially in the United States. Additionally, many celebrities have ventured into the alcohol industry by choosing tequila as their spirit to sell and endorse.
While many love the spirit and the party message it portrays, they do not know the origins and importance of it. Many do not even know that, like champagne, tequila can only be made in a few state Mexican states.
Tequila is produced using agave tequilana plants in states such as Jalisco. Other agave species make Mezcal, which is produced in a wider geographical range, and it can vary in taste in production processes.
Tequila is a source of livelihood for many communities in Mexico and is recognized as such by the country. Unfortunately, the nation-building spirit has been white-washed of its cultural DNA.
How Tequila Has Been White Washed
When one thinks of a “premium” tequila brand, one may imagine an expensive bottle by George Clooney. Although these celebrity-owned tequila brands are more expensive, they do not offer a ‘premium’ tequila experience.
“The perception that you shoot them back, that you drink them with salt and lime, was all marketing strategy encouraged by tequila companies to mask the burn [of low-quality tequila],”Says Eliana Murillo Of Tequila Alquimia
Many tequila brands are American-owned and offer a low-quality agave spirit made desirable with marketing. Experts reveal that these marketing strategies geared customers for poorly made spirits.
Laws allow bottles with 51% tequila to be sold as the spirit even if the other 49% are imitation additives. This means more brands have been able to get away with making the spirit while erasing its Mexican essence.
How To Enjoy Tequila Appropriately
Now that we know that the party message behind tequila is all a ploy, we must find ways to enjoy it appropriately. Firstly, it is essential to ensure you purchase a 100% agave tequila for the best experience.
High-quality agave spirits may cost more, but it is worth investing in a 100% Mexican-produced product. Purchasing 100% agave tequila also means you are supporting the true Mexican essence of the drink.
It is also time to put away the salt and limes to enjoy the smoothly crafted spirit neat. If you are looking to taste the flavors of a well-produced agave spirit, serve it in a small wide-mouthed glass and sip.
While chasers aren’t necessary, they are a nice addition to those who enjoy them. Do it the Mexican way and enjoy an orange slice dusted with salt, chili, and dried agave worms to get the true unfiltered experience.