Tequila is a strong alcoholic drink made in Mexico from fermented blue agave juice. The main raw material for the production of tequila is blue agave, Agave (azul) tequilana Weber, of the agave family (Agavaceae).
It is a large plant with a short, thick stem and a rosette of thick fleshy leaves. Before flowering, when the plant accumulates the greatest amount of sugars and starch (it dies off at the 8-12th year of life after flowering), the leaves are cut from the agave and the core of the stem is removed - pinot (Spanish pino "cone") weighing 30-90 kg and more. It is heat-treated, crushed and pressed.
Some manufacturers add about 12% sugar to the resulting juice (other ratios are possible), and the juice is fermented within 2-12, more often 4 days. After double distillation, alcohol with a strength of 50-55% vol. The middle fraction of the distillate is used for the production of tequila. It is diluted with spring or distilled water to 38-40% vol and sent for bottling or aging. Usually the strength of export tequila is 38-40% vol., For domestic consumption - up to 46% vol.
Manufacturers often dilute the distillate with alcohols of a different origin, however, according to the law, tequila can be called a drink for the manufacture of which at least 51% of the distillate from agave was used, and even better - all 100%. In the latter case, the label bears the words "100%" or "100% Blue Agave".
Tequila aging period:
Silver (Silver) - silver, or white tequila. Bottled immediately after distillation; colorless.
Joven (Hoven) - young tequila, not aged, usually flavored or tinted with color.
Gold (Gold) - gold tequila. A variety of young tequila, tinted with color or infusion of oak shavings.
Reposado (Reposado) - rested tequila. Aged for 3-12 months in oak barrels and acquires a golden hue.
Anejo (Anejo) - old, or aged tequila. The aging period is 3-10 years, usually no more than 7.
Tequila does not last longer in barrels, because the drink acquires a stable bitterness.
Tequila is made from cacti. Misconception. Tequila is made from a perennial plant of the lily family - agave. It should be noted that of the 300 species of this plant, only blue agave (Agave Azul Tequilana Weber) is suitable for the production of tequila.
Tequila can be made by yourself. This is possible only if you live in Mexico (preferably in the state of Jalisco), are the happy owner of a large agave plantation, which have spent at least eight years growing, and, in addition, you have the knowledge, time and energy for such a laborious and serious process. Otherwise, you will end up with a completely different drink (if at all).
There is only silver and gold tequila. It should be remembered that these are only the simplest types. In addition, tequila also differs in the proportion of agave content, in terms of aging, in taste. After all, the recipe for preparing each type of this drink is unique.
If it's real tequila, there will definitely be a caterpillar in the bottle. Mexicans don't put caterpillars in tequila bottles. In some varieties bottled in the United States, caterpillars are indeed added for advertising purposes, but this does not correspond to Mexican traditions.
You won't get a tequila hangover. It all depends on the amount you drink and the ability of your body to withstand the effects of alcohol. It should be remembered that the content of fusel oils in tequila is not regulated, the light taste of herbs successfully masks them, therefore this drink becomes intoxicated very quickly. But if you manage to drink a large amount of tequila, in the morning you will suffer from the usual hangover.
All tequila - "one person", only the bottles are different. No, this drink has a lot of flavors, it differs both in terms of aging, and in many other parameters, well known to connoisseurs of this drink. For example, Tequila Blanco Silver - young tequila, does not mature at all - is bottled immediately after preparation. Tequila Joven Gold differs from Blanco tequila only in that it contains an additive - caramel. The drink has a mild taste and is easier to drink. The girls are just delighted with him! Tequila Reposado, Anejo have a brighter taste, are aged for a certain time (Reposado is aged from 2 to 11 months, and Anejo from 12 months to 10 years). In total, about 500 types of tequila are known in the world. By the way, this drink has a completely different taste from different manufacturers, and Tequila Sauza is considered one of the most popular and oldest tequila production in Mexico.
Tequila and mezcal are synonymous. This is not entirely true. After all, tequila is made only from blue agave, five varieties of this plant (both cultivated and wild) are suitable for making mezcal. Tequila undergoes double (or even triple!) Distillation, while mezcal is most often one (with the exception of the premium grade that undergoes double distillation). Both the method and the place of production of these drinks are different (for example, the core of the agave for mescal is baked in pit ovens, for tequila - in ground ovens or autoclaves). And, finally, it is to the bottle of mezcal that the "worm salt" is applied, while tequila is not provided with such an additive.
The more expensive the tequila, the better. This is not entirely correct opinion. The price of tequila can vary depending on the attractiveness of the packaging, the type of bottles (often handmade), the "promotion" of the brand. And different types of tequila have different prices. For example, in Mexico there is a wide selection of great tequilas for $ 30- $ 60, and a good selection in the $ 60 to $ 100 price range depending on the type of drink.
The best tequila is on the domestic market in Mexico. This opinion is true only if, apart from the strength of the drink, you are not interested in anything. Indeed, less strong tequila is exported, but, firstly, the difference is not very significant, and secondly, this fact is not at all an indication that a higher-quality product is presented on the local market. In addition, it should be noted that cheap (less than $ 30) tequila is mixed (i.e. it does not consist of 100% agave). And premium products are not even sold in Mexico as they are made exclusively for export.
Tequila can cause hallucinations. This opinion, apparently, spread thanks to people who confused mezcal with mescaline (a hallucinogenic drug). But this opinion is completely wrong - tequila does not contain any narcotic substances. Indeed, in the agave, from which tequila is made, there are no psychotropic components.