Tequila is a special drink, and anyone with an appreciation for the spirit will attest to its near-magical properties. The love, passion and process that goes into making this heady liquor, from the painstaking task of harvesting the blue agave, to cooking and ageing the fine spirit, can only result in a delightful aroma and flavour profile.
Whether it’s Mexican or Australian Tequila (which is more correctly referred to as “mezcal”) there are certain things every aficionado should know about the drink and why, exactly, it is so special.
Let’s take a look at those facts and reasons below:
Tequila lovers should know about the spirit
1. It has to be from the region to receive the name
Not every old blue agave distillation can be called “Tequila”. After all, it could be blue agave harvested from its origin in Mexico, the only part of the world with the ability to call its spirits by this most hallowed of names. There are many variations found around the world that cannot be classified with that name because – like Champagne and Cognac – this fine spirit has an appellation of origin, the likes of which can’t be messed with by someone making the drink outside of Mexico!
2. It must comprise mostly of blue agave
Yep, the classification of this fine beverage is a little rigorous, and for it to receive its title it can’t only be made within five particular Mexican states, but it must also contain at least 51% blue agave. It can be made with blue agave and another neutral spirit, but these are generally cheaper varieties and don’t quite stack up to a pure version made with 100% blue agave.
3. You must give the process time
Another thing that makes this beverage so wonderful is the labour of love that goes into making it. This isn’t some prohibition area bathtub moonshine – the blue agave plant literally takes around seven years to harvest and can grow up to seven feet tall before being turned into that full-bodied, lovely spirit that enthusiasts and aficionados from Jalisco to Halifax discuss and argue about in any given bar, home, restaurant etc. that carries this fine drink on its shelves (pretty much anywhere, these days!).
4. It is usually sipped on in Mexico
Trust us westerners to take a thing of beauty and turn it into a silly party drink. Imagine spending years harvesting blue agave and turning it into fine Tequila only to learn that crazy college kid and other loose revellers the world over slam it down with lime and salt like the flavour profile is really something to be avoided!
In Mexico, they drink their spirit like the Scots drink Whiskey – neat. There is no standing around a crowded bar, pouring salt over your hand and the floor, desperately latching onto the lime to experience some other flavour profile on your palette – the drink is enjoyed for its pure beauty, and a thing of beauty it truly is, too.
5. It’s made in Australia now, too
But just don’t call it Australian Tequila! I mean, if you’re really pressed for time then there is no harm in calling it that, but it should generally go by something like distilled agave or mezcal. But you can trust that the Aussie alcohol is something of top quality, too, and can be found in any good Australian bottle online or in person – enjoy!