Tequila is truly an international beverage that many people in the world enjoy. Over the years in North America, it became popular to be served in a shot glass with a fresh lime wedge and salt, however, if you speak to an industry professional, the art of consuming tequila is more focused on sipping it slowly in a snifter glass to discover the aromas of this complex distilled beverage.
History tells us that the beverage originated in the early 1600’s and was produced near the town of Tequila, which is situated in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. It is important to note, that 90 percent of all Tequila in the world is produced in Jalisco, with the other 10 percent in nearby Mexican states and is regulated by the government, so other styles cannot be branded as a true Tequila product.
Throughout the years, in the 1930’s the world-famous cocktail (The Margarita) was created and therefore kept tequila popular and served in millions of locations. Additionally, it evolved into being used in cooking recipes adding unique flavor and harvested for medicinal purposes. Due to it’s fascinating history, Tequila museums opened and tours were established for people to understand the production process, multiple ways it can be flavored and how other Mezcal products are created. It is estimated now that there are over 1000 brands of Tequila currently registered with the Regulatory Board of Tequila.
The growing process of the agave plant can take up to 8-10 years before it is harvested. Jimadores (experienced agave farmers) cut off the large thorn shaped leaves using special tools. In the center of the plant is the “heart” also known as the “Pina”. From here, the Pina core is cooked, a sugar extraction occurs and fermentation begins to turn the sugars into alcohol and finally distillation.
As you can see when you shop for Tequila, there are different types and hues of color. This is because of the aging process that takes place in oak barrels that creates Blanco, (not aged), Reposado (aged less than a year) and Anejo (aged 1-3 years).
Puerto Vallarta has a wide variety of specialty stores to select your next bottle from. You can also enjoy a fantastic group excursion opportunity with a Tequila tour to discover more about this distinct and traditional Mexican beverage.
Photos courtesy of Rancho Verano.