Taking Tequila Seriously

© Alan Light

Tequila = crazy, wild parties, questionable judgment, a submerged worm and Pee Wee Herman — right? Sometimes, sure, in the US. Mexico, however, takes its famous liquor very seriously. Tequila, which comes from the blue agave plant, is the national drink of Mexico and a symbol of cultural pride.

In the early 1990s, the country established The Tequila Regulatory Council (El Consejo Regulador del Tequila.) Essentially “tequila” is trademarked and no other country can use the name or officially distill the blue agave beverage as tequila.

In fact, there is actually a town called Tequila, which, of course, is where the liquor comes from. And the central Mexican region that includes Tequila as well as Guadalajara is the only place 100 percent agave tequila can be officially produced.

The tequila and agave region in Mexico
© Marrovi

Even adding flavor was a huge no-no in the eyes of the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico, which put the hammer down for many years on flavoring tequila. Distillers who added flavor to tequila could not call it “tequila.” Recently, however, the council eased the restrictions, allowing the name “tequila” to be used for flavored tequilas (except for pure 100 percent agave tequila.)

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