Not having wild, weird stories involving tequila is close to impossible for most of us but how much do we really know about this premium drink that has always been by our side through thick and thin? Well, this is your chance to know more about tequila and its origin because today (24th July) is observed as National Tequila Day all over the world. On that note, let's pay a tribute to tequila because there's more to this drink than just tequila shots. Here are some fascinating facts about tequila that we bet you never knew. You're welcome.
1. Tequila is a plant-based drink that is actually made from the blue agave or agave tequilana Weber.
Basically, the core of the plant that contains "honey water" or aquamiel is used for the production of tequila and syrup. In order to be classified as tequila, at least 51% of the spirit must be derived from blue agave.
2. The agave harvest is prepared with time, patience and love.
Harvesting agave tequilana weber, or blue agave takes 8-12 years and the plant can grow as much as 7 feet tall. Phew! Quite a lot of effort goes into making tequila huh?
3. Only the agave heart is used to make tequila.
The heart of the agave plant known as piña is cut out, cooked, ground down, fermented and distilled to make tequila. This means that in order to produce tequila, the agave plant needs to be harvested and grown from scratch.
4. All tequila is Mezcal, but not all Mezcal is tequila.
For those who don't know, Mezcal is a distilled beverage made in Mexico from Agave. This means any spirit distilled from the agave plant is considered mezcal, but tequila can come from the blue agave variety.
5. Tequila can be turned into Diamonds. Say what?
Shocking? Well, physicists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico found out a way to make artificial diamonds out of tequila but because these synthetic diamonds are too small, they can't be turned into jewellery. Quite interesting, right?
6. Serious tequila aficionados don't believe in having shots.
Tequila fans like to savour the flavour and the aroma, which is why, they don't prefer having tequila shots. Instead, they sip tequila from a special tequila glass or brandy snifter. They have it like a neat whiskey.
7. An unopened bottle of tequila can last for years without getting contaminated.
Although, if you open the bottle, you have about 1-2 months to finish the bottle before oxidation and evaporation lowers the quality of tequila and destroys the agave profile. If you leave it in the bottle for 3-6 months, it will start tasting more like bourbon.
8. To be called tequila, the drink must be produced in Mexico.
For tequila to be considered authentic, it must be produced in Mexico, mainly in the western Mexican state of Jalisco. The states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas are also acceptable.
9. Real tequila doesn't have a worm in it but a worm may be present in Mezcal.
The worm or gusano is actually present in tequila's lower quality cousin, mezcal. In the 1940s the worm was used as a marketing ploy, with brands claiming the worm had aphrodisiac and even magical qualities.
10. Tequila is classified into 3 main categories.
Real tequila is differentiated on the basis of age and the process of distillation. It is categorized into Blanco, Reposado and Anejo.
11. The most expensive bottle of tequila costs $225,000.
The most expensive bottle of tequila is the Platinum and White Gold Tequila bottle that is sold by Tequila Ley .925. Holy cow!
12. During the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, patients were instructed to drink tequila with salt and lime to ease their symptoms.
Obviously, in today's day and age tequila is not considered a cure but some studies suggest that it helps in soothing sore throat, easing congestion and aiding with sleep.
13. If rumours are to be believed, the Aztecs have to be given credit for the discovery of tequila.
It is said the the Aztecs discovered tequila by accident. Apparently, they saw lightning strike an agave plant and they noticed the plant ozzing liquid that had a sweet taste and smell. They found out that when the liquid is left alone, it ferments into what we now know as tequila.
14. Studies suggest that drinking tequila can help in weight loss.
Surprise! Surprise! The sugars found in agave plants can help in weight loss and improving your digestive system. Blanco tequila is noted as the "healthiest" because it includes agavin (which lowers blood sugar levels) and inulin (helps your stomach digest food).
15. There is one type of tequila that won't give you a hangover.
Well, Blanco tequila, that is made with 100% pure agave doesn't include the sugars, corn syrups and congeners of other spirits that contribute to nasty hangovers. Give it a try.
Come on guys, lets cheers to that!
*Goes to the nearest liquor shop to buy a bottle of tequila.*