Tequila, oh how we love you. But did you know that in order to be called “tequila,” a drink must meet certain characteristics – by law?! Yep, it’s true. But that’s not the only thing you never knew about tequila. Here are six facts about the Mexican liquor that you never knew:
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How to Really Drink Tequila
The traditional way to drink tequila is to use a tall, narrow shot glass called a caballito, which means little horse, or pony, also called a tequilito.
You’re Probably Experiencing It All Wrong
To truly experience tequila, use the four senses:
Sight: Look at the tequila you are drinking through the glass. Note the color. The color suggests the amount of wood imparted by barreling, and hints of its complexity.
Smell: The sense of smell is a vital part of the enjoyment of tequila. Hold the glass an inch or so form the nose. There are three distinct places in the glass to sniff: bottom, center and top.
Taste: is a limited sense, since it can only perceive five sensations: sweet, bitter, salty, sour and umami earthiness.
Touch: perception of touch is experienced in the mouth. When tequila is harsh, it produces a bite or a sensation of warmth; when smooth, the tongue feels a velvety softness.
How It Gets Its Taste
The taste of tequila from the Jalisco lowlands is determined not only by its aging time in white oak barrels, but also its acquired taste from the volcanic soil of the region, which imparts a spicier and earthier quality.
Nope, It Doesn't Cause Hangovers
Tequila does not equal a hangover. If you mix tequila with sugar mixers it will increase the likelihood of a hangover, but enjoying the purity of 100% blue agave tequila will leave you clear-headed the next morning. (You and your aspirin bottle need a break anyway.)
It Doesn’t Come From a Cactus
Tequila comes from the blue agave plant. Not from a cactus as many believe to be true. A blue agave plant can take about 8 years to mature and weigh more than 100 pounds!
It Has To Meet Requirements By Law
By law, tequila must meet a certain criteria. They are:
1. It must be made from blue Weber agave grown and harvested only in the Mexican state of Jalisco, and designated areas of the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit or Tamaulipas.
2. It must be produced with no less than 35% alcohol by volume
3. The label must read ‘hecho en México’ (made in México)
Try: Herradura, a tequila that comes from one of the last tequila-producing haciendas on the planet, Casa Herradura. Salud!