| When Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Mexico during the 16th century, they tasted the native Aztec's ancient drink made from fermented sap of the blue agave plant. But, the Conquistadors thought it was too weak and decided to distill the plant in the hopes of concocting a better beverage-tequila, which they later exported to Spain. |
In the late 18th century, King Charles III banned the spirit, so he could promote Spain's wines. Just like bootleggers in the U.S., Mexican distillers took their production underground. When Ferdinand IV succeeded Charles, the new king lifted the ban but levied a tax on all tequila produced.
By this time, the Cuervo family of Mexico had already been cultivating the agave plant on a small piece of land for 30-some years. To stay on good terms with the King, Jose Maria Cuervo applied for a license to produce tequila, which made his operation the first official Mexican distillery. Cuervo, now the largest manufacturer of tequila, grows more than four million agave plants on the distillery's plantation and remains one of the most popular brands.
Today, tequila comes in several varieties and is combined with many other ingredients to create a variety of tantalizing concoctions.
|Plato/Blanco/Silver - Bottled within 60 days (no aging)|
|Dorado/Gold - Caramel coloring|
|Resposado/Rested - Aged two months to one year|
|Anejo/Aged - Aged between one and five years|
What exactly is tequila you ask? Tequila is made in the arid highlands of central Mexico, from fermented and distilled sap of the agave (also called a maguey), an indigenous plant (a succulent, not a cactus).
Here are our top tequila picks:
|·||El Toro Gold||·||Patrón Silver|
|·||Casa Noble Anejo||·||Casa Noble Gold|
|·||Herradura Seleccion Suprema||·||Herradura Anejo|