MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2 - 37

FEATURED SPIRIT:

TEQUILA
With National Tequila Day coming up in July, let's explore the history, magic and unique drinks
associated with the spirit that comes from Jalisco, Mexico.

P

eople often get confused between tequila and
mezcal. So what's the difference? Mezcal is a
distilled spirit derived from the agave plant.
It's produced mainly in or near the Mexican city of
Oaxaca, though according to government mandate
it can also be made in a few other regions. Mezcal is
primarily made from Espadin agave, though 27 other
varieties of the plant can also be used. Tequila is a type
of mezcal that comes from just one variety of agave, the
tequilana or blue agave. It must be made in Jalisco or
in designated areas in the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nayarit, Michoacán and Guanajuato.
Tequila was first distilled by Spanish conquistadors near the town of Tequila. They were forced to improvise once they ran out of the brandy they'd brought
along to the New World. The Aztecs had already been
fermenting agave for centuries. They made pulque,
a milky spirit used in sacred rituals. Pulque was as
healthy and vitamin-rich as it was potent.

Tequila, however, is a different sort of animal-
distilled rather than fermented. It's believed that the
first true tequilas were made in the 1500s, covertly. To
avoid paying taxes to the Spanish Crown, production
was done in secret, behind hacienda doors. The first
mass-produced, over-the-table tequila came around
1600. Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira, opened a factory in the area known today as
Jalisco. He's considered the Father of Tequila. In 1608
the drink was so popular that the colonial government
started taxing it. In the 1750s, José Antonio de Cuervo y Valdés was granted land by the King of Spain to
cultivate agave for tequila-production. 40 years later,
the Crown issued a proclamation awarding the Cuervo
family the first official license to make and sell tequila.
By 1800, a new industry was thriving. Tequila's
great popularity at home led manufacturers to try
their luck abroad. There's no consensus regarding
when the drink was first exported to the US. Some

SPRING/SUMMER 2018 37



MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2

MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2 - Cover1
MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2 - Cover2
MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2 - 3
MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2 - 4
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MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2 - Cover3
MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/MSA_Pure_Spirits_2019_Q4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/MSA_Pure_Spirits_2019_Q2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/MSA_Pure_Spirits_2018_Q4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/MSA_Pure_Spirits_2018_Q2
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