Get into the spirit of World Cocktail Week! Today, we’ll be toasting to tequila, the go-to liquor for shot takers as well as cocktail makers! Read on to learn more about its history, as well as what we’ll be mixing with it this week!
A Tiny Tour of Tequila’s History
The tequila we know and love dates back to 14th century Mexico, but its history is centuries older. Since the 1300’s , the Aztecs would ferment agave plants to make a crude alcoholic beverage called Octli, When the Spanish conquistadors invaded and colonialized Mexico, they brought distillation techniques that were initially used for whisky production. The people of Mexico applied these processes to the agave, thus creating the first native, refined spirit of North America.
During prohibition and the two world wars, European spirits became increasingly difficult to get a hold of. This led North Americans to turn to tequila for substitutions, thus igniting its popularity outside of Mexico. To keep the spirit regulated and ensure quality control, policies were put into place regarding the production, distillation, and aging of tequila.
All tequilas must adhere to the following regulations in order to be labeled “tequila:”
- It must be produced in one of the approved Mexican states; Jalisco, Guanajuanto, Tamaulipas, Michoacán, and Nayarit.
- It must be made of at least 51% blue agave plant. Premium tequilas typically are made of 100% blue agave, while lesser quality ones contain the bare minimum. No matter the percentage of blue agave, the spirit must be made with 100% natural ingredients.
- All tequilas must follow strict aging requirements:
- Blanco: can be bottled immediately following distilation, or aged up to two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels
- Reposado: aged between 2-12 months in oak barrels.
- Añejo: aged between 1-3 years in oak barrels.
Iconic Tequila Cocktails
When you mention tequila, many minds rush to the burning sensation of a shot. For those of us who aren’t a fan of tequila cruda as a shot or a sipper, there are plenty of flavourful cocktails that can be made using this Mexican spirit! Tequila naturally brings an earthy element to drinks, making it the perfect ingredient to balance sweet drinks. Check out our favourite tequila cocktails below!
Easily the most iconic tequila cocktail, the margarita requires only three ingredients: tequila, lime juice and triple sec. Thanks to its simple ratio style recipe, it’s just as easy to make a glass for one as it is to make a pitcher for many!
Fruity, fresh, and fun, the tequila sunrise is a staple of any brunch bar menu! No matter how it’s poured, you’re guaranteed to get a sunrise effect, thanks to the red grenadine and bright orange juice. The cherry on top? A Maraschino cherry, of course!
Our Favourite Tequila Cocktail
If you ask us, the Paloma is among the most underrated cocktails. Delightfully refreshing and surprisingly simple, this is the ideal patio beverage!
Here’s our recipe for the delicious Paloma:
2 oz. tequila (El Tequileno Reposado is our go-to!)
2 oz. grapefruit juice (keep some wedges for a garnish!)
2 oz. sparkling water
½ oz. lime juice
¼ oz. agave nectar or simple syrup
- Rub a slice of grapefruit around the rim of your glass to moisten it, and dip it onto a small plate of salt
- Fill your glass with ice, tequila, and lime juice
- Pour in your grapefruit juice and sparkling water
- Mix gently, and enjoy!
Thirsty for more tequila? Check out our entire tequila collection here!