National Tequila Day

8 fun facts about Mexico's legendary liquor


Raise your glass, let's make a toast. Here's to the margarita, frozen or on the rocks, the savior of happy hours and hot days from coast to coast. Here's to the cheap shot and the smooth, smoky sipper; here's to salt and lime; to the sunrise, the La Paloma, and the amped-up sangria. Here's to National Tequila Day. May we do the spirit proud.

Grown and distilled in and around the Mexican city that bears its name, tequila's roots stretch back to the 16th century (and possibly all the way back to the Aztecs.) However you decide to celebrate this legendary liquor, prep your palate with some of our favorite spirits trivia; we've got 8 tequila tidbits every reveler should know.
1.) There's no worm, ever. (Psst: That's mezcal).

2.) There are five principal tequila categories:

Blanco / Plata:  A white spirit, un-aged. Typically bottled shortly after distillation.
Joven / Oro: Blanco tequila with added color. Think Cuervo Gold. (All tequila starts out completely colorless.)
Resposado: Aged in oak at least two months, but less than a year.
Anejo: Aged in oak at least one year, but less than three.
Extra Anejo: Aged in oak at least three years.

3.) You have the Greater Long-nosed bat to thank for your margarita: It's the pollinator of the blue agave plant, from which the spirit is distilled. Note: There's no cactus involved in making tequila, and there never has been.

4.) Mexican law deems that all tequila must contain at least 51% agave. Anything less than 100% is designated as mixto.
5.) It takes 8 to 10 years for an agave plant to mature.

6.) Once ready for harvest, a Jimador (agave harvester) removes the plant's "pina," a massive heart section that can weigh up to 140 lbs.

7.) Tequila doesn't necessarily hit any harder than the other major spirits. It is typically distilled to 80 proof (40% ABV). If you have a brutal morning-after, it's not because you drank tequila. It's because you drank a lot of tequila.

8.) The 1958 song Tequila, which you are now invited to get stuck in your head, was the first -- and only -- #1 hit for a band called The Champs. Bonus trivia: 27 years after release, the song became inextricably tied to Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), thanks to a scene where Pee-Wee dances his way out of a feud with a biker gang called Satan's Helpers.

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  • Snooth User: JohKen
    199014 12

    so is TODAY tequila day? I thought every day was tequila day....

    Jul 24, 2010 at 10:50 AM

  • Snooth User: TCombel
    326554 2

    We need a sangrita recipe to sip along with out tequila.

    Jul 24, 2010 at 1:01 PM

  • Snooth User: DubAirs
    348878 1

    More trivially, subsequent versions of the Champs featured Seals and Crofts and Glen Campbell.

    Jul 24, 2010 at 1:03 PM

  • Snooth User: Philip James
    Founding Member Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    1 12,575

    I have a few less common tequilas specially for tonight:

    - Oro Azul -
    - Tres Mujeres -

    and a Joven Mezcal called Cusano Rojo -

    The latter has a pretty large worm in it.

    Jul 24, 2010 at 2:04 PM

  • And now Peaks Of Otter Winery in Bedford Va has come out with "Salty Frog" , a Wonderful Margarita wine cocktail!

    Jul 24, 2010 at 4:37 PM

  • Snooth User: tcot
    491826 2

    The traditional rocks margarita is too strong and sour for most. The trick is to make fresh simple syrup. Just add sugar with a little less of that amount of water to a plastic bottle and heat it in the microwave with the cap off, then sake it and let it set briefly. Best if it's pretty fresh. Otherwise it starts to taste like the bottled crap.

    I like:
    1 fresh lime
    2 parts resposado tequila of your choice
    a little less than 1 part Contra (change to your taste)
    a little less than 1 part fresh simple syrup (change to your taste)

    Some people like to float either a dash of Brandy or Grand Marnier after poured in a salted glass but I think that's overkill.

    Happy tequila day!


    Jul 24, 2010 at 8:21 PM

  • Snooth User: Heribertg
    447364 7

    Dear tcot - the simple syrup method is good for sure BUT never ever heat a plastic bottle in a microwave - cheers

    Jul 25, 2010 at 12:32 AM

  • Snooth User: mrchili
    420561 7

    Even better than sugar...use Agave nectar, it has a low glycemic value, it made from the same plant tequila is made from, and it dissolves in water without using a nuclear device....

    Jul 25, 2010 at 4:28 AM

  • Snooth User: tomaso11
    538178 21

    I just saw a billboard yesterday for El Jimador tequila and wondered what that meant. Now I know! Thanks @thespirit!

    Jul 25, 2010 at 11:12 AM

  • Snooth User: Philip James
    Founding Member Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    1 12,575

    I followed the recipe last night and tried to make the drink "frozen", by blending it up with a cup of ice, per serving. The drink came out nice and chilled, but the ice blended away to nothing. How can i make a proper blended drink?

    Jul 25, 2010 at 4:17 PM

  • Snooth User: fjacoby3
    351419 12

    ...just to say that Larry Carlton also covered in 1990 on his album Friends!!

    Jul 26, 2010 at 6:24 AM

  • Snooth User: fjacoby3
    351419 12

    ....sorry, LCs 'Friends' release was in 1983 and not 1990 as I posted earlier. Tiempo para disfrutarlo!!!

    Jul 26, 2010 at 6:31 AM

  • Snooth User: Carly Wray
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    196958 864

    @ Philip -- I've had the same problem before -- and finally had to up the ice to 3 cups per serving. We also found we had to up the tequila by about 1/2 oz per drink for the frozen version, as it gets so diluted in the blending.

    Jul 26, 2010 at 8:11 AM

  • Snooth User: jnawrocki
    415354 45

    Add Sugar to a Margarita - yech... Such a wonderfully simple drink to make and yet people go to such lengths to mess it up...

    Tequila, Triple Sec, fresh squeezed lime juice, salted rim. Ice not necessary.

    Jul 26, 2010 at 11:13 AM

  • Snooth User: Qorki
    123171 7

    If you freeze the tequila and triple sec beforehand (don't worry it will never solidify because of the alcohol), the ice won't melt trying to cool down the liquids and the slushy margarita will be full strength. This works great in the Margarita Frozen Concoction Maker. I keep bottles in the freezer for such occasions.

    Jul 31, 2010 at 12:28 PM

  • Snooth User: Wizz
    548362 1

    I agree with JohKen, I thought evry day was Tequila day. Good Tequila never leave you with a hangover! Some to try: Tres Generaciones (Anejo), Casa Noble (Anejo), Tres Manos (Anejo), Dos Lunas (Anejo) & Don Julio (Anejo)...I'm thirsty!

    Aug 05, 2010 at 12:19 PM

  • Snooth User: klbirdie
    534740 7

    OOOOhhhh la la...tequila!!!!! Anjeo... the smokier the sippier....!!!!

    And for a really nice change of pace....try a cactus blossom. 1 shot tequila (blanco or reposado) to 1 shot berenjager (honey liquor) and 1 shot fresh squeezed lemon juice. Soooo nice. I got this from a tag on the berenjager bottle.

    Aug 05, 2010 at 5:58 PM

  • Snooth User: klbirdie
    534740 7

    jnawrocki....that's what I like... except skip the salt....

    Aug 05, 2010 at 6:01 PM

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