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Tequila – The Mexican ancestral drink

The Mexican ancestral drink – When emerged the tequila?

Tequila is a drink of ancestral origin, which has been produced since the sixteenth century (Approx 1538) and which takes its name from the region where it was born.

Tequila is therefore also the name of the city that gave rise to this hot drink and where there are a large number of factories producing it.

What does the word Tequila mean?

The Nahuatl origin (tequitl: work or trade; tlan: place) of the word, speaks of a place of work.

Other versions refer to the origin of the word to the stone that is typical of that region, obsidian, and that was carved as a tool.

These stones were known at that time as tecatlis and therefore the person who handled it was called tecuilo. Thus by habit, the place began to be called Tecuila and later Tequila.

When did tequila starts?

Among legends that explain the origin of the drink, there is one that says that it was discovered during a thunderstorm when lightning struck a crop of agaves and given its intensity, this caused a fire, where the vapors subsequently heated the agave balls.

Causing them to emerge a honey of sweet taste and pleasant aroma that caught the attention of the natives; they discovered that when fermented, it had relaxing powers and effects of euphoria when drinking it.

So they thought it was a gift from the gods of drunkenness.

That is why in many paintings that refer to the history of drinking, we can see the god Bacchus in them.

In the first decades after the conquest, the drink was born as a fermented from the agave plant and later, with its Arab and Hispanic influence.

It was distilled into stills introduced to the continent.

There are about 295 different agave species and only one can be used to produce the drink.

With some other agaves of other species, mezcal and pulque are made.

So this would be the first big difference between tequila, mezcal, and pulque.

In what regions can tequila be produced?

Tequila is a product with Denomination of Origin (DOT).

Which gives the drink the exclusive feature of been produced only in certain regions that are in the appellation of origin.

Definition of tequila Tequila defines as a mixture of alcohols from fermentation and the distillation of agave musts.

There are great Tours where you will see the Production Process in Tequila, Jalisco.


There are two categories for tequilas.

Whose composition according to the NOM is at least 51% of sugars from the agave and the rest of sugar cane or corn syrup.

Commonly, the term Mixed identifies them, however, according to the norm.

The term is misused and should only be called Tequilas only 100% Pure Agave:

  • The total and absolute composition of sugars from agave.
  • This leads us to make a relation of the liters produced by a pineapple or agave ball.
  • On average, 3 kg of agave per liter of tequila and 6 kg of agave per 100 liters of the drink.


Tequila - The Mexican Ancient Drink

Tequila – The Mexican Ancient Drink

Classes types or varieties of tequila     

According to their maturation process, the tequilas are classified into varieties or classes:

White tequilas or silvers:

They are transparent, not necessarily colorless, that after the distillation process continues with the rest of the unitary operations, without going through the aging in wood.

Or, they could rest in wooden containers for less than two months according to the NOM.

Silver or white tequila 3 generations Tequilas juniors or gold:

These are the tequilas resulting from the mixture of a white with a reposado, añejo or extra añejo.

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on Jul 19, 2018

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