Mexicans like to celebrate Tequila Day, and so do lots of others!
But let’s face it, we all know tequila is synonymous with margarita, so let’s take a look at this frozen favorite.
There is no definitive answer as to who really invented this drink, but interesting stories abound. One of the earliest stories tells of a wealthy Dallas socialite inventing the drink at a Christmas party in Acapulco in 1948. Tommy Hilton of the Hilton Hotel chain reportedly attended the party, and took the recipe home to serve at his hotels. Another suggests that it is merely based on an American drink called the Daisy, which was made with brandy instead of tequila. The Spanish word for “Daisy” is “Margarita”; hence the name.
In any case, this popular drink, made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice, plus the trademark salt rim, will bring a touch of the tropics to any get-together.
Cheers! (And don’t lose that shaker of salt!)
HISTORY OF NATIONAL TEQUILA DAY
Tequila’s precursor, a milky, frothy agave drink known as pulque, dates all the way back to Mesoamerican times circa 1000 B.C., when indigenous Mexican tribes would commonly harvest and ferment it. It wouldn’t be until 16th Century A.D., however, that the contemporary tequila we know and love would be first produced, around a territory of land that wouldn’t officially become known as Tequila until 1666.
That wouldn’t stop Spanish aristocrat Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle from opening the world’s first tequila factory 66 years prior in Jalisco, the Mexican state where the modern city of Tequila is located. It definitely wouldn’t stop Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo from founding the first Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Cuervo in Tequila over a century later in 1795, birthing the world’s most successful tequila brand to this day.
The origins of Tequila are fairly well documented, but unfortunately, the history of National Tequila Day’s origins are a little murkier. Not much can be found on who originated the holiday, what originated the holiday, and why it takes place on the dates it does. Perhaps the originators imbibed a little too much on their own supply to remember. Regardless, common zeitgeist rules that National Tequila Day takes place on July 24th in the United States, and the Mexican Senate just ruled in 2018 that their own occurs on the third Saturday of every March.
NATIONAL TEQUILA DAYS AROUND THE WORLD
|India||National Milk Day||As an agricultural country, India celebrates the many wonderful joys of milk.||November 26|
|Ireland||St. Patrick’s Day||The luck of the Irish and, of course, Irish whiskey is celebrated.||March 17|
|Italy||Espresso Italiano Day||A dedicated day to celebrate coffee.||April 17|
|Iceland||Beer Day||After being banned for a decade, Iceland celebrates the drinking of beer.||March 1|
|Germany||Tag des Deutschen Bieres||Germans enthusiastically celebrate and drink beer.||April 23|
BY THE NUMBERS
5 – the number of regions in Mexico where tequila is produced.
51% – the percentage of the drink that is derived from blue agave.
8–12 – the number of years it takes for blue agave plants to be harvested.
7 feet – the maximum height of blue agave plants.
5 – the number of classifications of tequila.
40 – the number of new tequilas introduced in 2012.
2.3 – the number of tequila consumed per adult in Nevada every year.
9% – the percentage increase in consumption of tequila in America in 2019.
1.3 pints – the amount of tequila consumed by Mexicans in a year per person.
2–12 months – the time it takes to age reposado tequila in barrels.
5 FACTS ABOUT TEQUILA
It takes time
Many liquors are aged, but the agave plant alone needs 8-12 years of growth before farmers can harvest and ferment it into tequila.
Tequila: not always agave
While it’s true that most tequilas are derived from agave plants, Sotol tequilas are actually derived from a similar Mexican plant with a milder and nuttier taste known as “Desert Spoon”.
Popular Mexican export, popular American import
Without a doubt, the U.S. is the biggest recipient of Mexican tequila exports at 204 million liters in 2019; that’s over 40 times more imports than even a country like Germany!
Tequila farmers must study the blade
Agave is harvested with a special machete tool known as a Coa de jima, and the farmers tasked with harvesting it are known as Jimadors.
It’s the stuff of (slinky) urban legends
The “tequila worm” is actually found mostly at the bottom of Mezcal bottles, a similar spirit, and it’s “additive effects” are largely suspected to be a marketing ploy myth.
NATIONAL TEQUILA DAY DATES