NEWSLETTER No.8 - March 2021 

We are very proud to present the 8th edition of our newsletter with which we intend to keep you updated about the most relevant news from Mexico and our tourism industry.
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TEQUILA, A GIFT FROM MEXICO TO THE WORLD  

The history of tequila dates back to the time of La  Conquista, and is the product of a mixture of fermented agave juices that they took in pre-Hispanic times and to which the fermentation process was added, implemented by the Spaniards.

The result of the latter process to which agave honeys and juices were subjected was known as Tequila mezcal wine and was made in the vicinity of the town of Tequila, in the former region of Nueva Galicia, in western Mexico, in what is now the state of Jalisco.

In its beginnings the laws limited its production and in a time it was completely prohibited, resulting in the manufacture and sale clandestinely, because it was given preference to the commercialization of Spanish wines and spirits, in order to boost that market in our country. Over time the tequilera industry grew stronger, and grew significantly. Today it is a drink that has crossed borders, and is recognized and consumed around the world.

What tequila is and how it comes up

Tequila is a 16th-century mestiza drink as a result of the syncretism of two cultures: Mexican and Spanish.

According to the Tequila Regulatory Council it is a brandy made in a small region of Mexico. It is produced exclusively from the distillation of fermented must obtained from the heart of a plant known as "agave  tequilana  weber blue variety". This heart of the plant, similar to a gigantic pineapple, is also called "mezcal". In Nahuatl it means "the house of the moon" and is used to mean the core, the essence, the center".

To obtain this, all the leaves are removed, until only the pineapple (heart) remains, after cooking the juices (musts) are extracted, and once fermented they undergo distillation.

How it is made

Within a normal production process the first thing is  the Jima,which is cutting the plant to obtain a pineapple, which must be at least 10 years old on average. Once the stem has been cut, the pencas are removed obtaining the pineapples, depending on the cut of them we will get a more herbal or   more citrus  tequila.

 

These pineapples are given a cooking in different types of oven (stone, masonry) to get the starches converted into sugars and can be fermetared  to produce alcohol. The cooking generates aromas such as the sugar, some notes of cooked fruits, piloncillo, eating chocolate memories depending on the time in the oven. 

It is then passed through a mill to crush the cooked pineapple, and washed with water to dilute the sugary components of the pineapple, generating a must that will undergo fermentation and give rise to alcohol. This process generates aromas such as beer, grains, and compounds that will be transformed into distillation.

 

The alcohol generated is introduced into a copper still to distill it and generate the first distillate called "ordinary" of alcoholic volume close to 28 or 30 percent, then another distillation will be made from which the tequila will come out and have an alcoholic component of 63 and 65 percent, then it is ready to bottle in some cases and if it should not be left for some time in barrels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Types of Tequila

According to the amount of sugars from the agave used in its production, it is classified into the following 2 categories:

1) Tequila 100% agave and

2) Tequila.

The first is made only with sugars of the "agave tequilana  weber blue variety" and the second from the mixture with other sugars in a serving no greater than 49%. Both categories, in turn, are subdivided into five classes, according to the characteristics acquired in post-distillation processes, which are listed below:

  1. Blanco o plata (White or silver): It is transparent, not necessarily colorless, obtained from distillation by adding dilution water, to adjust the required commercial graduation.

  2. Joven u oro (Young or gold): Result of mixing white with rests, aged or extra aged.

  3. Reposado (Rested):  Susceptible of being battered (procedure to soften its flavor), undergoing maturation process, at least two months in direct contact with the wood of oak or oak containers. Dilution water is added to adjust the alcoholic content to commercially permitted.

  4. Añejo (Old): Susceptible of being battered, subjected to maturation process, at least one year in direct contact with wood from oak or oak containers, with a maximum capacity of 600  liters. Dilution water is added to adjust the alcoholic content to commercially permitted.

  5. Extra Añejo (Extraold):  Susceptible of being battered, subjected to maturation process, at least three years in direct contact with the wood of oak or oak containers, with a maximum capacity of 600  liters. Dilution water is added to adjust the alcoholic content to commercially permitted.

Appellation of origin

Its fame and importance in the market internationally has made it vulnerable, as products have emerged that have nothing to do with its nature. That is why a "Denomination of Origin" was created in order to safeguard its title, provenance and prestige.

Tequila is one of the best known and most famous Denominations of Origin in the world, and Mexico, is the owner of this magnificent tradition, so Mexicans know its most important details. Its name comes from the village of Tequila, Jalisco, coming from the words tequitl-trade or workplace and tlan-place, originating later the word  tecuila,to evolve to Tequila, becoming an Apellation of Origin..

 

Today we have five production areas in Mexico armed with the Denomination of Origin Tequila. We will start with the area of Jalisco, which is the largest in production and the one that involves the most municipalities, becomes the entire state area of Tequila.

To these are added the states of Nayarit, Michoacán, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas, these with specific production municipalities to give recognition of the Denomination of Origin. Three of them with full influence of the Pacific Ocean, one with continental climate and the last with prevailing climate of the Gulf of Mexico. 

 

The five locations have different soils that give unique characteristics to the agaves and thus to the distillates of the areas. The big difference between these two climate and soil parameters help us differentiate styles, since the volcanic soils of central Mexico give a character, herbal and floral, while the soils of the highs of Jalisco by having red components (iron) offer us greater fruitiness.

Tamaulipas is also found on calcareous soils of marine origin that provide musts with a greater acidity with the aromatic differential in fermentation and expression of aromas and also alcohol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to drink it

Tequila is traditionally drunk in small sips, as if it were wine, it is a classic, but there are other styles to enjoy them, some of them more widespread in our country:

Drink with salt and lemon

Tequila has been introduced to us with small doses accompanied by lemon and salt. Now, you know exactly how to drink white tequila with salt and lemon? You should follow the steps below:

  • Use a glass of drink or shot to put the tequila in. It is recommended that tequila is 100% agave and is at room temperature.

  • Cut a sliced lemon and cut it in half. Hold a finger between your thumb and forefinger.

  • Lys the gap between these two fingers and place the salt in it, so that the moisture makes it stick.

  • Now it's time to have the tequila, doing it in the following order: first let's ingest the salt, then have the drink at once and finally bite the lemon.

 

Tequila with sangrita

When asked what I can drink tequila with if it is not with salt and lemon, the answer is simple: with sangrita, a non-alcoholic drink to which it gives the name its red color. Orange, tomato and lemon juices, grenadine and a pinch of hot sauce are used to make it.

If we want to drink tequila with sangrita, we must fill two different glasses with each of the drinks. Then we'll take alternate sips of each of them.

More common mistakes when drinking tequila

Alone or accompanied, there are a number of mistakes that we should avoid when it comes to drinking tequila.

 

  • Mixed Tequilas

We can find in the market mixed tequilas, or what is the same, with a agave content of less than 51 %, and fortified with sugar cane or corn syrup. Apart from not having the pure taste of tequila, they are usually accompanied by a strong hangover the next day.

 

  • Not cold tequila, please

We should never cool the tequila, it should always be consumed at room temperature to taste its flavor completely.

 

  • A moment for each tequila

Each type of tequila is made to be taken at a specific time, and this fact must be respected. White tequila is drunk with the appetizer, the rest with the first dishes, the aged with the strong dishes and the dessert is accompanied by an extra aged.

Although we already know how tequila is taken in Mexico, without accompanying it, we can also taste this spirit drink with sangrita or salt and lemon. The essential thing is always to choose a quality tequila, a suitable glass and make sure to take it at room temperature. Following these tips on how tequila is accompanied we will be able to enjoy on our palate the intense flavor of this ancient drink.

Learn more about how to  use this drink in cocktails through our Virtual By DMS Virtual Mexico Mixology  Workshops with  your company's collaborators and business partners from home in the company of a Mixologist who is an expert on the subject.

Visit us at: https://www.dmsmexico.com/virtual-mexico

 

Curiosities

Did you know that...

  • The cooking of pineapples generate aromas of cooked fruits, piloncillo, and hints of chocolate depending on the time in the oven.

  • The world's most expensive tequila was sold for $225,000.

  • Tequila does not produce a hangover. Since it is made only with agave and does not go through chemical processes.

  • Experts ask to do so in small sips and under no circumstances cold, but at room temperature.

  • Pre-Hispanic cultures are said to have drunk fermented agave juice, but it was the Spaniards who taught them the art of distillation.

  • Tequila, not only in Mexico, but in the world is identified as a symbol of mexicanity, golden-era cinema and mariachi music contributed to its great popularity, as it was the protagonist who accompanied the characters in different  situations and moments of their lives.

  • On July 24th 2006 UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site the landscape of agave (plants from which tequila is extracted) and the old industrial installations of tequila.

  • The great growth of tequila was in 1940 when the U.S. enters World War II and the supply of American whisky  declines, that is when tequila takes an important role in consumption in Mexico and becomes universal with the signing of the Lisbon treaty recognizing the appellations of origin in the world.

Sources: 

https://www.gastrolabweb.com/especiales/2020/7/24/tequila-conoce-la-historia-que-hay-detras-de-la-bebida-que-mexico-le-dio-al-mundo-1138.html

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Tequila-related face-to-face experiences

While it's true that most groups aren't ready to enjoy their incentive trips yet, we start noticing a lot of interest from meeting  planners for continuing to explore and plan safe but amazing experiences for much smaller, VIP groups.

Arouse the curiosity and excitement of your guests by jumping seamlessly from the virtual to the face-to-face. Imagine announcing your next incentive trip or small group trips to cross the landscape of agave in Jalisco where you can admire an inspiring natural environment and enjoy an unforgettable trip to the spirit of Tequila, visit some of the most famous  distilleries in the world, know the process of production, grinding, fermentation and distillation of Tequila. Come and experience the exciting culture and tradition and taste this emblematic drink. 

CASE STUDY

An in-person Agave experience in Mexico City

In 2017 DMS Mexico cordinated all services and provided production for an agave experience where with the help one of the foremost authorities in Agave Spirits in the World, we set up stations with agave spirits from different places in Mexico, we secured also sponsorship to bring agave plants directly from Tequila and around the country. featuring stations with the following beverages:

  • Tequila

  • Mezcal

  • Pulque

  • Raicilla

  • Sotol

  • Mixology

  • Flair tending

This interesting event was held in a Museum in downtown Mexico City and was a huge success.

Let us take care of anything that you could need in Mexico!

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Published by DMS Mexico 2021