6 Myths About Tequila Debunked

by The Drink Nation on Jul 22, 2014 in Liquor
6 Myths About Tequila Debunked

Though tequila has gained a lot of respect in recent years, thanks in part to the tireless work of passionate producers returning to more traditional and artisanal practices, there’s still plenty of misconceptions about it. Ahead of National Tequila Day, which is coming up on July 24, we’re debunking some of the most common misunderstandings about Mexico’s prized distilled agave spirit.

There's a worm at the bottom of the bottle

Not true. No tequila, ever, should have a worm (or any other critters) taking up space inside the bottle. Some dirt-cheap, rotgut mezcals do indeed have a maguey larva in them, but it’s a cheap marketing ploy developed in the 1950s.

Eating the worm will make you hallucinate

Again, not true. Should you ever encounter a bottle of tequila with a worm in it, you should pass on drinking it, and certainly do not eat the worm.

Tequila (and mescal) are made from a cactus closely related to peyote, which is why it makes you crazy and/or hallucinate

There is no correlation between peyote and distilled agave spirits like tequila and mezcal. In fact, the agave isn’t even a cactus. It’s a large, fleshy succulent that’s more closely related to the lily than the sacred psychoactive cactus used in tribal religious ceremonies.

Spanish Conquistadors brought distillation knowhow to Mexico in the 1500s, and created the first distilled agave spirit

According to most accounts, Spanish Conquistadors first distilled tequila from a crude fermented agave beverage known as pulque enjoyed by the native peoples they encountered upon arrival in Mexico. But more recent studies and expeditions throughout the country have found that distillation was being used to create the proto-tequila spirit Raicilla for many generations before the Conquistadors showed up.

There only two types of tequila: Those produced in the lowlands, and those produced in the highlands

While the tequila conversation has focused primarily on the lowlands vs. highlands argument over the past decade, there are many other factors beyond elevation to consider. Like wine and most regions around the world that produce it, terroir plays a huge role in agave cultivation and tequila production. Mexico’s prime, high elevation tequila producing regions present a diversity of environments and conditions that have a profound impact on how the tequilas produced in each subregion taste. Agave harvested from the red soils on the Arandas high plateau produce tequilas with fruity, floral herbaceous notes, while tequilas from mountainous slopes of Atotonilco tend to have sweeter and more citrusy qualities.

The only way to consume tequila is in a shot glass accompanied by salt and lime

Sadly, this is how most drinkers experience tequila for the first time, but by no means is the only way to enjoy it. Tequila has come a long way from its rowdy frat-party and skull-crushing hangover reputation. It’s now widely regarded as a noble spirit that’s on par with some of the world’s most revered whiskeys and brandies. Needless to say, it’s a splendid base spirit for just about any type of cocktail, and also goes great when sipped neat.  

Photo: Wikimedia Commons


Tags: Education, Spirits, Tequila
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
The Best Things We Drank This Year At Feast in Portland 2017

The Best Things We Drank This Year At Feast in Portland 2017

Now that we've had a few days to recover, here is Drink Portland's list of the best things we drank at Feast, all to get you excited for next year....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 19, 2017
Shiner Beer Donates $100,000 to Hurricane Irma Relief

Shiner Beer Donates $100,000 to Hurricane Irma Relief

As hurricanes continue to devastate the US some breweries are helping out, including most recently The Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 19, 2017
Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017 in Portland

Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017 in Portland

Oktoberfest, a celebration of German culture, food, and, most importantly, beer, is almost upon us, and Portland has a few place to celebrate. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 12, 2017
SPONSORED
You Can Get Drunk on Popcorn Now, If You Really Want To

You Can Get Drunk on Popcorn Now, If You Really Want To

A U.K. based company is making alcohol-infused popcorn at 5% ABV, if you really feel compelled to get drunk off your movie snack....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Sep 12, 2017
Drink Portland's 2017 Feast Survival Guide

Drink Portland's 2017 Feast Survival Guide

So you're going to Feast Portland, the Northwest's largest - and best - food and drink festival....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 12, 2017
A Washington Distillery Makes Pickle Vodka and We're Into It

A Washington Distillery Makes Pickle Vodka and We're Into It

Blue Spirits Distilling has created a 120-proof, pickle flavored vodka that is just begging to be poured into your next Bloody Mary....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Sep 12, 2017
You Can Now Drink Red Wine Out of a Forty, Just in Time for Fall

You Can Now Drink Red Wine Out of a Forty, Just in Time for Fall

If you're mourning the end of rose-in-a-forty season, don't worry: Forty Ounce Wines is now producing its first red wine in a forty, just in time for ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Sep 11, 2017
Portland's Nerdiest Bars

Portland's Nerdiest Bars

Portland is a nerdy city: home to three of the largest comic book companies, we host two different comic-cons every year, have trivia every night of t...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 6, 2017
Lagunitas Brewing Co. Has Launched a Cannabis Beer

Lagunitas Brewing Co. Has Launched a Cannabis Beer

Working with CannaCraft Inc., a cannabis-extract manufacturing facility in nearby Santa Rosa, Lagunitas created the SuperCritical Ale, flavored with t...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 6, 2017
Carnival Cruise Lines has Opened the First Brewery at Sea

Carnival Cruise Lines has Opened the First Brewery at Sea

The Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines has hopped aboard the microbrewing trend with the founding of RedFrog Brewery, the first ever craft brewery on a...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Sep 6, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close