Tequila is shrouded in a cape of mystery and exotic allure, but despite the notoriety this Mexican spirit is highly respected by liquor connoisseurs. Similar processes using the blue agave plant originated from the Aztecs who used to ferment an alcohol known as pulque.
Even the tequila we know today dates back as far as the 16th century; it's production steeped in long-held traditions and stringent regulation to ensure authenticity.
So, with it being National Tequila Day we decided to do a little digging and unearth a few facts about this enigmatic intoxicant.
Did you know...
1. Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, which is actually a succulent that is native to Mexico. It grows primarily in the Jalisco region, around the city of Tequila. Tequila is the intellectual property of Mexico and there are strict restrictions surrounding its production, which prohibits other regions (apart from a select few) from producing the spirit.
2. Tequila actually has a multitude of health benefits. This includes being used to combat cold and flu symptoms, as an aid for digestive problems and as a means to shedding excess weight. Obviously, this is not linked with the consumption of copious margarita's, but with a small dose of premium quality tequila taken neat.
3. While tequila is frequently associated with having a worm in the bottom of the bottle; this in fact refers to mezcal and was more of a marketing ploy than having any sort of hallucinogenic affect. Mezcal tends to be less pure than tequila, which has to consist of at least 51% agave to bear the trademark name.
4. There are close to a thousand brands of tequila on the market, each with distinctive label designs and subtle differences in taste and aroma. For the expert's opinion on 9 of the best bottles for purchase, we recommend referring to this article by The Independent.
5. Tequila can be used to make diamonds. No, we're not drunk, it's a true fact. The only downside is that they're too small to be worn as jewellery and are instead used in electrical equipment. The discovery was made by a team of scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
Fancy spicing up a friend's fiesta? Try a little tequila inspired fun for good measure...