Tequila's brief story

Tequila's brief story

Javier Machain, staff OCV.
July 4 2011

For many years now, tequila has been responsible for brightening up friend and family gatherings, is to blame for plenty of hangovers, making foreigners happy, and in some extreme cases for others, aleviate the pain of a lost love. Trying to forget “Jalisco-style” to quote José Alfredo’s song, ‘Ella’.

Every “mexican macho's” favorite drink, tequila is considered to be the “national beverage” due to its fundamental connection to Mexican culture; as depicted in the “gold era of Mexican cinema” and Ranchero music songs by artists like: Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, José Alfredo Jimenez and Vicente Fernández.

Tequila is denominated of the origin, in other words, Tequila is named after a geographic region that originates and produces a product whose quality or characteristics are exclusive to its environment. In this case, the name derives from a region known as Tequila, Jalisco.

During the 60’s and early 70’s, when tequila started gaining worldwide popularity, countries like Spain and Japan began producing their own alcoholic beverages and called them "Tequila". That's why on September 27th, 1973 was put in place a petition to get the general declaration protecting  the denomination of origin “Tequila” .

Nearly three months later (December 5th), a decree was published in which Tequila was recognized as denomination of origin . Five years later, on April 13th, 1978 a certificate of Tequila from the ‘Registre International des Appellations D’origine’ on behalf of the World’s Intelectual Property Organization was granted in Geneva, Switzerland.

Whilst the liquor is processed in Tequila, other Mexican regions have also adopted the development: Amatitlán and Arandas in the state of Jalisco; inner cities of Michoacán, Nayarit, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas.

There are three types of Tequila:

White: also known as “silver”, is bottled right after being distilled. This type only stays in the Encino barrels for a period of a few hours or days.

Reposado: matures within a lapse that goes from two months to one year in Encino or White Roble barrels. The taste is smoother than white tequila, and features an amber-gold tint.

Añejo: matures in a span no less than one year inside new White Roble barrels. The final product features a bright gold or dark amber tint; its taste is impregnated with the wood. If the tequila is stored in the barrel for three years, it is generally considered as “extra añejo (aged)”.

Like many other alcoholic beverages, tequila is never processed longer than four years, to avoid spoilage. The aging process stops at the time of bottling, thus maintaining the liquor fresh for some time.

Puerto Vallarta offers many tequila-selling specialized stores to choose from. You can also take a tequila tasting tour at places like: Hacienda Doña Engracia, Fábrica de Tequila y Restaurante Campestre, Tequila Don Crispín, Rancho Verano and La Cofradía, to name a few.


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