Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are

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:
 
Pedialyte Has a New Product That Might Help Cure Your Next Hangover

Pedialyte Has a New Product That Might Help Cure Your Next Hangover

If you've been picking up Pedialyte at the corner store after a long night of drinking, you're not alone — a...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 4, 2019
Cozy Up to These Winter Cocktails in D.C.

Cozy Up to These Winter Cocktails in D.C.

From themed drinks to warming cocktails, the holiday season and wintertime in general is the best time of the year for fun, festive drinks....read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Dec 11, 2018
Amy Poehler Has Opened a Wine Store in Brooklyn

Amy Poehler Has Opened a Wine Store in Brooklyn

Amy Poehler has a new role - she has opened a wine store, Zula Wines & Spirits, in Brooklyn's Park Slope, according to Eater. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Dec 11, 2018
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
Stay Warm in D.C. This Winter With These Hot & Spiced Cocktails

Stay Warm in D.C. This Winter With These Hot & Spiced Cocktails

Here are our top picks for D.C. tipples that will warm you up from the inside out....read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Nov 27, 2018
Red Spot Whiskey Has Returned after 50 Years Out of Production

Red Spot Whiskey Has Returned after 50 Years Out of Production

After 50 years out of production, Red Spot Whiskey has returned to join the Spot Whiskeys family once again....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Nov 26, 2018
Miller High Life is Now Available in Champagne Bottles

Miller High Life is Now Available in Champagne Bottles

Miller High Life, commonly known as the 'Champagne of Beers,' is now available in actual champagne bottles for a limited run during the holiday season...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Nov 13, 2018
Jack Daniels is Making a Whiskey Advent Calendar For the Holiday Season

Jack Daniels is Making a Whiskey Advent Calendar For the Holiday Season

Jack Daniels has debuted a boozy advent calendar filled with, naturally, whiskey, just in time for the holiday...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Nov 13, 2018
Drinks Decoded: Hot Buttered Rum

Drinks Decoded: Hot Buttered Rum

In this series, we take a closer look at well-known cocktails. This week's Drinks Decoded takes on the Hot Buttered Rum....read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Nov 12, 2018
Behind the Bar: Jason Wise, Director of the SOMM Documentary Film Series

Behind the Bar: Jason Wise, Director of the SOMM Documentary Film Series

For this installment of Behind the Bar, we spoke to Jason Wise, documentary filmmaker and director of the new ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Oct 31, 2018
Where to Drink in D.C.'s Navy Yard

Where to Drink in D.C.'s Navy Yard

One of the city's fastest growing neighborhoods, Navy Yard is home to a plethora of bars and restaurants with more on the horizon. Here are our picks ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Oct 29, 2018
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close