Now it is official, Mexico government has declared the third Saturday of March as the Official National Tequila Day, what makes this Saturday, March 16th a day to say Salud! It’s not like we need a reason to enjoy of a good Tequila, but it’s nice to have an excuse.
Tequila is born of the blue agave plant, which only grows in the area surrounding the city of the same name: Tequila. Tequila the town islocated in the state of Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta’s home state as well. It is known as “the spirit of Mexico”. Tequila was first produced in the 16th century prior to the arrival of the Spanish, in 1521. The Aztecs had made a fermented beverage from the agave plant, which they called octli (now known as pulque). When the Spanish conquistadors arrived, and subsequently ran out of their own brandy, they began to distill agave which resulted in the creation of the first indigenous distilled spirit in North America.
Around 1600, Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira (source of the name of the Lobby Bar at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort), began mass-producing tequila at the first factory constructed in modern-day Jalisco.
Don Cenobio Sauza, founder of Sauza Tequila and Municipal President of the pueblo of Tequila from 1884–1885, was the first to export tequila to the United States, and shortened the name from “Tequila Extract” to just “Tequila” for the American markets. Don Cenobio’s grandson Don Francisco Javier efforts led to the dictate that real tequila can only come from the State of Jalisco, thus requiring a “nom de origin”. He had always insisted, “there cannot be tequila where there are no agaves!”
Your tequila History lesson is over…so, now on to practice, the best part!
We are recommending our favorite tequilas so you can make your own Tequila Tasting and decide which one is your favorite. We’ve divided our list into two: Popular Tequila Brands and Small Brands, all offering premium quality Tequila.
Popular Tequila Brands
- Tequila Patron – A high quality brand of tequila produced by the Patron Spirits Company in Mexico. It is considered as the first ultra-premium tequila and is one of the top sellers in the world. Patron bottles are hand-labelled and they undergo strict inspection before leaving the distillery. More than a 60 hands touch and inspect the bottle before the bottles are packed and delivered to their respective destinations.
- Don Julio Blanco – With a fresh agave expression and citrus notes, this tequila is called upon often when concocting innovative cocktails and the ultimate margarita, but is also perfect on its own or on the rocks. And if you want to verify it, click here and learn how to make a Don Julio drink especially for a sunny day in Punta Mita paradise.
- Herradura Reposado – Aged for 11 months (9 more than category standards) giving this tequila its deep copper color, exceptionally smooth taste with sweet cooked agave notes, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Reserva de la Familia – Part of Jose Cuervo Tequila family, result of a unique production process, with intense agave notes that mixe with oak, dried fruits, coffee and fine cocoa aromas. A perfect balance between pepper, soft agave flavor and wood that lead to a nice and intense taste.
Small Tequila Brands
- Don Fulano Blanco – The deeper notes of the blue agave and its aromatic spectrum are a true symphony. It is wonderful to sip for the true tequila drinker or unbeatable for the creation of sophisticated cocktails, maintaining always the agave notes present.
- Don Germán – Is a three-year añejo in a very nice-looking artisan bottle with an attached glass stopper. This tequila is produced by a small company named Casa Berrueco, although is not possible to find it in the U.S. due to the fact that this spirit is 40% alcohol, it is easily found at Mexican wine stores.
- Clase Azul – Produced with organic agaves from the highlands Jalisco area, and slowly cooked in handcrafted stone ovens in a process that may last up to 72 hours and with a handcrafted distillation process that assures the maximum refinement and purity. This tequila has an extraordinary body mixed with fruits, vanilla, and honey aromas, very soft flavor, light, and with a great final taste.
Happy Tequila Day!