Legend tells us that when the Earth began, an evil goddess called Tzintzimitl ruled the skies. During that time, the evil Tzintzimitl stole the light from the Aztecs and left Earth in darkness.
Tired of this, Quetzalcoatl, feathered snake god, ascended to the sky to fight the evil goddess, but instead found love. During his search, Quetzalcoatl found Tzintzimitl’s granddaughter—Mayahuel, the goddess of fertility.
Quetzalcoatl brought Mayahuel to live with him on Earth, but the evil goddess was extremely mad and descended to Earth to search for them.To hide from the evil goddess, the lovers became two trees—one beside the other one—so that when the winds blew, their leaves could caress one another.
With her light devouring stars, the evil Tzintzimitl finally found the two lovers and killed Mayahuel. The devastated Quetzalcoatl buried the remains of his lover and avenged her death by killing the evil goddess.
The hero had returned light to Earth, but his sadness could not be overcome. Every night, he would visit his loved one on her grave and cry.
Seeing this, the other gods decided to place in the ground a special plant that would give Quetzalcoatl comfort. From then on, the lover would drink his elixir that came from the plant—the agave—and have the comfort he sought.
With its history and tradition, tequila is a Mexican fine art. This golden liquid so sought after by tourists and locals alike is a time-honored tradition so precious that, just like France and its Champagne region, the Mexican government has set high quality standards for its tequila production and exportation.
THE REAL TEQUILA
To ensure it is actual tequila, it must come from Mexico. No exceptions. The only regions of Mexico in which tequila can be produced are Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. In 2006 UNESCO recognized the agave landscape and ancient industrial tequila facilities of western Mexico as a world heritage site.
For tequila to be authentic, its label must read, NOM, Norma Oficial Mexicana, or the Official Mexican Standard. NOM is employed by the Mexican government to regulate standards of the drink. NOM assigns a number to each tequila producer and this producer must print its number on every label.
The letters CRT must also be found on a tequila label. These three letters make certain that the tequila has been manufactured under the supervision of the Tequila Regulatory Council.
Real tequila must be made from the Blue Agave Weber, a specific variety of agave plant. The label must say 100% de agave, literally translating to 100% of agave.
Without the acronyms of NOM, CRT, a producer number and the phrase 100% de agave, it is just not tequila.
BLANCO, JOVEN, REPOSADO, AÑEJO
Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo are all are types of tequila. Each are granted different flavors based on aging length and the type of barrels in which they are stored. Barrels used to store tequila are made of French or American white oak, and the degree of barrel charring or no charring at all contributes to the various flavors to tequilas.
Blanco, clear in color, contains all the nature flavors of the agave and its sugar thus making it popular among tequila connoisseurs.
Joven tequila, a derivative of Blanco, consists of burnt sugar to give it a smoother flavor.
Reposado, the most popular type of tequila, is aged in barrels no more than two months; it is woody in color and is slightly smoother than the Blanco and Joven.
Añejo is aged at least one year and, due to its superior quality and taste, it comes highly recommend for first time drinkers.
Extra Añejo, aged between 3 and 5 years, consists of one or several flavors of wood, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel and rose petals.
Multifaceted and flavorful rich in history, tequila will continue to be a Mexican tradition you won’t want to miss.