Wednesday, May 09, 2012
A Brief History of Tequila
By the time the Spaniards landed in the area we now call Mexico in 1521, the Aztecs had been drinking the fermented juice of the agave for centuries. A beer-like drink octli poliqhui was used in rituals and ceremonies. The Spanish bastardized the name of the drink into pulque. Still, the aguamiel (nectar) of the agave had never been distilled until the Spanish ran out of their own brandy and turned to the local flora to make hard liquor.
The blue agave grows best in state of Jalisco, and it was there that the Spanish first produced tequila in 16th Century, thereby creating the first indigenous distilled spirit. Around 1600, Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle mass produced tequila near what is now Jalisco. Later, King Carlos IV granted the Cuervo family the first license to make tequila commercially. In 1656, the city of Tequila was founded. Don Cenobio Sauza first exported tequila to the United States in 1873. One hundred years later, the US was importing over a million cases a year.