National Tequila Day Date in the current year: July 24, 2024

National Tequila Day Although tequila is a Mexican drink, it is popular and well-loved in the neighboring United States. Americans even celebrate National Tequila Day on July 24. Although unofficial, the holiday is very popular among those who like tequila and distilled beverages in general.

Tequila is distilled from fermented blue agave juice. According to Mexican laws, it can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and a number of municipalities in four other Mexican states (Tamaulipas, Nayarit, Michoacán and Guanahuato). Tequila is generally considered to be a type of mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave.

The Aztec people had been making a fermented beverage from the agave plant for a long time before the Spanish arrived in Mexico. But tequila specifically is believed to have been first produced in the 16th century. The first person to begin mass-producing tequila was Pedro Sánchez de Tagle (widely known as “The Father of Tequila”), a Spanish aristocrat who built a tequila factory in his hacienda.

In 1758, the Cuervo family was granted the first license for commercial production of tequila by King Charles IV of Spain. Their factory was located in the town of Tequila, and so the alcoholic beverage made from blue agave became known as “mezcal de Tequila”. In 1893, the word “mezcal” was officially dropped from the name.

Today, Jose Cuervo is the world’s best-selling brand of tequila. In fact, most well-known tequila brands are owned by large multinational corporations. However, there are more than 900 brands of Mexican tequila produced by over 100 distilleries. Each bottle of tequila produced in Mexico has a serial number indicating its distillery of origin.

Despite the numerous brands, there are only two basic types and four categories of tequila. The two basic types are 100% agave and mixtos. The first type is made exclusively with agave juice, while the second type uses no less than 51% of agave juice, with the remainder made up of other sugars, such as corn syrup or cane sugar.

The four main categories of tequila are: blanco or plata (white or silver), unaged or aged less than two months; reposado (rested), aged between two months and a year; añejo (aged), aged between one and three years; extra añejo (extra aged), aged a minimum of three years.

In Mexico, tequila is usually served neat. In some regions, tequila shots are drunk with a side of sangrita, a non-alcoholic beverage typically made from freshly squeezed orange juice, grenadine or tomato juice, and hot chili. Outside Mexico, tequila shots are often served with a slice of lime and salt. The sour taste of lime balances and enhances the flavor of tequila, while salt lessens the “burn” of the distilled beverage.

Tequila is also used in a variety of cocktails such as the Margarita (tequila with orange liqueur and lime juice), the Tequila Sunrise (tequila with orange juice and grenadine syrup), the Bloody Maria (a variation of the Bloody Mary made with tequila instead of vodka), and the Paloma (tequila with grapefruit-flavored soda).

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