International Tequila Day

November 3, 2021

On July 24, the International Day of Tequila is celebrated , a drink with a Mexican stamp that is consumed all over the world accompanied with salt and lemon. Surely you have ever had the chance to try this unique alcoholic drink. Now you know that there is an international day dedicated to her.

The date has been chosen because on July 24, 2006, UNESCO declared as World Heritage the landscape of the agave (plants from which tequila is extracted) and the old industrial facilities of Tequila. Although its Mexican celebration is on the third Saturday in March. But on July 24 it is celebrated in other countries, a sign that this drink with Mexican roots has a special place in the rest of the world, it is so popular that it is celebrated two days a year!

A little about Tequila

Tequila is a brandy made in a small region of Mexico. It is produced from the distillation of fermented must obtained from the heart of a plant known as «blue agave». This heart of the plant, similar to a gigantic pineapple, is also called “mezcal”. In Nahuatl it means “the house of the moon” and is used to mean the core, the essence, the center, and so on. It is a product of the meeting of two worlds, as it uses a technique originating from the European continent to transform a very old and characteristic material of the American land.

In Mexico, from some type of the two hundred different agaves available, other similar spirits are obtained from certain places. These receive the generic name of mezcal and take the surname of the town where they are born. In this way, we have the mezcal from Oaxaca, Cotija, Quitupan, Tonaya, Tuxcacuesco, Apulco, etc.

But there is no doubt that the most famous of all is the mezcal de Tequila, whose nickname is due to an old and dynamic population that is located about fifteen leagues from Guadalajara, on the road from this city to the north is the port of San Blas de Nayarit, on the Pacific coast. In its surroundings, and throughout the land that corresponded to the Corregimiento of Tequila during colonial times, blue agave grows very well, and in many parts there are large and small factories of the prestigious liquor known before the advertising simplification as «wine of mezcal from Tequila ».

What is tequila and how is it made?

Tequila is a distilled beverage that is extracted from blue agave plants and originally began to be made in Jalisco (Mexico). In fact, it is the most representative drink in Mexico, although it is already exported all over the world. It has a Denomination of Origin, regulated by a Regulatory Council.

Tequila comes from the heart of the blue agave plant, a kind of pineapple from which the raw material is extracted. Its production process can last more than 10 years from the time the agave is planted to its maturity.

Its planting and production must be done in the territories that are declared in the Designation of Origin Tequila (DOT). 181 municipalities from five states of the Mexican Republic are included: Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas and Michoacán.

Tequila Distillation

To obtain this drink, they go through different processes and one of them and where part of its preparation is in distillation. The distillation of tequila is the part where the dead must, a product of the fermentation obtained from the previous phase, is full of impurities and compounds that must be eliminated to definitively obtain the tequila with the desired alcoholic degree.

In the tequila industry, it is done at least twice, as stipulated by the Official Mexican Standard, although some producers distill three or four times until they get the product as they want it.

Tequilas that are distilled 3 or 4 times are generally tequilas with a “purer” alcohol, these tequilas are friendlier and softer on the palate, however many tequila experts assure that a third distillation removes many of the compounds that give it body. tequila (aromas and flavors)

  • The first part of the distillation takes approximately 2 hours, in this part the temperature rises between 96 and 96 ° C so that the only thing that evaporates mainly are the alcohols and other compounds, leaving behind most of the water and solid waste.

This process where the less volatile elements are separated is called destruction or depletion, and the waste is known as vinasse that contains remains of yeast, salts, water, various solids, part of the secondary alcohols and others called “higher alcohols”.

  • The second distillate is when the tequila actually becomes tequila (with around 55% alcoholic strength to better preserve the flavors of the agave).

This second distillate where the most volatile compounds are separated from the liquid is known as rectification or enrichment.

Distilled Substances

During both distillations (first and second) the “steam” generated from the ordinary is divided into three:

  • Heads . These are generally the more volatile alcohols with lower boiling points and other chemicals such as acetaldehydes. Which are also toxic. The smell is similar to solvent or acetone.
  • Heart. This is the part of the distillate that contains the “drinkable” alcohol (ethanol) as well as all the compounds that give the notes to tequila and are not harmful. The heart of the first distillation is what is separated and saved to go through a second distillation, the heart of the second distillation is tequila.
  • Queues This part contains the rest of chemicals and alcohols that are unwanted but have a higher boiling point, including water.

In the second distillation, the heart normally has an alcohol percentage between 55-60%, after the distillation process some producers use distilled water to achieve a tequila between 38% and 40% alcohol, the usual thing to find for sale . By law it is possible to sell a tequila with up to 55% alcohol, although it is very rare to find something higher than 45%.

Once the tequila is obtained, the heads and tails from the second distillation, as well as the vinasse, are discarded.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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