Here's a rundown of quick Tequila facts that will sparkle your conversations.
It’s possible he was dressed up in white just for this shot since most of the jimadores just wear jeans and shirts; that’s part of the marketing magic that Tequila companies are always pumping up.
But those long sleeves, that’s definitely necessary because the juice from harvesting agave can cause all sorts of crazy rashes!
They do this all by hand. Then they cut off the big heart of the agave which usually weighs at least a hundred pounds, load it manually into a truck, split them manually, heft them into ovens and then work through the entire fermentation and distillation process. Your shirt isn’t going to remain white for more than a minute when you do that sort of work!
Elsewhere in Mexico most people use plain old machetes for that work. Many then turn to man’s best friend in the forest, aka an axe, to sever the piña.
And it’s absolutely delicious! It’s sweet and has a bit of funk to it so definitely try some if you get a chance. Just don’t eat too much, it can give you the runs!
Mezcal is usually made from espadin agave, which takes a similar amount of time to mature. But the wild agaves that go into some Mezcals, can take much longer, up to 20 years so they are a huge investment!
And the gusano or worm lives in agave roots. In Oaxaca and many states in Mexico the gusano is used in a variety of dishes. Most famously for our topic, sal de gusano or worm salt is a mixture of roasted, crushed, gusano plus salt and chile peppers ground into a fine dust. In Oaxaca Mezcal is traditionally served with orange slices and sal de gusano. It’s an extraordinary contrast. But hey, what's up with the worm in the bottles of Mezcal?
Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates Mexican forces defeating a French expeditionary force at Puebla in 1862. We’ll leave the question of why it’s more important in the US than in Mexico for another time.