Arguably Mexico’s most holy of exports; Tequila has – somewhat – ironically earned itself the reputation as the go-to spirit for the provision of all things reckless.
Anyone that visited our pop-up bar Peggy’s over the festive period, will know by now that I have a deep rooted rooted love for all things 80’s – pink neon lights, tiki tipples, bad Tom Cruise movies, Call Me Al, I could go on…
One thing it’s taken me a long time to openly admit however, is my ultimate guilty pleasure cocktail, the Tequila Sunrise. Yup, this dodgy disco concoction has been earning itself a bad rep since before I was born. I imagine it’s bad rep is primarily down to the fact that there’s just so much bad tequila out there, with so many of them not actually containing that much of the star ingredient – Agave.
Agave? I hear you cry… ¿Que eso? Well, erm, it’s basically a spikey Mexican plant which looks a bit like a cactus, it’s pronounced ‘Uh-Gah-Vee’ and its closest relative is the lily flower. It’s juiced, then cooked, then fermented and distilled to make Tequila. Easy, right?
Wrong! The process is traditionally incredibly labour intensive and oh so artisanal. Good tequila should really be made from 100% agave, and with each agave plant taking between five and twelve years to reach maturity, it’s a pretty lengthy process! And, whilst there are tons of different varieties of agave that grow in Mexico – 200ish, to be sort of precise – only one Agave can legally be used to produce Tequila (#oneagavetorulethemall); ‘Agave Tequiliana A Weber Blue azul’, but you can just call it Blue Agave.
The Aztec people of generations past believed that their gods – for want of a better word – impregnated the blue agave plant with a liquid that would erase painful memories. A theory that I’m willing to accept as the gospel, following many a morning-after spent piecing the few painful memories I have left together, yet still finding myself wondering how the heck I got home!!
In essence and to conclude, have some bloody respect!