Tequila: A Global History (Reaktion Books - Edible)

Tequila: A Global History (Reaktion Books - Edible)

Ian Williams

Language: English

Pages: 128

ISBN: 178023435X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

With its unique aroma and heady buzz—the perfect accompaniment to even the spiciest tacos—tequila has won its way into drinkers’ hearts worldwide. There are few places on earth besides Mexico that have the climate and terrain to evolve the agave plant that makes tequila—and there are even fewer people who have the patience to wait the seven years or more that it takes “the tree of marvels” to grow. In this book, Ian Williams presents a lively history of this potent and popular drink. Beginning with pulque, the drink fermented by the Mayans, Olmecs, and Aztecs and reserved for pregnant women and priests—and their sacrifices—he traces how the Mexicans distilled tequila and mezcal (mescal) and began its heady surge into global popularity. From twenty-year añejos to giggle-inducing margaritas to the bravado—and regret—of that round of shots, he offers a history as gripping as the drink itself.

Williams visits countless tequila producers, distributors, and connoisseurs to tell the story of how tequila started in the agave lands of Mexico, became an icon of youthful inebriation, and developed, today, into a truly artisanal product drawing the most discerning drinkers. Peppered throughout are illustrations that capture tequila’s Mexican heritage and commercial image. Including recipes for tequila-based cocktails, as well as advice on the buying, storing, tasting, and serving of tequila, this history will delight any beverage aficionado or anyone interested in the history of Mexico and its culinary riches.   

Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America

The Ultimate Guide to Pitcher Drinks: Cool Cocktails for a Crowd

How's Your Drink?: Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well

Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey













fabric, while the spines made needles and the piñas gave sugars or ‘honey’ as well as food. The dried leaves could be used for fuel for cooking, and the leaves made creams and balms for wounds and burns. There are even depictions of the spiked leaves being used as implements of torture, for example as a penance for priests who neglected their duties! Sandstone ceremonial drinking vessel from pre-Columbian Mexico. Pulque An important part of the agave legend is pulque. Based on Alexander

1888 the city had sixteen tabernas distilling the distinctive local product because of the superiority of the local agave from the volcanic soil of the slopes. To the west of the mountain is the even smaller town of Teuchitlán, which houses the picturesque ruins of what some claim is the oldest tequila distillery in the world. The haunting ruins of the hacienda ‘La Rojeña’ from the nineteenth century are substantially intact – and should be preserved and converted into a museum. Served by an

very susceptible to any change in the climate. Industry veterans still shiver at the effects of a freak snowstorm in the last century. In any case, the long maturation of the agave leads to economic cycles of boom and bust which amplify the problems. The big companies know the issues. For example, Herradura is exploring how to preserve the integrity of the ‘Weber Azul’ subspecies while looking for genetic vigour to resist the various plagues that threaten it. During the attack earlier this

stone mill drawn in a circle by a donkey or mule over the cooked piñas in a stone pit, as they are shovelled in from the side. Others use a stone trough and crush them manually with a large wooden mallet or pestle. Sometimes it is done in a hollowed-out log – a ‘canoe’. Most of the distillers do not add yeast, but rely on the natural airborne yeasts to settle in and set the mixture fermenting when water is added to make the mash. Unlike modern tequila makers, who usually crush the juices and

microclimate. They are skilled workers, and the best distillers nurture their teams to preserve that ancestrally acquired expertise. The piquant chemicals in the skin add zest to the drinks made from them, but it takes refined judgement to calculate how much to use. Too much of the thick skin left on the leaf stumps can make the resulting drink too bitter, and one of the arts of the distiller, in conjunction with the judgement of the jimadores, is to judge just how close to the base the pencas,

Download sample