Tequila: A Global History (Reaktion Books - Edible)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
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,