What Cactus Is Tequila Made From

All tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila.

Not all mezcal is mezcal, but all tequila is mezcal. Mezcal can be created from more than 30 different types of agave, whereas tequila can only be prepared from the blue agave, or agave tequilana (AKA maguey). (Agave espading is used to make the majority of mezcals.)

Agave is not a cactus.

A cactus is not an agave. Cacti and tequila have nothing in common. Unless you are seated next to one and drinking some joven. A desert succulent is the agave plant.

Blue agave typically takes eight years to mature.

In terms of what agave is not, it is difficult to grow. Even under ideal desert conditions, the average blue agave takes eight years to reach maturity. And that merely brings you to the harvest. Add more time if you want your tequila to age in any way!

The blue agave plant only has one life to give.

The fact that blue agave is a single-use plant doesn’t help efficiency. The agave plants’ piasor hearts—called so because they eventually end up looking like pineapples—are torn out when they are finally ready to be harvested. These components will be fermented, mashed, and steamed to create tequila.

Tequila is legally required to be only 51% blue agave.

Although blue agave is the primary ingredient in tequila, it need not be used entirely. Although many tequilas will claim to be “100% Blue Agave,” the legal minimum is 51 percent. A “mixto tequila” is produced when distillers add a neutral spirit made from cane sugar juice to the remaining portion. As expected, these are typically considered to be of poorer quality.

Your tequila bottle should not have a worm in it.

Just so you know, there won’t be any worms in the tequila. The connection between tequila and worms is (presumably) a result of the frequent consumption of maguey plants by “gusano de maguey,” tiny larvae that, if unchecked, would develop into a mariposa, or a type of butterfly. Mezcal, not tequila, is the type of alcohol used when they are placed in bottles as larvae. Basically, if there is a worm in the tequila, don’t drink it. Who knows what else might be wrong in the bottle if the maker made that mistake.

Young tequila is really young.

We consume a great deal of young tequila. Aejo is 1 to 3 years old, reposado is 2 months to 1 year old, and blanco/joven is barely 0 to 2 months old. According to age norms, that is quite young. But there is something known as “extra aejo, elevating tequila maturation to a new level of sophistication” (3 years or more).

You can buy tequila that has been aged for over a decade.

Although three years may seem like a long time to age tequila, one of the oldest “extra aejos” that are now available is really 11 years old and costs more than $1,000. It is completely organic blue agave that has been aged in French oak. A fantastic (really, truly fantastic) present for the devoted tequila drinker in your life?

The name tequila carries legal weight around the globe.

Tequila is protected as a Mexican designation of origin in numerous nations, much as products from the European Union with protected designations (such as Champagne and Prosciutto di Parma). NAFTA stipulates that protection for Americans and Canadians. Do not attempt to create anything and call it tequila in your bathtub.

The Tahona process is as crafty as it gets.

Tequila can be as handcrafted and unique as the tiniest, most artisanal spirit you can find. even if a major producer made it. See, those enormous pias are steamed and crushed to create tequila. The Tahona technique, which essentially involves dragging a huge volcanic wheel over the steaming agave hearts, is one way that pias can (and have been) pulverized. Donkeys have historically and continue to do so in at least one location. We are unsure what qualifies as artisan if the usage of a donkey does.

What kind of plant does tequila come from?

Completely agave One of the two recognized tequila varieties, manufactured only with sugars from the “Agave Tequilana Weber, Variedad Azul” (Agave Tequilana Weber, blue variety). Premium tequilas must be “100% de Agave” and can only be bottled in Mexico; bulk shipments for bottling outside Mexico are not permitted. view mixto

A granel is a subpar mezcal or tequila that has typically only been distilled once and is occasionally chemically fermented.

Acocote Long-necked instrument (often a gourd) used to siphon aguamiel from a portion of maguey that has been scooped out in order to manufacture pulque.

Acordonar Land preparation: forming little piles of the dried brush along the furrows that will be burned after clearance.

Agave a group of succulents unrelated to cacti but distantly linked to the lily family. also known as a maguey The plants are native to Central America, Mexico, and the southwest United States. When cooked or turned into a syrup, agave, which is deadly when raw, takes on a mild, sweet flavor. Tequila is made from the juice of the blue agave plant, which is principally grown in the Mexican state of Jalisco; other agave species are used to make mezcal, bacanora, sotol, and pulque. More than 300 different agave species exist. A mature agave plant takes eight to twelve years. The plant has a pina, which is its bulbous body. The six to eight foot long, thick, spiky, blue-green leaves stick out in all directions like spears. According to Mexican law (see normas), a product cannot be named tequila unless it contains at least 51 percent blue agave sugar. The prehistoric Mexican Indians gave the plant the name “maitl” or “metl,” which means “hand,” because the agave leaves resemble the splayed fingers of a human hand.

Blue Agave Tequilana Weber Only agave that has been farmed in certain areas in accordance with normas is permitted for use in tequila. mainly in Jalisco, with a small amount in neighboring states.

Aguamiel the delicious sap taken from the agave plant’s pia (heart). To manufacture tequila and mezcal, it is either fermented on its own for a few days or combined with other ingredients to create pulque. Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, and Hidalgo states all sell aguamiel as a local beverage (where sellers generally add chile).

Tequila-growing region Altos, Los The Highlands is located in the Jalisco state upper plateau, east of Guadalajara. Not to be mistaken with the generic name for Jalisco’s uplands, Altos de Jalisco (Jalisco Heights).

Tequila aged in aejo. aged for at least a year in oak barrels of a medium size. Aejos can also be aged for three to seven years, but most connoisseurs agree that it loses its quality after five. The same rules apply to maturing for aejo mezcal. one of the four recognized categories by the government (tipos).

Anovillarse reducing the agave plant’s new leaf growth while the fruit ripens.

Autoclave An instant pot. Many producers utilize large autoclaves because the steam expedites the cooking of pias; in a conventional hornos, the agave takes days to cook instead of a few hours.

Bagazo the pias’ pulp after mashing or shredding them. Likewise known as bagasse and bagaso.

Bacanora a kind of mezcal produced in the Mexican state of Sonora using wild maguey. Manufactured lawfully since 1992.

Barbeo removing the tips from agave leaves (pencas) to encourage better growth of the head (cabeza). Literally, it means to plow.

Barbecue of the eagle slingshot plowing removing branches to encourage early ripening and growth.

Barrique Barrel White oak barrels are used to mature tequila. A barrel typically holds 200 liters (approx. 60 gallons). frequently bought from bourbon or cognac producers. Other types of wood can also be used.

Tequila is traditionally made using a batidor beater. Unclothed employee enters the wooden tubs containing the required (mosto). In order to promote fermentation, he beats the fibers from the mashed pias with his hands and feet.

Tequila that has been freshly bottled from the still or that has rested in stainless steel tanks for up to sixty days before bottling is known as Blanco White tequila, or tipo, in official usage. Wooden barrels are never used to age it. also referred to as silver tequila, plata, and plato. usually the most flavorful and robust form of tequila.

bland elegant Unofficial phrase used to describe blanco tequila that has undergone further age or additions to lessen its harsh flavor.

Botija Traditional earthenware jug with a circular shape and a short, narrow neck. One barrel is equal to seven botijas when measuring.

Mezcal of average quality that is frequently sold at retail. Businesses frequently buy in large quantities to bottle.

The classic tall tequila drinking/shot glass, also known as a tequillita, is called a caballito, or “little horse.” has a broader mouth and a flat bottom. Also the name of a drink popular in the Federal District made with white tequila, grenadine syrup, orange juice, lemon blossom water, and crushed ice (Mexico City).

Head of Cabeza. The first portion of the distillate to exit the still is typically thrown away (sometimes used in a granel mezcals). also known as punta. Pia, the agave’s core, has yet another name.

To support and advance the tequila sector, the Camara Regional de la Industria Tequila Regional Chamber of the Tequila Industry was established in 1990. It collaborates with the Mexican government to safeguard and strengthen tequila-related industrial, economic, and agricultural operations. It also preserves and safeguards the management of the agave crops to secure supply in the future. The CRT also sues businesses who tamper with its products. consists of people from the industry and is situated in Guadalajara. Carlos Orendain is the country’s current leader.

Aguacate groves Agave plant cultivars, also known as potreros or pastures (and huertas, or groves, in the Los Altos region).

Cantaro Cured is a black clay ceramic jug used in the old-fashioned mezcal maturing process.

Little carnival in Carnavalito. a Hidalgo-made cocktail made with tequila, orange juice, and cinnamon.

Charagua Aged, sweet pulque that has been fermented over a low fire with red chiles and toasted corn leaves added. In Tlaxcala, it is consumed as a home and ceremonial beverage.

Chichihualco Mezcal from the Guerrero state’s Chichihualco de los Bravos.

Agave plant known as the “Chicotuda Whip” that has a weak, worn-out appearance.

Pulque made of chile ancho, epazote (an aromatic herb), salt, and garlic that has been fermented. In the state of Guerrero, this beverage is consumed both domestically and ceremonially. It is also the national drink of Mexico, Tlaxcala, and Puebla.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, chinguririto spirits (aguadrientes) were distilled from mezcal or sugar cane.

Ninety percent 100% pure; tequila or mezcal produced solely from agave sugars (blue agave for tequila).

Coa de jima, coa Tool with a circular, sharp end that the jimador (harvester) uses to remove the leaves (pencas) from the agave’s pia or cabeza. To remove weeds, use a similar tool with a triangle point.

Cola Tail is the final distillate to pass through the still and is typically recycled for use in another distillation.

Condensador the metal condenser, which is coil-shaped and cools the steam during distillation.

The major component of the distillate used to produce tequila is called the corazon heart. Additionally describes the center, most favored region of the distillate.

Tequila Regulatory Counci: CRT Consejo Regulado de Tequila. a non-profit organization that was established in 1994 and that examines the performance and adherence to Mexican tequila norms. Additionally, it safeguards the Denomination Appelation of Origin (see AOC) and the tequila’s quality and authenticity on a global scale. The Mexican government, agave farmers, tequila makers, bottlers, and distributors are all members of the Council.

Faro de Curado a pulque-based beverage that has been combined with strawberry juice or strawberries.

What kind of alcohol is derived from cacti?

How Is Cactus Used to Make Alcohol? Pulque. The alcoholic beverage metoctli, also known as octli in Nahuatl, is made by fermenting agave sap. This beverage has a long history of production in Mexico, where it is made.

What plant produces tequila?

In Mexico, the sole agave species known as blue agave (Agavetequilina) is fermented to make tequila. In actuality, the Weber Azul cultivar of the blue agave is where the majority of tequila is derived from.

Although it can also be found in the surrounding states of Colima, Nayarit, and Aguascalientes, the blue agave grows mostly in the Mexican state of Jalisco. In rich, sandy soils above 5,000 feet in elevation, it flourishes.

The blue agave grows to a height of five feet or more, and its leaves are as long as your arm. To get to the heart (or pia) inside, these leaves are chopped off during the harvesting procedure.

The larger long-nosed bat pollinates blue agave.

Regards, bats! Unfortunately, farmers typically develop blue agave by planting shoots rather than seeds, which is bad news for biodiversity. Long-nosed bats have few floral sources in places where farms predominate because removing the reproductive stalk causes the agave’s heart to enlarge. Due to the lack of genetic mixing between parent plants, this reproductive technique causes a loss of genetic variety. This makes blue agave susceptible to blight and disease.

Blue agave—is it a cactus?

Agave plants, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, are members of the century plant family Agavaceae, whereas the perennial cactus species are members of the Cactaceae family.

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Service states that the agave plant is not a cactus, despite the fact that both are considered succulents, or “plants with highly specialized anatomical features such as thick waxy cuticles, fleshy or minimal leaves, modified leaves (spines), and roots with extra storage capabilities for food and water.”

The vast majority of the hundreds of agave plant species are monocarpic, which means they only blossom once before dying. Included in this are species like the well-known century plant, Agave Americana, which can live for up to 30 years or more but never for a century before flowering. The majority of cacti flower frequently, depending on the species.

The presence of leaves—the agave has them, whilst the cactus has not—is another notable distinction between an agave and a cactus. Again, depending on the species, many agave leaves can be eaten as long as they are cooked. However, in the past, Native Americans frequently poisoned the points of their arrows with extracts from the raw agave leaf. Stems are what make up a normal cactus’ green parts.