Tequila is a Mexican distilled colorless or amber liquor. It shares with mescal the agave fermentation process being blue or tequilian agave the traditionally used, called after Tequila, the region where it is found. The real tequila must be made in Mexico and have 51% of agave to be considered tequila. However, maximum neat tequilas are 100% agave. Like vodka, tequila is worldwide known by its original name that comes from the towns called Tequila and Amatitán.
Tequila elaboration has six steps:
• Agave selection and storing:
Big companies receive all from the manufacturers whereas farmhouse producers can grow them themselves.
Agave is cooked from four hours in autoclaves to 48 hours in farmhouse ovens. Cooking is done to leave agave ready for the posterior grinding.
By grinding cooked agave we obtain the crushing from which sweetened juice is taken from to be fermented.
The juice extracted from the grinding is fermented with brewer’s yeast for 72 hours at a controlled temperature. The farmhouse preparation ferments the juice in great containers without controlling the temperature causing variations in the result.
Tequila is put into containers for aging or for provisory storing until it is sold. This depends on the type of tequila you want to obtain. It can also be mixed with distilled water and even with different alcohols.
It is quite common to drink tequila with salt and lemon. The way to do this is to put some salt on your hand between the thumb and index fingers, then you put it in your mouth before drinking the tequila. After drinking it, you bite a slice of lemon. According to tradition, in initial times, tequila increased the production of saliva to alleviate the violence of the high alcoholic content of former tequila and lemon was a palliative for the throat damaged by the drink.
There are four types of tequila -white, adulterated, rested and aging. White tequila is the one that spends less time in the holm oak ilex barrel before bottling them. Its alcoholic content ranges from 38 to 46 abv. The adulterated one, also known as the «young» one, spends a maximum of 60 days in the barrels and it has usually an amber or golden color though sometimes it is colorless. Its alcoholic strength ranges from 38 to 40 abv. The rested one spends between two months and a year in the barrels, and therefore it turns amberish and it has an oak flavor. Its alcoholic content is 38 abv. Finally, aging tequila spends at least one year in the white oak barrels. These barrels are new or they have only been used once before. It is amber and due to the fact that it spends so much time in the barrels it has a strong wood flavor. Its alcoholic content ranges from 38 to 40 abv. This is the most sophisticated tequila due to its aging time, which can last up to 10 years.
Next we will name some drinks prepared with tequila, starting with the best worldwide known:
Five parts white tequila, three parts triple sec and two parts lemon juice. This drink can be prepared by blender with ice to achieve a «frozen» effect. The glass in which the margarita is poured is put upside-down on a plate with lemon juice and then on a plate with salt so that it sticks to its edge.
• Sunrise tequila:
Four parts white tequila, grenadine and six parts orange juice. This drink is served with ice and it is highly important, to achieve the drink’s effect, to serve first the ice, then the tequila, then the orange juice and finally the grenadine -this will fall over the glass’ walls making it turn 360 grades to achieve the desired effect.
• Mexican coffee:
50 cc (1.7 oz) of tequila, a cup of hot black coffee, granulated sugar and whipped cream. Tequila is poured into a glass or cup and then coffee is poured while stirring it. Finally, the whipped cream is added.
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