Making a great cocktail is an art form. A good bartender knows this and does his best to provide the perfect drinking experience. We at Tequila Reef take a great cocktail seriously. Creating the perfect blend of ingredients in a colorful and appetizing way is our tradition. In the fields of Mexico grows an amazing plant. A plant known far and wide for its ‘medicinal’ properties. No, it isn’t any form of ‘illegal’ plant that grows on this Earth. This particular plant has a special history. One that comes from the great Aztec gods of old.
There is a saying in this world, “The gods must be crazy!”. Well, I tend to agree. Aztec gods, Mayan gods, Greek ones, Roman ones, etc…whatever! They argue about everything just like people do. The problem is when the gods argue regular people always seem to get the shaft. The gods cause all kinds of trouble with their shenanigans. The effects from their actions still live on today.
Not everything the gods do is negative. Sometimes the effects produced are surprisingly pleasant. Take for example the story of how Tequila became popular in the world. It’s a long story and has an ancient beginning. Of course, anything pleasant like Tequila takes a lot of work and great hardship to produce. Especially when it comes to its origins. Pulque is the great ancestor of Tequila. Pulque isn’t distilled, it’s fermented. Fermented from its main ingredient: The AGAVE plant! Yes, the AGAVE plant. There is an old legend about this incredible staple in Mexican life. One that comes from the Aztecs. I heard it told by old Nacho Suave himself. It’s a good place to begin the story of how Tequila came to be.
To the Aztecs Agave provided ‘the drink of the gods’ known as pulque. It’s a white frothy drink that goes way, way back. It’s the direct ancestor of what we know as Tequila today. It comes from the maguey, or agave plant and takes a dozen years or so to mature and give out the sap which is needed to produce this intoxicating drink. The ancient Aztecs and others who lived in the region used it for medicinal purposes and especially in their rituals. Some of these rituals are known to have been very bloody indeed.
That brings us to how the Agave plant came to be. According to the Aztecs there once was a goddess, Tzintzimitl, who lived in the sky. A real bitch by today’s standards. She was evil in nature and covered the Earth in darkness and forced all the natives to sacrifice to her despairing countenance. She was greedy for light and devoured all she could get.
Now Quetzalcoatl wasn’t happy with Tzintzimitl. He thought the natives should be treated better and decided to give Tzintzimitl her comeuppance. So one day he went out to look for her. Fortunately he didn’t find her but came across her grand-daughter, Mayahuel. She’s the goddess of fertility and naturally he fell in love with her right on the spot. So instead they ran off together and tried to start a new life.
But Tzintzimitl would have none of that. Not at all. When she found out she went on a rampage looking for them and never let up on the search. So, in order to hide, both Quetzalcoatl and Mayahuel turned themselves into trees so they could be next to each other and still touch one another.
After a long search involving mass destruction Tzintzimitl finally found them. She killed Mayahuel and Quetzalcoatl was heart broken. He then sought his revenge upon the evil goddess and battled her in the sky killing her. His revenge didn’t assuage his sorrow as he would go to Mayahuel’s grave and cry every night. Seeing this the other gods decided to help the heart-broken Quetzalcoatl. They made a special plant grow at Mayahuel’s burial site. A plant with special hallucinogenic properties that would give comfort to Quetzalcoatls broken heart. He made an elixir from this plant and named it pulque and shared it with the natives. The natives gave thanks to Quetzalcoatl for this great gift and today the Agave plant lives on in the great spirit of Tequila.
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