History of Tequila – Part 3

Tequila began its rise to prominence way back when King Philip of Spain banned planting new vineyards in Mexico. Just like today wine and spirits were heavily taxed into submission to bring more revenues to the crown. Mexico was rich in development in many areas and the King wanted to make sure all wine exports came from Spain. Noticing the qualities of the blue agave plant a man named Pedro Sanchez de Tagle decided to look into this native plant further. He’s the one who first started making Tequila in larger quantities for general consumption by starting a small distillery at his estate in Hacienda Cuisillos. Although, I bet he had a few grape vineyards on the sly the King didn’t know about. Always having to get your wine from import must have been a real pain in the ass. 😀

All credit goes to the Spanish for distilling the fermented agave to make Tequila. Some old Aztec legends state otherwise. The natives knew full well how to distill alcohol and they used the more potent distilled form of pulque for their secret political and spiritual ceremonies. Some of them are known to have been quite bloody indeed. No need to go into details on those things but suffice to say Tequila and its derivatives have been around for quite some time. The indigenous natives knew their stuff when it came to the blue agave plant. They knew the medicinal properties and also used it for many medicinal purposes. Gonorrhea and syphilis were reputed to have been treated with elements of the maguey. Also, many intestinal remedies are suggested as well.

Agave, or century plant, isn’t the only plant the Native Americans used to make potent drinks. Honey, palm saps, wild plums, cactus, aloe, and pineapples are other sources of ancient alcohol production in Mesoamerica. There are some theories that suggest strong alcoholic drinks migrated north from the Mayan civilization. They were drinking something called ‘Balche’, a sweetened drink made with balche bark. The natives weren’t known for being drunkards and lushes. As alcoholic beverages made it further north it was used primary in strict religious ceremonies and other medicinal purposes. Besides, the natives knew all the properties of every plant and rock around their environment. I’m sure they were using other substances along with the magical Agave plant. It really wasn’t until Spanish, French, & English traders began using strong spirits in their trading mechanics that the natives began drinking alcohol in larger and larger quantities.

Tequila has a famous and storied past. Both good and bad. It gives rise to many detours in history. The famous Cuervo family didn’t get their start until about 150 years later. They are the ones credited for Tequilas commercial success. Later on the Sauza family began its own rise to Tequila glory in the middle of the 19th century. As we go further along in this blog we’ll be looking at their success’ and explore Tequila and other historical features further…

So, until next time…

Stay tuned to our Tequila Reef Blog…

Same Tequila Time!

Same Tequila Channel!

😀

Herradurra 100% Agave

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