What is Mexico’s favorite alcohol?

Answered by James Kissner

Mexico’s favorite alcohol, without a doubt, is tequila. It is an integral part of Mexican culture and is enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Growing up in Mexico, I have witnessed firsthand the love and passion that Mexicans have for this iconic spirit.

Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, which is native to Mexico. The process of making tequila is carefully regulated by the Mexican government to ensure its quality and authenticity. It can only be produced in certain regions of Mexico, primarily in the state of Jalisco and parts of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. These regions have the ideal climate and soil conditions for growing agave plants, which are the main ingredient in tequila.

To make tequila, the heart of the agave plant, called the piña, is harvested and roasted to extract its juices. The extracted juice is then fermented and distilled to create the final product. The aging process varies depending on the type of tequila being produced. Blanco or silver tequila is typically unaged or aged for a short period, while reposado and añejo tequilas are aged in oak barrels for at least two months and one year, respectively. The aging process imparts different flavors and complexities to the tequila, making each type unique.

Tequila is not only enjoyed as a shot but also used in various cocktails, such as the famous Margarita. The Margarita, made with tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur, is a refreshing and tangy drink that has gained popularity worldwide. It is often served with a salted rim, which adds a savory element to the drink.

One of the most iconic traditions associated with tequila is the tequila shot, typically accompanied by a slice of lime and a sprinkle of salt. Taking a shot of tequila is an experience that brings people together, whether it’s celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying a night out with friends. The ritual of licking the salt, taking the shot, and then biting into the lime is a time-honored tradition that adds a fun and exciting element to the drinking experience.

In addition to its cultural significance, tequila is also a source of pride for Mexicans. Mexico takes great pride in its national spirit and has designated the region where tequila is produced as a protected designation of origin (PDO). This means that only tequila made in specific regions using certain methods can be labeled as tequila. This distinction ensures that the quality and authenticity of tequila are maintained, and it gives consumers confidence in the product they are purchasing.

Tequila is Mexico’s favorite alcohol. Its deep cultural roots, strict production regulations, and versatile uses make it a beloved spirit in Mexico and around the world. Whether enjoyed as a shot or mixed into a cocktail, tequila brings people together and embodies the spirit of celebration and enjoyment. So next time you raise a glass of tequila, remember the rich history and tradition behind this beloved Mexican spirit. Salud!