En Serio… Tequila School???

My encounters with tequila have always been frightful. When I’m not passed out on Tequila, I’m fighting on tequila (and I’ve never won a fight in my life, so that’s not fun). Plus, Tequila has always delivered the worst hangover imaginable. So I naturally cringed when Stevie put forth the idea of adding Tequila School to our list of activities. Although I put up a valiant effort while trying to debate my way out, her point of attack was well calculated and her battle front strategy well planned. She promised to hold my head above the toilet seat. She promised to protect me in the event of physical combat with random strangers. I was up against the ropes when she delivered the final blow…
“But Treeeeeeeeee, being in Jalisco, Mexico and not drinking Tequila is like being in Napa Valley and not drinking red wine!”

Where do you go from there? I was KO’d. So here we are, signed up for a 3 week Tequila class in Sayulita that entails learning all about the beverage, from plant to bottle. Graduation occurs when we drive north 3 hours to the town of Tequila Mexico, the birthplace of my arch nemesis. There we will tour the distilleries and test our knowledge.

We’re now 2 classes into the course and I’m actually pleasantly surprised. Real Tequila tastes good! Apparently I had been drinking the equivalent of Walmart box wine when it comes to Tequila, because the real stuff is amazing. Here is what I’ve learned so far…

1) Tequila traces its origin back at least two thousand years. The Indian tribes that inhabited what is now central Mexico discovered that the juice of the agave plant, if left exposed to air, would ferment and turn into a milky, mildly alcoholic drink. News of this discovery spread throughout agave-growing areas.

2) Tequila should not give you a hangover. The reason crap Tequila (like Jose Cuervo) gives you a hangover is because it’s only made with 50% Agave. The other 50% is SUGAR, plus artificial color additives to make it amber/golden. Hence the hangover.

3) Good Tequila should never be mixed with anything. No limes or salt either. It’s for sipping only. If you try to order a Margarita in the state of Jalisco, they laugh at you.

4) Good Tequila should always say 100% Agave on the bottle. If it doesn’t, you’re getting crap. (refer back to #1).

5) Really good Tequila is always at least 40% alcohol. Not 35%. 40% or more. Period. 

6) White Tequila (Blanco) is not crappy, or just for mixing as we once thought. It’s simply pure Agave that was not aged in a barrel, therefore it pulls no amber color from the oak. Blanco is a drink in and of itself, and needs to be treated as such.

7) The other two types of Tequila include Reposado and Anejo. Both of these have the golden amber color from being aged in oak barrels. Reposado is aged from 3-11 months, and then bottled. Anejo is aged up to 3 years.  Then you also have Extra Anejo, aged 3+ years. The really good stuff can be aged for up to 15 years! Just like wine, the Tequila pulls flavors like vanilla and caramel from the oak barrels. The longer it’s in there, the darker and richer it gets. 

8) Treat Tequila like a fine wine. Drink it from a snifter, like you would a good a bourbon. Let it breath after you pour it. Sniff it before you taste it. When you taste it, let it sit in your mouth for up to 8 seconds. Then inhale through your nose before you swallow. This will keep it from burning your throat.

So far we know that we like all three types of Tequila. Just like fine wine, they are each different. We have barely scratched the surface, but we’re looking forward to becoming intimate with each unique style. As Stevie is fond of saying, we’ll only learn by drinking more. Over, Out – TREE

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  1. Ah….. This explains the headaches, the really crazy behavior after tequila shots and the immediate and intense nausea whenever I smell it. Hmmmmm…. I may beer inspired once I start getting specific recommendations from you guys. Enjoy!

  2. Alexis Schulman says:

    How do you keep from puking? Phil says a good tequila makes a good wedding present.

  3. Alexis, Shouldn't your question be more along the lines of "How do you keep from puking ON SOME ONE"?

  4. En Serio. You two HAVE to start forming all these posts in to a BOOK! You come up with the most amazing insights and information – in such funny and compelling ways! EN SERIO! DO IT!

  5. The name 'Tequila' is derived from Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) and means "place of tribute."

  6. jeremy jones says:

    yay! this is exactly what i hoped for.. chapter tequila! you guys DO take requests! i knew it was a sipping liquor and that we've bastardized it with our "cocktail" notions, but learned a few more things here. yet another discovery in the spirit of spirit culture. mas, mas!

  7. Sundowners!

  8. awesome.

  9. Love it! Thank you for enlightening us all. Have you tried the anejo that tastes like almond liquor? It is heaven.

  10. You finally admit you NEVER WON A FIGHT. I could have hurt you in salt lake and you know it. And finally you admit it. Over and Out LoLo

  11. Stevie, Tree, and Kiki says:

    LoLo, I only count the fights against men. TREE

  12. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it look like the indian in the second picture is loving the agave just a little too much? Or maybe that's just how you make good tequila.

  13. Well I saw the part where you talk about this good Tequila should be sipped. So what the point!! I always like to chug it no matter what proof it is!! LOL!! You guys crack me up enjoy the class and come home after you graduate!

  14. No Stevie in the second picture that is what happens after you have had to much,you start kissing everything and everyone.

  15. ummmm i drank patron silver on the rocks, religiously, for far too long, and many years later even the thought of tequila makes me retch. if i were there, do you really think you could rehabilitate me? i have my doubts. but if you buy me a plane ticket, i promise to try to love tequila, with all of my heart. 😉

  16. You have a very big heart Reagie. I bet there's still a little room left in there for Tequila 🙂 And if not, we can buy Havana Club rum here!!!! It's sooooooo damn good and nothing like the syrup you get in the States.

    And Brian, I think that you should come here after we graduate!!

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