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Top 5 Weird and Wonderful Tequila Facts!

1) There was never a Tequila Worm!

I remember as a teenager growing up whenever anyone talked about tequila it was inevitably to do with the worm. Rumours abounded about having to be the one to eat the worm if you finished the bottle, and the potentially hallucinogenic properties of said worm. But, nowadays, with the internet so readily able to fact-check these things, we know that no such worm existed. We’re not entirely sure where this rumour originated, but tequila has never used worms. There are a few Mezcals that have a worm in the bottom, but no tequilas as far as we’re aware!

2) Tequila can only be made in Mexico, and has strict rules on its production just like Champagne!

That’s right – although the 2am salt and a slice of lemon stuff you remember from university doesn’t bring back memories of a high-quality spirit, tequila is actually made to very strict standards and has to come from a small region of Mexico (not even the whole of Mexico!). The rules around tequila include the type of agave used, the aging process, and even things like the chemical make-up of tequila. That doesn’t mean there’s no bad tequila out there (you know who we’re talking about…) – so make sure to speak to someone who knows their stuff before you jump in and buy a bottle. You can always reach out to us if you need some advice!

3) Agave, agave, agave!

There are over 200 types of agave but only one – Blue Weber Agave – can be used to make tequila. These agave plants can take up to 12 years to grow, and are tended for by specialist farmers called jimadors whose only job is to cultivate the agave in such a way that it can be used to make top quality tequila. When it’s harvested, only the piña (the ‘heart’, or centre, of the agave) is used, and each plant can only be used once! It’s then roasted, steamed or put through a ‘diffuser’ to obtain all of its sugars. A word of warning – we tend to avoid tequilas made using a diffuser as it generally involves using chemicals to extract the sugars, and that impacts on taste. For a more detailed exploration of this, check out this amazing article from Taste Tequila:

4) Tequila is good for you!

Well, sort of… During the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, doctors would prescribe tequila, with some salt and lime. Apparently this helped ease patients’ symptoms. We’re not surprised, because if you have enough you probably wouldn’t feel much at all! Still, we wouldn’t suggest it for ailments, unless you’re ailment is not having a good time.

The folks over at Tequila 512, also put together this list of health benefits, although we wouldn’t use this as an excuse to drink tequila, and we’re not doctors so we don’t know how correct it is!

It may be linked to weight loss:

Tequila is made up of agavins, an indigestible sugar that moves through the body without being used for energy … These molecules have also been found to stimulate your metabolism, unlike most alcohol, which slows it way down.

It may lower cholesterol:

A study from the American Chemical Society suggests that tequila could have the heart-healthy ability to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.

It may help with digestion

In addition to adding probiotics, a post-meal shot of tequila may help stimulate digestion. Some studies have also found that a shot of tequila before the meal acts as an apéritif, stimulating metabolism and appetite.

It’s Gluten-Free

Of course, this only really matters for your health if you’re someone with an intolerance to gluten — either due to an allergy or celiac disease. But since tequila is made from agave and not wheat, like some vodka, it’s entirely free of the (sometimes) inflammatory protein.”


5) Tequila relies on bats

Yep, you read that right! Bats are the main pollinators of the agave plant, which means that tequila production ultimately relies on bats. The bats drink from the agave flower, and then spread the seed as they travel from plant to plant. In some areas, mono-cropping and not allowing the agaves to flower has led to reductions in bat numbers, but a number of conscious agave farmers are now working to increase bat numbers and help them to flourish again. Which is great, because it means more agave (and thus tequila) for everyone!

So there you have it – our Top 5 Weird and Wonderful tequila facts! There are plenty more out there – if you find some, share them with us @thatssopapos or using the hashtag #thatssopapos

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