BIT Blog

Fake Tequila?

The last time I heard of fake tequila, I was down in the pits of a bar having a heart to heart with the talent of my local gentleman’s club. She informed me of the special blend; a watered down slosh of ginger ale with just the smallest splash of coke. The bartender would serve it to the girls when a suitor was being too gracious with shots. Up until last year that was my only knowledge of fake tequila. But the tequila industry is no stranger to counterfeit product. According to PR Newswire the production and sell of counterfeit tequila is one of a few market challenges the industry faces today. Apparently during winter of 2015 there was a huge fake Tequila bust in Germany. 

Hamburg, Germany is the second biggest city, with over 100 clubs and music venues. Just that alone makes Hamburg a lucrative location for the liquor market. Thousands of people a day looking for a quick shot of Alkohol. Sometime before December , Mexican officials from the Tequila Regulation Council were tipped off in regards to a fraudulent shipment to be made in Hamburg. Thanks to the European Union regulation No. 608/2013 , officials were permitted the authority to intervene on this incident. The EU regulation awards “ Customs authorities extended powers to detain counterfeit or pirated goods at the borders of the European Union”.  And that’s just what our friends from the Mexican Tequila Regulation Council did (by the way , talk about a title that’s a mouthful). On December 10th Patricia Espinosa , Mexico’s Ambassador to Germany, saw to the destruction of counterfeit Tequila, 24,700 liters of counterfeit to be exact.

As we all know, especially if you have been keeping up with Blue Iguana Tequila, Tequila can only be called , labeled and sold as such if it has been produced from the blue agave plant in the country of Mexico. Mexico actually holds the patent for tequila as an official product of Mexico. Other countries aren’t even permitted to distill the spirit.  

The fraudulent shipment tested to possess the correct alcohol volume of 65.1% but that turned out to be false upon further investigation. Trying to pass off the moonshine as high quality tequila was a big mistake. And Mexico officials were vigilant with the cessation of the counterfeit journey. The tequila imposter was placed into a fermentation plant on the premises of  AVZ Hetlingen, the gas was then used for generating electricity. 

Gallons upon gallons of moonshine, flushed down the generator all because someone attempted to sell it off as Tequila. We hope those bootleggers learned their lesson. We sure have; don’t sell fake tequila or the Mexican Tequila Council will come for you….and they will win.

An Iguana's Guide to the Hangover and How to Avoid It

Hangovers are caused primarily from excessive drinking. The reason you felt intoxicated last night (or right now, if that’s the case) is because you were poisoned by over-indulgence in something toxic (we’re not talking about roofies here.) Even if you didn’t fight a bouncer or lose your job, you may wish for death to end the accumulation of symptoms: headache, vomiting, dizziness, cotton mouth and so on. 

Only water can soften the blow, because a large part of a hangover is dehydration. Ever wonder why you pee so much after you break the seal? Alcohol is a diuretic which means bye-bye water. It’s used in metabolizing all that booze you wish you hadn’t consumed (or are thoroughly enjoying, not thinking of tomorrow morning.) 

When your uncle tells you he has a cure for your hangover, slap him. You may be a whiny drunk, but you’re not stupid. There is no cure. But since we are experts, we can give you a few before, during, and after tips to ease the pain.

Before

1.    Eat something. If you drink on an empty stomach you’ll pass out early and probably won’t get laid. Yes, that’s a threat.

2.    Take a vitamin B supplement, which many are deficient in anyway. Alcohol zaps the vitamin from you, which is an element of the grisly hangover.

During

1.    Drink lots of water. Don’t say that …it’s not a buzzkill. It helps add the water your body needs to process the booze. If you forget, chug a few glasses right before you sleep.

2.    Eat something. If not during the drinking itself, eat a bite right before you      sleep.

3.    Avoid drinks with pre-made mixers, high fructose corn syrup or white sugar.

4.    (This is a matter of preference, but just to present the facts …) clear alcohols have less congeners (something that makes you feel like shit the next day) than colored alcohol. White wine vs. Red. Tequila vs. Whiskey. Blanco Tequila actually has the least congeners of any alcohol.

After

1.    Drink lots of water (now we sound like a broken record.)

2.    Take a non-aspirin pain reliever. Aspirin does a number on your stomach which is probably already reeling (or will be.)

3.    Take a hot shower or (if you’re one of those lucky jerks who we’re severely jealous of) hit the steam bath / sauna. By increasing circulation you can sweat out the suffering.

4.    Avoid acidic fluids like orange or tomato juice. Avoid sodas.

Blue Iguana’s myth-busting corner - apart from the myth about the sobering effects of coffee, we’ve got a few more myths to debunk.

MYTH: If you’re hungover, have a drink. You know, hair of the dog that bit you. Lie! While it may dull the pain temporarily, it will extend the overall suffering time. It’s better to put in your time, feel well and then try your luck again.

MYTH: If you’re drunk, throw up tonight to feel better tomorrow. Lie! While it may reduce the impact of the hangover, the hangover will still come and it will still suck. Apart from that, it damages your throat and esophagus as well as gives your body a crazy pH shift (and your body doesn’t like that.) Long term damage isn’t worth it. Just pay for what you ordered.

5 Reasons to Drink Tequila in the Fall

We believe tequila is a drink for all seasons and we have several reasons for this. What are they? Well, if we told you all of them then we’d have no tricks up our sleeve. And what is the number one rule of a professional tequila drinker? Always keep a card hidden. However, we will share a couple of our bright ideas with you. But first thing is first. Pour yourself a smooth tequila like a Blue Iguana Reposado before proceeding.

1. Tequila warms you up. It’s a gentle burn rolling down your throat and keeps your body feeling warmer as a result. Why wear a coat when you could just drink more tequila? (Yes, this is my usual course of reasoning which leaves me inappropriately underdressed nearly all the time.)

2. If it doesn’t warm you up, it definitely makes you numb. Okay, don’t look at me like that. It’s a GOOD thing. You’re not cold if your appendages are numb, right? It may make dancing slightly more embarrassing, though we feel it’s just another reason to drink more tequila.

3. If you’re numb, you're inherently ballsier. Yep. You know that guy / girl you’ve been thinking about making a move on or maybe just talking to? That numb sensation is actually liquid courage coursing through your veins. As a matter of fact, you’re now officially invincible. Go for it. Hone right on in with all the pick-up lines you’ve got.

4. You feel no cold. You feel no fear. And luckily for you, you feel no rejection. Even if they laugh in your face, there is a decent chance you won’t care (at least while you’re drunk, anyway.) Meanwhile, you’ll be rocking that liquid shield to try with the next cute guy / girl at the bar.

5. Beyond all of the successes or failures of the night, one thing still holds true: your toasty, incorrigible ass is bulletproof, invisible and indestructible …at least in your mind. Plus it tastes good. 

 

Whiskey or Tequila?

Those Millennials have done it again. Obsessed with their pop culture and electronics, Millennials are proving to be a trend altering generation. Millennials, also known as Generation Y or the next generation, are a generation pumped up on the internet, designer parties and being the next big thing. They desire to live like the stars do, or at least take a photo that makes it seem that way. And living like a star means only the best of the best for what you’re drinking at the bar that night. And it seems that young adults in Mexico are choosing whiskey for that aspiration.

For a very long time, tequila and mezcal dominated the liquor field in Mexico. Home to the agave plant, Mexico has been deemed the official home for all things tequila. Mexicans have been enjoying the liquored treats of the agave plant for a very long time. But a recent study has shown whiskey growing in exponential popularity in Mexico. American owned company, Brown Foreman, just recently boasted that Mexico has risen to be Jack Daniel’s top market for sales. Euromonitor International reported that by 2015 consumption of whiskey in Mexico had grown 86% from the year 2010 while tequila and mescal only increased by a measly 15.1 percent in the same time. Tequila sales still trump whiskey sales over all but that may not be for much longer if the trend continues.

Either more millennials are going out than their older counterparts or all the tequila sales are being hidden in Mexico. Mark Strobel, a research analyst at Euromonitor International concludes that the growing popularity of whiskey amongst younger adults in Mexico comes from the idea that “the consumption of this drink is an aspirational position of status and sophistication, it is generally more expensive than tequila but there is also more variety of economic whiskey “. The analyst at Euromonitor has already projected whiskey sales increase by 8.5 percent, while tequila and mezcal push a smaller 3 percent.

We did a little of our own research and asked people in the town of San Miguel, GTO Mexico , a town with a statistically older population vs. Guanajuato, GTO, Mexico, a town flooded with college students and a generally younger aged population. More residents of SMA preferred Tequila while Guanajuato had a wider range of presences leaving no certain choice strikingly dominant to another. But it seemed that adults closer to the millennial generation were not as keen on drinking tequila.

Apparently whiskey has that something special that younger drinkers desire for their image - too bad the hangovers are twice as bad compared to tequila. But hey, they are Millennial, they’ll learn the hard way just like we did. Tequila may be losing the title of Mexico’s most consumed liquor, but we don't mind. Just more agave for us.

 

Sources: http://www.economiahoy.mx/turismo-eAm-mx/noticias/7849026/09/16/San-Miguel-de-Allende-en-Mexico-y-Cuzco-en-Peru-entre-las-15-mejores-ciudades-del-mundo.html

 http://www.informador.com.mx/economia/2016/683980/6/whisky-toma-mercado-del-tequila-en-mexico.htm

An Iguana's History of the Caballito

Here in Mexico, caballito is a very common word. This “little horse” refers the traditional tall, thin shot glass holding between 1 and 2 ounces of tequila. For sipping, of course. We all know tequila is not to shoot …unless you’ve clearly had way too many and the floor is starting to blur. Or you’re toting a gun.

Little horses got their name because men often found it funny to have their horses piss in each other’s tequilas when they weren’t looking. Just kidding. We only do that in the office. Really the name descends from cuernito, which means “little horn.” They removed the interior of bull or cow horns and cleaned them to make a manly looking chalice of sorts. They didn’t, however, have the option to set it down until the libation had been finished (a sneaky way to get people drunk really fast.) Considering the limited number of horns, there was a slam and pass philosophy. 

Man chalice, otherwise known as cuernito

The classic caballito holding the classic Bandera de Mexico Later, the tip was removed so a drinker could take their time, and it was this design that became the modern caballito. They do still make the traditional horn cups and I want to say, as an official statement, that if you drink Blue Iguana Tequila out of one I will consider you a bonafide badass. Just to be clear.

Recently, the CRT decided on a more uppity tequila glass, which resembles a wine glass with the classic tall stem and tapered bowl. Riedel makes the CRT approved version because it “highlights and enhances the characteristics” of a good tequila. Some tequila experts prefer añejos in a snifter because the shape traps the scents more efficiently. While fancy glasses are nice and all, they break a lot easier. Especially if you’re loaded. And down here in Mexico, little has changed. Most still proudly rock the caballito. This iguana is one of them.

For a great source of tequila know-how, visit Ian Chadwick's informative site. 

Hangover DNA

Last week after you stumbled home reeking of Tequila did you stop to think about the hangover battle you may be encountering  the next day. Odds are it may have occupied your thoughts for a moment or two but that was before you realized you were already over the edge of the greatest night ever (no judgement ).  Just like every other hangover you’ll fight against your better judgement to stay in bed all day and spend the next few hours crawling between  the bathroom and gulping down water with a headache that can only be described as pure hell.

There´s been some dispute as to whether or not tequila can give you a hangover.Some brands will even go as far as to say they have created a hang over free tequila while others cower in fear of ever drinking tequila again after their last hangover. So which is it?

 Were here to let you know any alcohol puts you at risk for a hangover; some more than others. Just like beer and your other favorite spirits Tequila is produced with ethanol. Excess levels of ethanol can contribute to your hangover symptoms like headaches from dehydration. Also similar to other liquors Tequila contains toxins that irritate your digestive system, even one shot causes your stomach to produce more acid than usual , that’s why the day after you get tanked your stomach hates you.

The presence of a little thing called congeners also contribute to those morning after troubles. Congeners are produced during the fermentation process and are more abundant in darker liquors. No wonder the recovery from a night of whiskey is harsher than an evening sipping on Ciroc. Along side those friendly congeners the price of your tequila can contribute to the pain of being hungover. Higher priced brands normally mean more precise distilling which means less unwanted substances floating around in your glass. 

And with all that now even DNA may be a contributing factor as to whether or not you will suffer from hangovers. Researchers in Australia fed alcohol to a bunch of twins and then studied their hangovers in correlation to their genetic factors (we know what you are thinking, why weren’t we invited!) . Identical twins displayed strong similarities in their regards to hangover susceptibility in addition researchers also determined that those who were less susceptible to hangovers where at higher risk for alcohol addiction. Over all the study reads that DNA played a factor in hangovers for about 45% of the women and 40% of the men. So you could be one of the lucky ones with the gene variant less likely to receive a hangover after a night of drinking.  

But to be on the safe side we suggest we all head out to the bar not banking on having superior hangover DNA. Steer clear of cheap booze and tequila that is not 100% agave , pace yourself, drink lots of water andnever be afraid to cut your self off early. For now Tequila is not off the hangover list but we’re crossing our fingers for the future.

Sources:

http://vinepair.com/articles/tequila-wasnt-responsible-for-your-hangover-your-dna-was/

http://www.livescience.com/47517-hangovers-genetic-alcohol-drinking.html

The Pilgrimage to Tequila

Sometimes one is granted the rare privilege of being present during the telling of an epic saga……a continuation of the Timeless Human Oral Tradition.  When a person is so graced, the best course is to simply fade into the background and function as a humble scribe—because while the homosapien storytelling tradition is indeed venerable and strong, our memories ain’t what they used to be.  And events of great import must be entered into The Record.

And so it is with The Pilgrimage to Tequila.

A longtime friend, let’s call him “Hasenpfeffer” since I’ve been asked to employ aliases here to protect the guilty, hails, as I do, from Texas (I know, I know…….but what can we say?.......we were not consulted when we were whelped).  And growing up in Texas, we were subject to not only an unfortunate market saturation of Cuervo Gold tequila (no better options being available…..the competition was Armadillo Tequila, which we never stooped to even in moments of impoverished student desperation), but also to a dubious chuckle-headed tradition of tequila shots. 

We’re not proud, you understand.  We’re just saying…….

All of which coalesced to give us a certain long-standing familiarity with, and ongoing consumption of, tequila.  And as these things are wont to go, a certain mythological miasma came to be associated with our past, current and future consumption of tequila.  I think the audio equivalent of this vibe would be listening to the Flaco Jimenez/Dwight Yokum remake of Warren Zevon’s “Carmelita” through underwater speakers while sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool that is not as clean as it might be.

So, when Hasenpfeffer saw a story in the Wall Street Journal about a mysterious train ride to the town of Tequila, Mexico, in the state of Jalisco, he was seized with a strong and insistent urge to GO.  The legendary birthplace of tequila, so it was whispered!  As he telephoned two of his Galveston buddies, the road trip was already morphing in his mind into something more…..a quest that would inspire song, burnish loins, and result in the kind of stories that you could (but would not!) tell the grandchildren. 

With this kind of impetus at play, the two friends (let’s call them “Seabiscuit” and “Snord”) were soon infected with Hasenpfeffer’s zeal and before you knew it, Wheels Were In Motion.  One short plane ride to San Miguel de Allende later, followed by a bus (that, crucially, allowed passengers to bring coolers aboard) to Guadalajara, and suddenly the threesome saw their chariot. 

The train.

I think we all can agree that our heroes can be forgiven if their memories of the train have romanticized the conveyance a bit, eliminating the chicken smells and thoughts of the truly-deplorable state of the communal bathroom (this latter may be a coping mechanism employed by the human brain after experiencing extreme multi-sensory trauma).  But if the term “legendary” inherently implies great age and scars born of experience, then there was no question that The Train to Tequila fit the bill.  It was, for lack of a better word, funky.

But it had a bar.  And more than that, it seemed to be full of other gringos who had read the same article and subsequently heard The Call.  Upon inspection, Seabiscuit reported that the bar seemed to be extremely-well stocked with not only copacetically-priced Mexican beer but also with the beverage for which their destination was named.  Amidst the jovial atmosphere in the bar car, a great wheezing and grating was heard, followed by a flatulent chuffing and a hesitant forward motion.  The pilgrimage to Tequila was now right and truly under way! 

As the train picked up speed, there was a collective sense of hurtling toward some mystery….some Great Unknowable.  Consumption in the bar car accelerated apace, with many toasts, cheers and new friendships struck in the libationary haze. 

Then the train broke down. 

As Hasenpfeffer translated the bartender’s report, relayed from the conductor, Snord uttered a Spanglish expletive he’d heard in San Antonio that was, if truth be known, unwise for a Gringo to use in Mexico.  But he got away with it, with only a bit of stink-eye from the staff, and after 40 minutes in the motionless, steaming, un-airconditioned bar car, a great huzzah echoed as the train began to scrape its way forward.  Spirits lifted.  “Look at all that cacti!”, someone exclaimed. 

“Is it agave?”

“It’s sort of blue-ish.”

And so consumption in the bar car regained its jubilant aspect, and all seemed well.  Despite the exalted mood,  however, Hasenpfeffer could not help but notice that the bathroom, which had not been in any way acceptable at the start of the journey, had become so thoroughly objectionable that increased personal drunkenness did not, as is usually the case, make it easier to enter and use.  At the end of his third visit, eyes watering and stomach queasing, Hasenpfeffer vowed to himself that he was not going back in there under any set of circumstances.  Feeling resolute, he strode purposely back across the rolling deck to the bar.

An hour later, the train broke down again.  Or maybe the engineer just needed a nap.  No one knew, and this time explanations were not forthcoming.  As it turned out, there would be five such stops on the tracks during the journey…..Sometimes at a collection of shacks that may or may not have warranted being designated with a name, and sometimes just plain smack in the middle of nowhere.  The mood swings in the bar car were oscillating all over the place, and mutiny was only suppressed via the outstandingly-well stocked nature of the bar itself (although the lack of true options for egress undoubtedly had something to do with it). 

During one of these unscheduled stops, Hasenpfeffer felt a familiar bodily claxon that made his blood run cold.  Oh, no!  He had to pee. 

His resolve to never again re-enter the 7th Level of Hell, otherwise known as the bathroom on the train to Tequila, remained unwavering.  And, in hindsight, it must be said that he was somewhat worse for wear from the hot, exuberant hours in the bar car.  This manifested itself not only in a certain lack of judgment but also in a 52% impairment of motor skills. But being in that moment unaware of these handicaps, Hasenpfeffer was instantly seized with what seemed at the time a brilliant and jaunty idea.

I’ll just step off the train and pee outside, he thought triumphantly!

And so he did.

[scribe’s note:  In the retelling of this saga, Hasenpfeffer displayed a certain reluctance to describe the details of what happened next.  What were his thought processes?  Didn’t he hear the train begin to move?  Was it merely a whizz of unusual duration, as will happen to a sporting man from time to time?  Hasenpfeffer will not say, and so we are left to speculate.  But one thing is clear:  the train left and he was not on it.]

There is an idiomatic phrase in the English language that I will attempt to paraphrase here without offending the sensibilities of the more delicate readers of this blog:  Hasenpfeffer was left standing beside the railroad tracks in Central Mexico with his schwantz, both literally and metaphorically, in his hand.

Wouldn’t Seabiscuit and Snord notice his absence and move heaven and earth to stop the train?  Wasn’t there usually some guy who stood at the railings of the caboose in all trains, watching for just this sort of eventuality?

Evidently not.

[scribe’s note:  Now I know what some of you are thinking:  that any trip that begins with a reading of the Wall Street Journal deserves to end in tears.  And you would not be wrong in thinking that.]

As the reality of his situation slowly seeped in, Hasenpfeffer’s only comfort was that post-game feeling of soul-deep relief and euphoria that always follows such a well-needed expatriation of urea, chlorides, potassium, etc.   And this, he knew from past experience, would only last so long.  And so, grimly, he started walking, following the tracks in the direction of the quickly-disappearing train.

 

INTERMISSION:  time for a cocktail:  Try this Baja favorite: 

The Blue Shark

--1.5 oz. Blue Iguana Silver Tequila

--1.5 oz. vodka

--1.5 oz. blue Curaçao

--to a cocktail shaker full of ice, add everything and shake well.  Strain over rocks.

 

The pilgrimage to Tequila had certainly been epic so far, Hasenpfeffer thought as he trudged mile after weary mile along the railroad tracks.  He had long since given up his fantasy of seeing the train reappearing in frantic reverse to reclaim such an important passenger…….an emissary from the United States of America, no less!  At this juncture, he could only shake his head ruefully at having lost the quest, and the brotherhood of his fellow tequila knights, over a nasty train bathroom and a good ol’ outdoor country piss.

There was no one in sight, and the views were long.  There was no habitations anywhere on the horizon.  The sun beat down cruelly, and he had only the half bottle of Tres Equis he’s exited the train with.  So at least there was that, he thought, although it was getting sort of back-washy.  And so he kept walking.

After a period of time he was utterly unable to gauge, Hasenpfeffer thought he saw something way off in the distance, where the tracks disappeared over the edge of the world.  Were those buildings?  His pace quickened.  Yes!  The flat beer now long drained, he walked with a renewed sense of purpose.  As the buildings got closer, he could tell that the train was there, and stopped!  He began to run.  After another twenty minutes, Hasenpfeffer staggered into the town of Tequila. 

Hot, sweaty, thirsty (and maybe needing to pee again!), Hasenpfeffer clambered back onto the train.  But the bar car was empty.  Not even a note from the traitorous Seabiscuit and Snord.  Feeling more than a little disgruntled, and starting to mutter ominously, he saw a figure approaching as he stepped back off the little train.  It was the bartender, who displayed no surprise at seeing Hasenpfeffer standing there.  In answer to a quick question in Spanish, the bartender replied “Senor, your amigos have left the train.”  Trying to be polite in the face of such a stunningly-obvious observation, Hasenpfeffer asked if the man knew where they might have gone.

“The gringos are all drinking in the café in the square, senor.” 

After hastily getting directions, Hasenpfeffer hurried off toward the town square.  Although he was possibly not aware of it, his muttering increased in volume and vehemence.  With a mixture of guilt and satisfaction, Hasenpfeffer realized that he had never paid his (quite substantial) bar tab from the train.  This provided a welcome distraction for his simmering brain.  After scuffing several blocks down the dusty streets of Tequila, he began to hear faint but increasing sounds of merriment. 

His pace quickened.

Upon reaching the ubiquitous town square, so familiar from all the other small Mexican towns he had visited in his life, Hasenpfeffer zeroed in on familiar voices coming from a mass of gringos crowded around rickety metal tables outside a corner cantina.  Amidst the rowdy and slightly woozy pale-faced throng, there sat Seabiscuit and Snord, feet up on the railing, cold beers in hand, drained shot glasses arrayed about the table between half-eaten bowls of carne en su jugo.  Sitting between them was a gray-haired, dilapidated hippy with a maple leaf flag sewed onto his battered duffel bag.  He seemed vague but content.

“Hasenpfeffer!  Where you been buddy? “, hollered Snord.  “Come over here and meet our new friend Scoot….he’s Canadian, man!”  All three men smiled innocently in the new arrival’s direction.

Hasenpfeffer was speechless.  Standing in the street, not even knowing where to begin.  A vein throbbed on his forehead.  He wanted to throw the Tres Equis bottle at them, but suddenly realized he no longer had it. 

Just then, at this crux of the crisis, a beautiful young Mexican girl approached Hasenpfeffer and asked him a very pivotal question: 

“¿Quieres algo a tomar?

Hasenpfeffer paused.  I want to kill my two friends, of course, but yes……yes, I would like something to drink, he thought.  And so following some very comprehensive ordering, he took the chair that Seabiscuit dragged over for him and sat at the table.

“Man, the food is great here!”, Snord raved.  “After we eat and have some more beers, we’re taking a cab over to the place where they make the tequila.  We made it, man!”, he enthused, slapping Hasenpfeffer on the back and smiling in an unfocused way.  Seabiscuit smiled blearily at him from the other side of the table.  Scoot seemed to doze.  Then the waitress arrived with a tray full of cold Carta Blancas and some more chips and hot sauce.  And just like that, his anger left him.  All quests had their arcs of travails and the overcoming of staggering odds, right?  And sure, I could have died and had my body eaten by iguanas by the side of the tracks, but I didn’t, right?  And after all, Snord was right:  we Made It.  Made it to Tequila.  Hasenpfeffer flagged the waitress and ordered four shots of the town’s namesake.

--CODA:  part of the writing of a great saga is knowing when to end it.  And so your humble scribe is omitting the denouement involving the ride to the tequila distillery, where the taxi driver proved remarkably tolerant until the banging on the roof of his cab that accompanied the full-throated singing of “Satisfaction” threatened the structural integrity of his conveyance/ livelihood.  Suffice to say that our band arrived, was toured and feted with free añejos, reposados and even some bootleg pulque from a jug in the back of a truck out back.   And it was Good.

Match Made in Tequila!

We have finally found the perfect matchmaker! No, not for your love life ...unless you’re in love with tequila. Which is totally acceptable in our opinion (we may be a little biased).

Grover and Scarlet of TasteTequila.com have spent the last few years in Mexico picking the brains ofindustry experts in order to present you tequila lovers with an app to help your drinking needs.  There are several types of Tequila produced every year with their own distinctive tastes and qualities. Like a kid in Willy Wonka’s candy store , one could easily become overwhelmed by the wonderful world of tequila. With the help of this app, you will better be able to navigate your tequila purchases for you and your amigo’s taste buds.

Based on their webpage, the app is filled not only with brands of tequila, but also bars and retail stores where you can find specific tequilas in stock. Most of the data in regards to kinds of tequila come from the CRT, professionally known as the Tequila Regulatory Council; the CRT is the official office and end all be all for tequila. The rest of the data comes from every day tequila drinkers, like us and yourself. So, if you ever notice your favorite drink is not listed on the app don’t hesitate to let someone from the app know so they can be sure to add it, even specialty restaurants can have their establishments listed within the app…sorry your kitchen counter is not considered acceptable material.

The app is similar to a tequila diary that draws conclusions. The more info you give the app to use based on your preferences the more accurate the app becomes when suggesting a tequila for you. If you are a true enthusiast never forget to whip out the app ANYTIME you try a new tequila, rate it based on your personal experience and eventually the app will widen up to your tastes and help suggest the best tequila for you.

Honestly, we are wishing this was around during our college days , would have made frat parties a lot easier, but we are thankful it’s around today. Don’t forget to download the app for free and whip it out the next time your at the local cantina. You’ll thank yourself later.

http://www.tequilamatchmaker.com/

Iguanas in Tequila

After the gut-wrenching ride from San Miguel de Allende to Guanajuato we entered Jalisco, the state of Mexico where the town Tequila hides alongside the posh metropolis Guadalajara, and spied a tiny cowboy on a full size horse. The bluish hue of the textured landscape wasn’t the reflection of the heavy grey clouds hanging over me nor a denim-clad army of hard-working jimadores. It was the first of many Blue Agave Tequiliana Weber fields, the bewitched plant responsible for an intoxicating beverage that causes unsuspecting drinkers to break things that they have little to no consciousness they were ever in contact with.

Driving along La Ruta de Tequila, little Oak trees dotted purple mountains in the distance: forested land filled with cattle and haciendas, avocado farms followed by Bougainvillea vines, terraced hills of Agave enclosed in foot-high loose stone walls and separated by delicate green grass. Mexican men rode by on horseback and tequila barrels lined each street. I passed an above ground cemetery in pastel colors (where Herradura distills their tequila) framed by dormant green volcanoes in the distance thinking that the name of the town comes from the indigenous Nahuatl meaning a place of tribute, and that it is. Drunken tribute.

Behind the scenes at our agave harvest with filmmaker Janosh Chassan and photographer Sean Reagan. 

Behind the scenes at our agave harvest with filmmaker Janosh Chassan and photographer Sean Reagan. 

In four-wheel drive, the distiller and I zoomed through the winding mountain trails till we reached the cloud line, overlooking a vine-laden gorge and reservoir below. Though I’d passed Agave fields being harvested by tractors, the Jimadores hauling agaves for Blue Iguana Tequila used mules with manual release baskets.  As I jumped down from the truck, I was greeted by the supervisor. Assuming that I was less bilingual than I am, he shouted to his men in fast slang, “Look good, assholes. You’re being filmed.”

They paused to look at me. One Jimador yelled back, “But, I’m ugly. What do I do?” I laughed, and after that, they were careful what they said when I was in earshot.

The town of Tequila was hopping, which was the exact opposite of what I had heard about the “Pueblo Magico.” I sat at a bar drinking Coronas and writing. Not my favorite beer, but tolerable. The enormous church emptied, filling the zocalo with people eating roasted corn with mayonnaise. Tequila tour buses shaped like giant liquor bottles or barrels whizzed around the same four main corners like a merry-go-round. Once they made me dizzy, I dipped into one of the Tequila museums which showed a grizzlier side of the fermentation process than I had been aware of. Rather than use a cultivated (and we would like to imagine clean) yeast, they stuffed a dirty guy in the tequila “beer.” By bathing in it, he added the needed bacteria to make booze.

All I can say is thank the Tequila gods for modern technology.

 

 

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila ...diamonds?

No, you're not tanked right now, we said diamonds. But before we all rush our friendly 'jimadors' for supplies, let us explain exactly how we got diamonds from tequila. 

For years scientists, researchers, botanists and liquor connoisseurs have been discovering the many uses of tequila and the agave plant which is native to our beloved Mexico. Research demonstrates the agave plants' potential to deliver potent amounts of medicine to the colon and help you lose weight, while others claim tequila can aide in digestion and help with insomnia (but doesn’t any copious amount of alcohol?). And now, tequila can apparently transform everyone’s favorite drink into every girl’s best friend… diamonds! Synthetic diamonds that is - beautiful, minuscule, man-made diamonds.

Nature’s diamonds are born from crystallized volcanic rock from deep within the Earth’s mantle. To spare you all the nitty-gritty details, just know it is a super intense, geologic process. This natural process is a marvel, so rare there is no doubt in regards to the reason diamonds are so pricey.

Diamonds are the hardest natural substance known to man so one can only imagine how difficult it is to create a synthetic form of such an extraordinary substance. But thanks to Tequila, Mexican physicists and scientists there may be a slightly cheaper solution to the usually costly operation.

Tinkering around in their labs one day Javier Morales, Victor Castano , Luis Miguel Apatiga discovered that by heating 80 proof vodka (40 percent alcohol) to extreme temperatures they were able to create a very thin film of synthetic diamonds. This occurrence happens when the liquid vapor produced from the heated tequila splits into even tinier particles. These particles are then heated to 800 degrees Celsius, causing a change in the particles’ state of being, creating carbon atoms which form the thin diamond film.

So, in our very own science-y words: Super hot tequila makes super small diamonds. These diamonds are small enough for industrial purposes, such as instrument cutting or silicone substitutes in computer chips. Unfortunately, the film deposits are too tiny for uses of jewelry in our modern day culture. Sorry! Looks like your loved one won’t be wearing Tequila down the aisle anytime soon.

But on the bright side, what if all the synthetic diamonds could replace the natural ones used in industrial practices, leaving more natural (and bigger) diamonds for those precious ornaments we love to wear at a more reasonable price? With synthetic diamonds on the scene, mined diamonds could decrease in demand. And all thanks to our trusty tequila …

 For now, it doesn’t seem as if tequila will be replacing diamonds, but the ability to create a synthetic diamond is still pretty awesome (almost as awesome as sunset view with a caballero of Blue Iguana Tequila Anejo). Mexico produces hundreds of millions of liters of tequila every year – just think of all those tiny diamonds!

What do you think about this crazy tequila news? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Want to read more? Check out our sources below.

  

Sources:

  1.  http://www.businessinsider.com/2008/11/mexicans-making-diamonds-from-tequila
  2. http://www.uanl.mx/noticias/investigacion/obtener-diamantes-del-tequila-causa-gran-impacto-en-los-medios-cientificos.html
  3. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-surprising-benefits-tequila-you-never-knew.html