Primitive tequila still (Lumholtz, 1897)

Did You Know? Tequila dates from the sixteenth century

In 1897, Carl Lumholtz, the famous Norwegian ethnologist, who spent several years living with remote Indian tribes in Mexico, found that the Huichol Indians in eastern Nayarit distilled agave juice using simple pot stills, the pots being quite unlike any other Spanish or pre-Columbian vessels. By 1944, Henry Bruman, a University of California geographer, had […]

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Scorpion Mezcal barrels

Mescal

Timothy J. Knab Mescal, mescaline, mescal bean, mescal button; what are they? They are all intoxicants, which was what the word mescal meant in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Today mescal generally refers to a type of aguardiente – water with a bite, firewater, a liquor distilled from the agave, a relative of the century plant or maguey commonly used to […]

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© Daniel Wheeler, 2009

July 24 is National Tequila Day: A tequila resource page

The US celebrates National Tequila Day on July 24. Present in the popular margarita, tequila can stand alone as a fine liquor. The popular traditional drink boasts an appellation or denomination of origin. Distilled from the nectar of the Weber blue agave, tequila dates from the 16th century. It may have originated in the Mexican […]

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Tamarind Margaritas: Margaritas de Tamarindo

This is the quintessential summer drink, perfect before a Mexican-style parillada, or grilled meal. For a delicious change of pace try using Tajin Fruit Seasoning instead of salt to rim the glass. This mixture of powdered chile, salt and dehydrated lime is available online at https://www.mexgrocer.com. 4 ounces white tequila (blanco) 3 ounces tamarind concentrate 1 ounce simple […]

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A hot collector's item, the ceramic mezcal monkey is designed to hold mescal, the spirit distilled from the baked, then fermented agave plant. © Alvin Starkman, 2010

Mexico’s Mezcal Monkey: collectible ceramic folk art from Oaxaca

A Voice from Oaxaca Designed to hold mescal, the Chango Mezcalero has become a very collectible folk art item whose history has been recounted infrequently, if at all. While by all accounts it originated in the State of Oaxaca, home of mezcal — the spirit distilled from the baked, then fermented agave plant — it’s now highly […]

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