We have all heard the saying “one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor” made famous by George Carlin. But, has anyone ever wondered about how the spirit is made before hitting the shelves of stores or bars? The story of tequila starts many centuries ago with the conquistadors of Mexico, who instead of drinking water (which contained disease-emitting bacteria) with their meal, drank the local alcohol, called pluque (Weir 3).
Pulque was the much weaker cousin of the tequilas and mescals we enjoy oday, but the conquistadors realized they could transform this mildly alcoholic beverage into something much stronger. Through the Old World technologies of distilling alcohol in copper sills, tequila began its evolution to the drink of Mexico, often at the time referred to as, vino de mescal, or mescal wine in English. Tequila did not officially get its name until the 1870s, when it was named after the state in Mexico that wanted to distinguish its mescals from all others. In the present day, tequila, by law, can only be made by using the blue agave plant