They say tequila won’t fix all your problems, but we say it’s worth a shot. And this July 24, you’ll have ample opportunity to see what problems you can solve by having a drink or two of the good stuff as you celebrate National Tequila Day. That’s right, there’s an entire day dedicated to celebrating the magical Mexican potion that is tequila — just please do so responsibly, and remember to never, ever drink and drive. If you can handle that, then you’re in for a good time.
Tequila, which is produced only in certain parts of Mexico using the regional blue agave plant, has long been a favorite of the American Southwest — but now has an international following. So grab the salt, cut some lemons, and remember your Spanish toast: Arriba! (up, with a raise of the glass); Abajo! (below to the table); Al centro! (in the center, toast with friends); and A dentro! (inside, as in down the gullet.) Here we go.
National Tequila Day - Key Moments
Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo makes the first Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Curevo in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, birthing the modern tequila industry
The Spanish invade Mexico and in short order begin cooking agave in distilling pots and call it Mezcal Wine
Indigenous peoples drink an alcohol made of blue agave that they call pulque
How to Celebrate National Tequila Day
1. Try a new cocktail
Tequila Sunrises and Margaritas get all the press coverage, but there are dozens of drinks that take advantage of the tang of good tequila. You’ve probably heard of a Moscow Mule, but why not kick that into a Mayan Mule? Replace vodka with tequila and you’ll be partying like it’s 800 AD. There’s also the Texas Two-Step, made of tequila, grapefruit, chartreuse, pineapple, honey, bitters, and smoked sea salt.
2. Go for a tequila tasting
One of the best ways to learn about the process of making tequila, the types you do and don’t like, and how they're priced — is to take part in a tasting. Just remember, after the first couple, the last one probably tastes best for a good reason. Keep it under control and take small sips to get the most out of your experience.
3. Splurge on a nice bottle
The world of tequila is bigger than you know. Instead of opting for the cheapest, or even the mid-level bottle, get some friends together to split a pricier one in order to learn about this complex spirit, even though it’s typically associated with all-out partying.
Why We Love National Tequila Day
A. The ultimate craft drink
Tequila — if properly done — is crafted from the blue agave plant, which is harvested by hand. It’s then stripped down to the pulp and ground up in a stone bowl by workers, and the extract is then collected and distilled. Farmers also have to wait between eight and 12 years for the agave plant to reach the right age to harvest it. It’s a time- and labor-intensive process, so keep that in mind the next time you’re taking a swig.
B. It’s got a cult following
Whether it’s songs about the burn or movies about tequila-fueled bachelorette parties, the blood of the agave plant has made a name for itself in pop culture. Can you finish comedian George Carlin’s now famous line, that goes a little something like “One tequila, two tequila, three tequila..."? We’ll give you a hint: It rhymes with "four."
C. Accept no substitution
In the entire world, there are only five specific regions in one country — Mexico — that can make the spirit and call it tequila. This puts it on the same status level as champagne, which can only be made in Champagne, France, or Scotch Whiskey that follows strict Scottish distilling laws.