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Is there any better way to enjoy some blue agave juice than bottoms up? We can’t think of any, but we can tell you that there’s an entire day dedicated to the stuff. July 24th means National Tequila Day, and National Tequila Day means twenty four consecutive hours, 1440 consecutive minutes, and 86,400 consecutive seconds of honoring good times had with your favorite liquor over salt & lime. Just enjoy those good times responsibly, don’t swig that beautiful blue agave elixir behind the wheel, and do read up on its storied history in Mexico, the broader American Southwest, and beyond.
When is National Tequila Day 2021?
National Tequila Day is celebrated on July 24.
History of National Tequila Day
Tequila’s precursor, a milky, frothy agave drink known as pulque, dates all the way back to Mesoamerican times circa 1000 B.C., when indigenous Mexican tribes would commonly harvest and ferment it. It wouldn’t be until 16th Century A.D., however, that the contemporary tequila we know and love would be first produced, around a territory of land that wouldn’t officially become known as Tequila until 1666.
That wouldn’t stop Spanish aristocrat Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle from opening the world’s first tequila factory 66 years prior in Jalisco, the Mexican state where the modern city of Tequila is located. It definitely wouldn’t stop Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo from founding the first Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Cuervo in Tequila over a century later in 1795, birthing the world’s most successful tequila brand to this day.
The origins of Tequila are fairly well documented, but unfortunately, the history of National Tequila Day’s origins are a little murkier. Not much can be found on who originated the holiday, what originated the holiday, and why it takes place on the dates it does. Perhaps the originators imbibed a little too much on their own supply to remember. Regardless, common zeitgeist rules that National Tequila Day takes place on July 24th in the United States, and the Mexican Senate just ruled in 2018 that their own occurs on the third Saturday of every March.
National Tequila Day timeline
Indigenous peoples drink an alcohol made of blue agave that they call pulque.
The Spanish invade Mexico and begin cooking agave in distilling pots, calling it 'mezcal wine.'
Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo makes the first Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Cuervo in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, birthing the modern tequila industry.
The U.S. moves to block a proposal that Tequila must be bottled “at the source” in Mexico, stating that it puts thousands of jobs at risk — so the Tequila Trade Agreement is created, stating that the U.S. may continue to import tequila in bulk to bottle it within their own facilities.
National Tequila Day - Survey Results
Traditions of the Day
With tequila, you choose the moment. Whether you are a social drinker who wants to share it with friends or just relax at home after a long day at work, National Tequila Day is all about enjoying tequila.
There are several categories of tequila — blanco, añejo, reposado, and joven, which are tasted and experimented with by connoisseurs and newbies alike. Contrary to popular belief, wine is not the only drink that can be paired with food, tequila can, too! You just have to find the right meal to complement it with.
Special deals and promotions on tequila are also available today at pubs and bars, so be sure to take advantage of them.
By The Numbers
5 – the number of regions in Mexico where tequila is produced.
51% – the percentage of the drink that is derived from blue agave.
8–12 – the number of years it takes for blue agave plants to be harvested.
7 feet – the maximum height of blue agave plants.
5 – the number of classifications of tequila.
40 – the number of new tequilas introduced in 2012.
2.3 – the number of tequila consumed per adult in Nevada every year.
9% – the percentage increase in consumption of tequila in America in 2019.
1.3 pints – the amount of tequila consumed by Mexicans in a year per person.
2–12 months – the time it takes to age reposado tequila in barrels.
National Tequila Day FAQs
Is National Tequila Day an expensive holiday?
While there’s plenty of pricey spirits running anywhere from a few hundred (or few thousand) a bottle, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more affordable quality bottles on the market. If you’re firmly intent on boozing on a budget, look up the best tequilas under $20 and see for yourself.
Is National Tequila Day an actual holiday?
In a legal, federally-recognized sense, no, not in the United States currently. But while you probably won’t get off of work from it, that doesn’t mean that you can’t personally recognize it though!
Is Tequila diet friendly?
Yes! Pure spirits can be carb free, gluten free, kosher, and keto!
National Tequila Day Activities
What better way to celebrate National Tequila Day than by enjoying the very drink that gave the holiday it's namesake? Consider hitting up a new area bar or liquor store you haven’t checked out before, and consider bringing some company along.
If you’re even a casual drinker, you’re likely already familiar with the quintessential Tequila Sunrise, the ubiquitous margarita, or the never-fail, classic combo of juice and/or soda. But do you know how to mix up a Serrano-Spiced Paloma, tequila shandy beer cocktail, or a color changing margarita? Try something different this year and opt for a more creative cocktail, whether it’s one of the above, or one of the countless recipes you could discover through a quick Google scroll.
We’re all for holiday hedonism, creature comforts, and enjoying some good times in the company of friends and loved ones, but please do so responsibly. We cannot stress this enough. If you’ve had a few rounds too many to hop behind the wheel, don’t be afraid to hail a designated driver, Uber, Lyft, or cab to help you get home safely.
5 Facts About Tequila
It takes time
Many liquors are aged, but the agave plant alone needs 8-12 years of growth before farmers can harvest and ferment it into tequila.
Tequila: not always agave
While it’s true that most tequilas are derived from agave plants, Sotol tequilas are actually derived from a similar Mexican plant with a milder and nuttier taste known as “Desert Spoon”.
Popular Mexican export, popular American import
Without a doubt, the U.S. is the biggest recipient of Mexican tequila exports at 204 million liters in 2019; that’s over 40 times more imports than even a country like Germany!
Tequila farmers must study the blade
Agave is harvested with a special machete tool known as a Coa de jima, and the farmers tasked with harvesting it are known as Jimadors.
It’s the stuff of (slinky) urban legends
The “tequila worm” is actually found mostly at the bottom of Mezcal bottles, a similar spirit, and it’s “additive effects” are largely suspected to be a marketing ploy myth.
Why We Love National Tequila Day
It’s a day of love for a labor of love
As we’ve mentioned before, the blue agave plant must grow almost a decade or more before it can be meticulously, painstakingly harvested by hand to make tequila. It can also only be grown in five regions of the entire world – all of which are in Mexico. As you appreciate the rich tastes of your tequila of choice, appreciate the rich history and agricultural work that went into making that tequila.
It’s so common, yet so unique
There’s no shortage of tequila cocktails and recipes that you can throw together. It can be so easily distilled and blended into a wide variety of craft mixes, but tequila’s earthy taste is unique to tequila spirits and tequila spirits only. Is it any wonder that there’s an entire day dedicated to it’s wonderful flavor?
It’s perfectly timed
If you’re celebrating the Mexican incarnation of National Tequila Day, then you’ll always be celebrating on a Saturday. If you celebrate the American iteration, then you’ll be celebrating over a weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 24) for the next three years! Is there any better time to have a good time?
National Tequila Day dates
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Celebrate National Tequila Day!