Friday, May 21, 2010

Tequila, Mexico

Just 35 easy miles west of Guadalajara is the town of Tequila, home of the liquor of the same name, and one of the most interesting tourist sights on the highway. The town was founded in 1530 by a Spanish captain, Cristobal de O┼łate. Tequila liquor was first distilled here in 1600. The word “tequila”means “the rock that cuts,” referring, no doubt, to the black obsidian found in this general area.


Tequila is made from the juice of the heart of the Agave cactus, known also as “maguey.” An interesting by-product of the tequila process is the shreds from the cactus pulp, bought by brick makers in Guadalakara and mixed with clay to produce a stronger brisk.


Largest and most modern of the dozen or so distilleries is “La Perseverancia,” operated continuously since 1875 by the Sauza family. Another old and large distillery is “La Rojena,” operated since 1888 by the Cuevo family. Both plants are most interesting and both are open to the public (closed during noon).

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