Tequila, a distilled beverage, was first produced in the area surrounding Tequila, Mexico. It is a drink that is made using the Agave plant.
But what Agave is mostly used for making Tequila? Tequila can be made from different types of agave plants, but the blue Weber variety is the most popular type used for making tequila. The juice of the agave is extracted and then distilled.
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Agave: The Plant Used To Make Alcoholic Drinks
Agave is a succulent plant that is found in the Americas. Agave, which is also sometimes referred to as the “century plant”, can grow up to be quite large – some specimens have been known to reach up to 10 feet in height!
The plants, Agave, were used by Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican people to make pulque, an alcoholic drink, and fermented juice of maguey (agave). The Aztecs first used agave as a source of fermentable sugar for wine and cider production.
There are about 200 different species of Agave plants, but only several dozen of them are used in the production of tequila and other alcoholic beverages. Others are used in producing different food products.
Blue Agave And The Process To Use It In Tequila
Blue Agave, which is the type of agave that is most often used in the production of tequila, is different from other types of agave in that it has higher sugar content. This makes it ideal for the production of alcohol.
The blue Agave plant is also a bit more difficult to grow and cultivate, which contributes to its higher price tag. This category of Agave plants must be grown in Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, or Tamaulipas states to qualify for use in making tequila.
When agaves are harvested, they are about seven years old and range from 100 to 200 pounds or larger. They are then cooked for about 48 hours. After that, the agave is shredded and mixed with water. This mixture is then distilled to make tequila.
Reasons Why Blue Agave Is Different Than Others Of Its Kind
The Blue Agave is different from other types of agaves because it contains high levels of fructose. It also has a higher sugar content than the other types of agaves. This makes the Blue Agave ideal for use in the production of tequila. The Blue Agave grows best in climates that are hot and dry. The majority of the Blue Agave plants are grown in Mexico.
Tequila producers must use blue Weber by the “Declaración de Denominación de Origen Tequila,” or “Appellation of Origin Declaration.” The law specifies the region and procedures for tequila production, according to a 1977 Mexican legislation (NORMA OFICIAL MEXICANA, NOM-006-SCFI-201). The blue Weber varietal gained its defined place in Mexican law for its taste and history, not because of any arbitrary criterion.
How much agave does it take to make tequila? It takes about 20 agaves to make one bottle of tequila. One agave plant produces about 50 pounds of agave hearts. This means that to produce enough agave for 20 bottles of tequila, you would need 1,000 pounds of agave hearts.
With these facts, you can see how long it would take for one person to produce their tequila supply by growing and harvesting these plants on-site themselves!
If two people were living together who wanted their own “personal” batch each (assuming equal distribution), they could do so using only ten plants each.
So, having a lot of agave plants could be a fun project for you and your friends!
Meaning Of ‘100% Agave’ On Tequila Bottles
While researching tequilas you may have seen the term “100% agave” on labels. But what does this mean for your choice at the bar or liquor store? We spoke with Alex Villalobos, CEO of Rancho La Gloria Tequila to learn more about 100% agave spirit.
‘100% agave’ means there are no other ingredients added; just pure agave nectar! Tequila must contain 51% or more of this sugar from an Agavaceae family member called mescal (also spelled mezcal). If you see tequila labeled as Blanco/Silver then it has not been aged so its agave flavor will be stronger than other types such as reposado or añejo.
Hopefully knowing about Agaves from this article will help you further to choose tequila as your preferred drink.