Many a time has there been men of the night raising their hands and glasses to the skies giving praise to the ones responsible for providing them with the nectar of the gods. As the hand comes down and the glass makes contact with the lips, these warriors down their contents, and are filled with a rush of flavor and intensity. As one contemplates the idea of a night long-forgotten, it’s easy to overlook the care and passion that goes into making a drink popular all over the world. Tequila.
Tequila is a mezcal deriving its name from the city of tequila in the state of Halesco, Mexico. It’s sweet touch and distinct flavor come from the distillation of the piña (core) of the agave plant. An agave plant is grown for several years in the field before it is harvested for the piña. From there it is sent to a distillery to be processed into tequila.
At the Hacienda Corralejo, agave piñas are transformed into drinks poured from bottles famous for their cobalt-blue color. Productions starts with the receipt of the piñas in trucks. At this point, it is the cleaned and cut in smaller pieces to then be placed in an oven. After baking in the oven, it goes to a pressure cooker, vat, then it is distilled. Upon exiting the distillation process, it will either be bottled or placed in barrels to age over time. Later, when the time is right, the product will be bottled and later shipped for sale in other countries, to include within Mexico itself. While tequila brings in revenue for the country of Mexico, it also has taken a toll on the environment.
Agave is a plant that grows in difficult terrain and climates. It encourages the grow of other vegetation creating stability in the soil, and restoring organic material back into the it as well. However, the domestication of the particular kind of agave used to make tequila leaves little room for ecological diversification. In addition, it also doesn’t possess the same number of benefits other agave plants can, and do, provide for us today.
Despite it all, our group enjoyed ourselves learning how tequila is made as well as the history behind the Hacienda Corralejo. However, the industry started with mezcal from Tequila and is now global as the nectar of agave continues to satisfy the hands of both time, and the men of the night.