National Tequila Day is back, and it’s better than ever!

That’s right, National Tequila Day is back for 2022, and we’ve got even more to celebrate! Now, you may or may not remember, but last year was the inaugural year of National Tequila Day here in the USA. Granted, everyone enjoys a nice cold margarita on Cinco de Mayo, but up until this time a year ago, our favorite spirit never had its own official day. What’s even better this year than last year you might ask? Well, as you probably noted in one of our latest installments, we let you all know how Tequila  passed whiskey in terms of total dollars spent right here in the USA. Not to keep on bragging but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that on our very own national day! That being said however, there’s always a reason to celebrate national tequila day, and we’re going to list a few ways for you to celebrate, and chill, in style!

#1 reason to enjoy a tequila right now, it is HOT out

So as you probably know by now, while our delicious Señor Rio tequila is distilled and bottled in Jalisco Mexico, our principal offices are here in the USA, in Arizona, right outside Phoenix! Obviously, we know something about the heat out in the desert, but other places across the USA are absolutely scorching right now as well! Houston, TX is setting records that haven’t been broken since the time of President Grant, yes the one on the $50 bill! From Vegas to New Orleans, to Wichita to Albuquerque, the vast American west and plains has a brutal heat dome on top of us, and it doesn’t seem to want to leave! So, if there was ever a time where you needed motivation to break out the blender and make yourself a margarita to help cool off, here’s your opportunity!

Chill your drink, but not your Tequila!

So, a lot of people like to chill their bottle of tequila before they sip it, especially the blanco variety. While we totally understand wanting a cold drink in your hand, we also believe in experiencing the full flavor of our delicious spirit! Unfortunately, when a drink has been chilled to ice cold levels (remember, alcohol does not freeze at 32 F!), it dulls those hard working taste buds of yours, and thus eliminates a lot of the quality you would get when sipping a world class tequila! So, get creative, use our website for some delicious and amazing cocktail ideas. Remember, your tequila is already smooth yet vibrant, and  wants to be celebrated for its flavor, and not dulled to the point of tastelessness!

Cheers, you’re a part of *the* scene!

One thing we love to brag about here at Señor Rio is you. No, seriously! We love to boast that we have one of the most loyal fan bases out there in the tequila world! I mean let’s face it, you’re awesome, we’re awesome, what’s not to love? But in all sincerity, if you’re a Señor Rio fan, chances are you’ve known about our quality and delicious flavor profiles for some time now. So while everyone is jumping on the tequila bandwagon, you’ve been a tequila aficionado for quite some time, and you know the goods when you see it, and taste it! So, as we have said and will continue to say to all our fans, OG’s or new, enjoy your tequila day, and Salud!

*Thirsty for more info about Señor Rio and other tequila news? Sign up for our exclusive newsletter here, or visit us directly at

Happy 4th of July from Señor Rio!

Happy 4th of July to all of our favorite Señor Rio fans and followers! Alright you guys, we know you’ve probably got some great plans for your 4th of July and beyond, so we thought we’d just take a minute before the big fireworks show to let you all know we hope you’re having a happy, fun, and yes SAFE 4th of July. We love big bangs as much as you all, but we also know its gonna be a lot harder for you to enjoy your favorite summer cocktails if you lose a few digits over the weekend, so please be safe with all your pyrotechnic activities! That being said, here’s a few tips, drink ideas, and fun ways you can enjoy some of your favorite beverages on this great American holiday.

It’s hot out, so grab something cold!

As you probably know by now, your favorite tequila Señor Rio is from the lowlands of Jalisco, but we’re based out of the greater Phoenix area, so we definitely know how to deal with the heat this time of year. Whether you’re in the pool, grabbing some shade, or enjoying a nice break in the air conditioning, here are a few drink ideas to help relax and cool off!

  1. Margarita. This is as simple as it gets. Grab your preferred Señor Rio (we recommend blanco), your favorite margarita mix, shake it over ice, and enjoy!
  2. Citrus Rio! You all may or may not recall, but this is our take on the popular ranch water concept. Grab a Topo Chico (or your favorite bubbly water), take a big gulp, and then pour in some Señor Rio blanco and top it with a lime wedge. Refreshing!
  3. Paloma. The desert specialty! Get some grapefruit juice, agave nectar, and 2 oz of your favorite Señor Rio tequila (blanco or reposado is our choice), shake over ice, and pour into a glass with salt on the rim! 

So those are just a few ideas in case you’re stuck, but we know if you’re a Señor Rio fan you’ve got a few aces up your sleeve as well ;).

Safety first!

Whether you’re a first rate pyrotechnician (yes that is in fact the correct term!) or just lighting off some sparklers and bottle rockets, always remember to have safety and cation in mind. After all, our first responders could use a break from us as well. And with that in mind, a few quick tips never hurt. Never point any fireworks at anyone, even if they did just spill their drink everywhere. Even when a firework is done, douse it in some water before throwing it away, sometimes these items can reignite and cause fires! Lastly, we’re happy you’re having a few drinks, but maybe let that friend or neighbor who hasn’t had as many drinks handle the lighting situation, just to be on the safe side. Oh, and lastly, get home safe! An Uber ride and picking up your car the next day may be a hassle, but it beats the alternative of driving impaired, every single time!

Now go have a blast!

Literally! Ok, well, you know what we mean, keep all those injuries to an appropriate nil. But seriously, enjoy the independence of our great and ever changing country in style, we’d love to see how you’ve included Señor Rio in your holiday plans on our social media pages. So be safe, have fun, and as always, “Salud!”

*Thirsty for more info about Señor Rio and other tequila news? Sign up for our exclusive newsletter here, or visit us directly at 

Move over whiskey, papas got a brand new…Tequila!

Alright you all, we’re not trying to brag or anything, but we’ve got some big news to tell you all about. Now, we can’t take credit for all of this, but we’d like to think we’ve played a small part in what we’re about to share. But that being said, if sales patterns remain consistent for the rest of the year, tequila (and mezcal, gotta include that) is about to unseat whiskey in terms of total dollars spent for the first time ever! That’s right, you’re getting this straight from the horse’s mouth, the land known for its deep brown whiskeys and bourbons is about to spend more on agave spirits than grandpa’s old sour mash. And just in case you weren’t aware, bourbon is in fact the official spirit of the United States. Well, looks like Uncle Sam has a taste of what’s going on south of the border. So with that, let’s dive into what’s going on!

Celebrities have been cashing in!

So if you’ve read our blog before, you know we don’t like to bad mouth anyone else’s product, since we’re all in the same boat together. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight the fact that so many of the celebrities out there are lending their names not to vodka, or gin, or bourbons or whiskey’s, but to tequila! What’s driving the love of tequila is anyone’s guess. Seriously, if you happen to know a Hollywood agent who is telling all of his high profile clients to get behind tequila, send us a line, we’d like to thank him! That said, if you know us, you know we’ve humble bragged for years about not just the quality, and the taste of our tequilas, but also the health benefits vs other spirits (remember those little miracle molecules known as agavins??), and the unique stories we present. Regardless of what the motivation is behind famous athletes, movie stars, social media influences, and yes the world’s wealthiest man all lending their name and likeness to one specific spirit, all we can say is “bienvenidos!”

Don’t get cocky or anything over there….

Us?? Señor Rio? Never! No, we like to stay true to who we are and what we do, which is make one excellent bottle of tequila at a time for you, our loyal customer to enjoy. But let’s also be honest, we’d be lying if we didn’t tell you we were excited about the future of not just our product, but tequila in general. Clearly, tequila has clearly come a long way from the tired old stereotype of a party drink you have to chase with a slice of lime just to make it go down well. Nope, we are very much happy to see that a glass of anejo is every bit as welcome at the steak house as is a fine bourbon or whiskey. Yes indeed, we’ve come a long way, and we’re happy to be here!

Not just following the crowd, influencing it!

So there are lots of really great tequilas out there, and we hope you sincerely expand your palate as much as you’d like. But while so many products are using high powered marketing campaigns or endorsements, you’ve got an ace up your sleeve, you’ve got the Señor Rio brand. Our unique bottle, our amazing taste, and yes all the awards that have come along the way are your way of saying you’re not just part of the tequila crowd, you’ve been here and you’ve got the goods! So to you our loyal fan, or first time buyer, we say welcome to the club! Salud!

*Thirsty for more info about Señor Rio and other tequila news? Sign up for our exclusive newsletter here, or visit us directly at 

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a Señor Rio Ambassador?

So if you’re here reading our blog, we take it you’re a fan of ours. You like our tequila, you like our website, and you like what we’ve got to say! Well, if you’re that big of a fan, have you ever considered joining us?? Like a lot of places right now, I’m sure you’ve seen help wanted signs. Well, when it comes to talking about and selling some of the best tasting tequila in the world, we’re always open to anyone who wants to come on board! But before we start talking particulars, do you think you’ve got what it takes to help rep the Señor Rio brand? Let’s find out!

Ok, you love tequila, but can you tell us why?

Part of being a tequila aficionado isn’t just drinking it, but hey, that’s a great start! Apart from just telling us, can you describe what makes our tequila special? Is it the single estate agaves that give us our signature smoothness and sip-ability? Or maybe it’s the fact we import all of our white oak cognac barrels from France to give us that extra special attention to detail that others might not? Now, we know that you know all of these things make our tequila the award winning, but can you describe all of our special characteristics to a new or seasoned tequila drinker? We believe you can!

Curb your enthusiasm, said no one ever!

You can tell we’re passionate about our product, and like we said earlier, if you’re here, it means you probably are too! The fact of the matter is, we don’t believe in negative selling. Sure, we love our product, and we’re happy to tell you what makes our product unique and special, but raising tequila awareness in general is also something we’re very proud to do! So someone may or may not like our tequila as much as the next brand, you know what, that’s ok! Don Julio 1942 is a great product, and we’re never going to sit there and bad mouth someone else’s quality. Rather, we’re going to highlight what we think makes us every bit as good! We’ve got our amazing CEO Debbie who started this tequila from scratch with her late husband Jonathan. We also do amazing things with charities like food banks and our partnership with We Care Crusade, which helps special needs children! At the end of the day, we’re all on the same side when it comes to loving great tequila, and helping others.

We walk the walk, and talk the talk!

At the end of the day, the Señor Rio team is just that, a team! A group of like minded people working together towards a single goal of promoting our great product and great story. When you work with a team like that, you know you’ve got others to watch out and help when you need it! Señor Rio team members work across the country and are always willing to share their experience and knowledge on what works for them. Nobody’s perfect, but at the end of the day when we help each other with tips and pointers, we all grow together! Oh, and did we mention our very own Debbie still travels and does her own tastings across the country as well. It’s one thing to have a boss, it’s completely different to have a leader, and we’ve got a great one!

When you think you’re ready, reach out!

Seriously, if this blog or our product has inspired you to think about a gig selling some world class tequila, you can reach out here and one of our team members would be happy to talk and see if you’d be a good fit! If everything checks out, you’ll be welcomed to the team! Representing great tequila, making some extra $, and expanding your sales skills? Sounds like a winner to us! So as always, keep sipping world class tequila, and “Salud!”

*Thirsty for more info about Señor Rio and other tequila news? Sign up for our exclusive newsletter here, or visit us directly at

His Holiness: I need more tequila in my life!

So you don’t have to be Catholic to find this funny! Recently while rehabbing his knee, Pope Francis was meeting with some seminarians visiting from Mexico. After some light hearted quips about the current state of his knee, the Pontiff told the young clergymen “I could use some tequila!” Apparently the young men found it not only hilarious, but also promised to bring the Pope some tequila the next time they visit! We can’t be sure of what tequila they will bring, but here’s hoping these young men of God choose some of the finest tequila in the world, our very own Señor Rio! At any rate, this is a story we just couldn’t ignore!

The Pope and alcohol, not the first time!

Once again, whether you are Catholic or not, you may not be shocked to know this is not the first time the pope has been associated with fine spirits! A few years back, a traveling Catholic Missionary well known for his exploits across the globe, Fr Jim Sichko, happened to bestow a very special gift for Pope Francis on a visit to the Vatican. This time however, it wasn’t tequila, but a very rare and expensive bottle of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon! No word on which spirit the vicar of Christ prefers more, but we’re just gonna go out on a limb and remind you all, he did ask specifically for tequila, just saying!

Praying for a different kind of “spirit”

Let’s be honest, we’ve all had a day like his holiness. In the case of Pope Francis, his knee is bugging him. Now we’re not suggesting you all use tequila, or any spirit for that matter to medicate, far from it! That being said, we all know what it can be like to definitely “pray” for a drink at the moment. A busy day after work, or rushing through the airport, or having to chauffeur your child and all their friends around on a busy Saturday afternoon. Sometimes you just say to yourself “Lord, I could really use a drink right about now!” Well, never forget that is exactly why we distill and make Señor Rio tequila. Sometimes you need a minute to yourself or a good couple of friends and just raise a glass and enjoy the taste and sensation you get with drinking fine tequila.

Turning water into….tequila?

Not quite, but we would be remiss if we didn’t remind you all about that little extra that makes our tequila so special! As Jesus is written to have turned water into wine, you’ll remember that cognac is distilled from yes, wine! And you’ll also remember that we use cognac barrels to age our delicious reposados and anejos! Now, we’re not saying our tequilas are the stuff of miracles, we’ll leave that to the Church, but we won’t be surprised if you give us a hearty “amen!” after tasting one of our award winning tequilas. Ok, so you can tell we’re having some fun with this entire scenario, but like we always say “sharing tequila is sharing life” and what is life without a little humor and light hearted fun with the Pope wanting some tequila. So as always friends, and Catholics and non Catholics alike, we say “Salud!”

*Thirsty for more info about Señor Rio and other tequila news? Sign up for our exclusive newsletter here, or visit us directly at 

Tequila sipping vessels!

So we know what you’re thinking, and no this is not some ploy for us to sell you a new line of glassware. As far as we’re concerned, the Señor Rio bottle and its iconic design is here to stay! But seriously for a moment, think about it. By now, you’ve constantly heard us tell you that shooting is NOT the correct method of drinking fine tequilas. So, if you’re not going to shoot it, and you are going to sip it and savor it, what type of glass exactly should you be using? That’s what we’re here to tell you! Like many other cocktails and drinks you’re familiar with, you know that certain glassware is appropriate for certain drinks. The iconic martini comes to mind. Or the standard short glass with a big block of ice for the bourbon / whiskey man. Well, once again tequila is no exception, so enjoy this brief tutorial on different tequila vessels and the ways to use them!

The Snifter

This may be the most iconic of all sipping glasses, and we should know, it’s how our founder and CEO Debbie chooses to enjoy her reposado! The snifter is an elegant yet simple design, crafted specifically for letting the tequila breathe and take in the air. Yes, you heard that right! Similar to wine and other spirits, letting the air and tequila adjust together allows you to enjoy the different aromas your tequila has to offer, while also letting the oxidation work its magic in helping the tequila mature, even if ever so briefly, before it hits your lips. This helps you enjoy the complexities that come with enjoying an aged tequila like reposado or anejo!

The Riedel

Another classic looking glass in our recommended list, you may associate this glassware with another top shelf form of spirit, champagne! Well, as usual, you the connoisseur get to choose what you put in! Simple yet sophisticated, the riedel also allows for small quantities of air to enter and help your tequila get some last second maturing and breathing in before you enjoy. Due to the thinner construction, this also is highly recommended for sipping your tequila! However, separate from the snifter, the riedel can be used to make a simple cocktail as well! We think our classic spritzer recipe looks quite elegant in this piece! 

Mexican hand blown glass

So all spirits can be enjoyed in a snifter, but only the official spirit of Mexico can be enjoyed in Mexican hand blown glass! Ok, so that’s not an official rule or anything, but let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to see a vintage Scotch or Gin drinker using some colorful glass from the streets of Guadalajara with their drinks! Considering that tequila must come from the blue agave, grown in Mexico, and distilled in only 5 states within Mexico (*can you remember which? Answers at the end!), it’s only fitting that your tequila be served in authentic hand made glasses from its country of origin. So next time you’re on a trip to one of our favorite countries in the world, go pick some up and add to your bar collection!

Whatever you have available!

Ok, so we’re saying this obviously tongue in cheek. At the end of the day, there’s no “wrong” glass to drink tequila in, as long as you love it and are enjoying it responsibly! The way we see it, the world has enough do-as-we-say types trying to micromanage your life from top to bottom, and that’s not what tequila is always about! Nope, tequila is about slowing down, enjoying life, and as our message in a bottle will always read “Sharing tequila, is sharing life.” So next time you’re at a Total Wine & More store looking to pick up a bottle of Señor Rio, take a minute and see if any snifters or by chance Mexican glasses are available, and as always friends, “Salud!”

*Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacán and Tamaulipas

**Thirsty for more info about Señor Rio and other tequila news? Sign up for our exclusive newsletter here, or visit us directly at

What Cinco de Mayo is (and isn’t) and how to celebrate it!

Alright everybody, it’s hard to believe it, but we are full on into spring of 2022 and all the exciting times that come with it! In a few short weeks Memorial Day will be here, summer will be in full swing, and trips to the beach, parties, cook outs, and everything awesome that comes with the summer will be upon us! Before we can get into all that however, we need to talk about a very special day near and dear to all tequila drinkers and lovers of Mexico, and that is Cinco de Mayo! Now don’t get us wrong, we’re going to talk tacos, tequila, guacamole, parties, and all the good stuff. But you know us here at Señor Rio tequila, we’re perfectionists, and we want you fully armed with facts as well as tequila when the day comes, so let’s get ready for Cinco 2022 in style!

Cinco is NOT Mexican Independence Day

So this one is easy to get mixed up. For obvious reasons here in the USA, when we hear Cinco de Mayo we’re obviously going to think of our own Independence Day, the Fourth of July. Well, while Cinco is a Mexican holiday, it represents Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the battle of Puebla in 1862. So if you’re not the biggest history buff, you’re probably thinking “What? Mexico? French Empire? Huh?” So yeah, quick history lesson. As you probably know, in 1862 the USA was fighting its civil war, and unable to enforce the Monroe Doctrine. European powers once again tried to set foot in North America, this time the French Empire under Napoleon III. Well, trying to expand his empire he set sights on Mexico, and landed around 8,000 French soldiers in Veracruz. Outnumbered by about 2 to 1, the Mexicans nevertheless fought back and won on, you guessed it, the 5th of May, and today they use this day to celebrate that victory!

Ok I’m all caught up, now what?

Enjoy! Cinco de Mayo is not just a day to drink (we’ll get to that in a second), but a day to celebrate all things Mexico! Try some authentic Mexican cuisine, and no not Taco Bell, we’re talking real stuff! Albondigas, chilaquiles, and elote del mercado are a few authentic Mexican recipes and a great way to start your culinary day. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your guac and queso and chips and salsa, far from it! Rather, we think this is a great time to explore just a small sample of the true taste Mexico has to offer. As for the drinks, well, we know you’re ready to get started, so without further ado, let’s go!

Now you really get to be creative!

So now that you’re planning your Cinco festivities, let’s get some creative libations to go along with. We’ll never say no to a good margarita, but tequila is such a fun and versatile spirit, there’s literally countless ways for you to enjoy it! You’ve probably heard us tell you this before, but Señor Rio founder and CEO Debbie loves to sip her reposado neat with a slice of orange and a little bit of cinnamon sprinkled over it. If you want a simple cocktail, grab a Topo Chico, take a big refreshing gulp, and then pour a little of our Señor Rio blanco back inside the bottle, top it with a lemon wedge, and enjoy. We call this the “Citrus Rio”! Want something more sophisticated? Take 1.5 oz of Señor Rio (any kind), mix with .25 agave nectar, a few squirts of lime juice, and shake over ice and strain into a martini glass and you’ve got a margatini! Still not satisfied? We’ve got a whole page on our website, just click here and you’ll see tons of recipes!

Ready, Set, Party!

So by now you should be ready to have a phenomenal Cinco De Mayo with some friends and family. You’re all caught up history wise, you’ve got some great Mexican dishes to enjoy, and you’ve got access to plenty of wonderful tequila cocktails on our Señor Rio website. The only thing left for you to do is get out there and have a safe and wonderful Cinco De Mayo, Salud!

*Thirsty for more info about Señor Rio and other tequila news? Sign up for our exclusive newsletter here, or visit us directly at

Psst! Did you know?

Debbie Medina Gach, co-founder and operator of Señor Rio Tequila also has a non profit organization dedicated to helping special needs children? Yup! This non profit is called We Care Crusade, and it is dedicated to helping these special young people achieve everything they can in life, and right now as summer is right around the corner, she’s raising money to help send kids to camp!

Think back to a time when you were a child…was Summer Camp one of the highlights? For children with special needs, camp isn’t always an option.

We’re on a mission to change that by sending as many kids as we can to Summer Camp AND we need your help!

Bloomfield Hills SCAMP is “a special camp for summer fun” that runs for 5 weeks every Summer. And they’ve been doing it since 1967!

Each camper enjoys a variety of activities focused on improving social skills, language enrichments, and prevocational skills. There’s art, music therapy, and physical education including swimming!

Your donation, no matter how small, allows us to give scholarships to kids who are not able to afford the cost.

Please visit and make a difference in a child’s life this Summer.

You’ll feel good knowing that you’re giving them the opportunity to attend camp!

Don’t forget, all donations are tax deductible!

What did you do that you wish you didn’t after drinking tequila?

Ok, this one is a bit of a loaded question. We’re not trying to go all “Taxi Cab Confessions” on you all, but we do hear a lot of phrases paired with the word tequila. “Oh man, that was a night I’ll never forget,” and “Wow, that’s a night I definitely don’t remember!” are two of the contrasting quips that get thrown around quite frequently. While we can’t deny you had a great time in Cancun during that one spring break, there are also other aspects of regret that can come with our favorite spirit tequila. So let’s have some fun, and go down memory lane with a few of these!

I wish I hadn’t drank all that other stuff before!

So, believe it or not, we were once young people ourselves. And as young people, we drank some of the stuff we “thought” was tequila, but was really more of a marketing ploy. Now, we’re not going to name names, but there are spirits out there that aren’t actually tequila but are marketed as such. You’ve probably heard this from us before, but just in case you need a post tequila refresher, remember this: if it doesn’t say 100% de agave on the bottle, it’s not pure tequila, and that’s why you probably had a bit of an adventure that one night! Also, very important, there is no “gold” tequila. It’s reposado or anejo. Buying a gold tequila is like buying “champagne” made in Nebraska, it isn’t the real thing! So if you learn anything from one of those regretful nights, remember you want 100% blue weber agave, and a blanco, reposado, or anejo.

Alright, time to spill some secrets…

Stories that end up with strangers in Las Vegas notwithstanding, let’s talk about bad decisions. No, no, you can keep all the stories that end up with you asleep on the floor of the hotel lobby at 3 am to yourself, that’s all you. No, what we’re here to tell you is *why* you made those decisions after drinking tequila. Chances are, you were shooting it and chasing it with a lime. While we’ve checked our judgments at the door, we can say you were making a mistake. Shooting tequila is very much the college kid thing to do with the wrong tequila like the wrong guy. All true lovers of tequila know that it is a refined drink that is meant to be taken just as seriously as any other fine spirit. As always, Choose carefully making your selection, find which variety suits you, and take your time to savor it. Neat, on the rocks, or maybe in a delicious cocktail, all are great ways to truly enjoy quality tequila. But remember, no shooting! Not unless you want to forget about whatever you did that night, then you’re on your own!

Live without regrets!

As lovers of fine tequila ourselves, we believe in living without regrets and enjoying the moment. That is exactly what Señor Rio was made for: enjoying life and loving every minute of it. We absolutely encourage all our fans to celebrate with Señor Rio tequila any way they see fit, but remember the wise words we’ve offered above, and don’t say we didn’t warn you, Salud! 
*Thirsty for more info about Señor Rio and other tequila news? Sign up for our exclusive newsletter here, or visit us directly at

Tequila and Mezcal, what’s the difference?

Like many of you out there, we’re doing our best to start 2022 off right.  Maybe you wanted to try a new activity, learn a new skill, work on those oh so important home improvements, or maybe a little self betterment as well.  For those of you looking to broaden your horizons in the spirits world, you may have noticed that Tequila has a distant relative. It’s made in Mexico, also made from agaves, but there’s definitely some significant differences this long lost cousin has as well. Yes, we’re talking about Mezcal, another spirit native to Mexico. Well, while we fancy ourselves Tequila connoisseurs at Señor Rio, we’re happy to talk about what makes both Tequila and Mezcal different, and also unique.

Mezcal, a brief history

Rooted deep in indigenous Mexican peoples history, Mezcal’s origin is a tale of legends! Originally a name in Nahuatl, the language of native Mexicans before the arrival of the Spanish, Mezcal roughly translates to “cooked agave.” While there is no recorded date on when the first Mezcal was officially made, Mexican legend states that during a fierce thunderstorm, lightning struck a patch of agaves, setting it on fire. After the storm passed, the indigenous people noticed a sweet aroma emanating from cooked agaves, and set about finding a way to incorporate it into their diet. Upon introducing it to the process of fermentation, the alcohol was produced from the simple plant juice of the agave family, most notably the maguey plant (the use of multiple, and not just one specific kind of the agave family of plants would go on to mark the biggest distinction between Mezcal and Tequila). Later, as the Spanish would arrive and explore, they would introduce the process of distillation using copper stills from the old world to create what would later become tequila!

It’s all in the recipe, and the technique!

As with making any great culinary masterpiece, the first step is always the recipe, and the ingredients! To be considered a Tequila, the drink must be made of a specific species of agave, the blue weber agave to be precise, or for you up and coming botanists, the agave tequilana Weber per its scientific classification. Mezcal on the other hand can be made up of over 50 different species of native agave plants. Next is the method of producing the drink itself. Both methods harvest the plant and remove the leaves, leaving only the center or piña. However, whereas most piñas are steamed (Señor Rio roasts ours, just FYI ;), piñas intended for mezcal are roasted in underground pits, which give what many consider to be Mezcal’s signature smoky flavor.

Like real estate, there’s also the matter of location

Mezcal, like Tequila, is a Denominación de Origen (DO) product, which gives the spirit the exclusiveness of being made only in certain regions of Mexico. As a result, Mezcal must be made within certain Mexican states, namely Oaxaca, Guerrero, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Zacatecas, San Luís Potosí, Tamaulipas, Durango and Puebla. Tequila’s regions are slightly more exclusive, and must be made in the states of Jalisco, Guanajuanto, Tamaulipas, Michoacan and Nayarit.

Say salud to diversity!

While we’d be lying if we didn’t say we have a soft spot for Tequila, especially our tequila Señor Rio, there’s nothing that says we can’t enjoy other fine spirits now and again! Sure they’re made slightly different, and come from different areas, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate what makes them similar! Harvesting agaves and roasting agaves, using the process of fermentation to make a spirit that’s enjoyed neat or in a cocktail, what’s not to love? So, as you continue to enjoy fine spirits and broaden your knowledge, take some time to explore the deeper roots of Mexico’s two most favorite spirits, you won’t be disappointed! 

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