Given Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner, we wanted to teach you more about tequila, where it comes from, along with basic calorie information for the most popular drinks that have tequila.
In a region that’s now the Jalisco state of Mexico, the conquistadors arrived from Spain to find the Aztecs drinking a fermented beverage called octli brewed from agave. And when the Spaniards ran out of their European brandy, they distilled the blue agave plant to produce one of North America’s first native spirits: Tequila.
While producers shipped Tequila to the US as early as the 1850s, it didn’t become a popular spirit until the 1960s, when the Margarita made its appearance as a cocktail staple and mixed drinks with Tequila exploded onto the scene. 1
Today, Tequila saturates the liquor market, and though all Tequila is distilled from agave, there are two basic categories: mixtos and 100% agave. The mixtos uses no less than 51% agave, but other sugars make up the remainder. The distinction in flavor comes from the base ingredient, which makes 100% agave more complex.
In addition to this basic difference, Tequila is bottled in one of five categories:2
The more aged Tequilas are generally smoother and more complex, while the Blanco has the harsher flavor of the agave at the front of the palate.
Traditionally in Mexico, you would drink Tequila straight, without lime and salt. The lime and salt variation many in the US and other countries are familiar with is known as the “tequila cruda” or “training wheels.” A 1 oz. shot of Tequila is usually between 64 and 69 calories, and most mixed drinks include more than just one.
Some of the most popular cocktails created with Tequila also include high amounts of fruit juice, which significantly increase the sugar content:3
Hope this helps you find some ways to stay healthy and keep the festivities going – enjoy Cinco de Mayo!