Having its origins dating back to the Maya through the Spanish Conquistadors and Mezcal, Tequila’s resurgence in recent years is due to an explosion in the premium tequila market. From Patron to Don Julio and Cabo Wabo, the $50 tequila bottle seems to be arriving on every liquor shelf in the country. From Blanco’s, to Reposado’s and darker Anejo’s, tequila has earned its place among the world’s finest drinks. Read below for a history and timeline of this classic spirit.
Legend has it that before the Hispanic era, in what is now known as Jalisco, Mexico, a group of Indians were looking for shelter from a storm and hid in an area full of Blue Agave. By the hand of the Mayan God Mayahuel, a bolt of lightning hit the maguey bush and it began burning. When Tlaloc the Rain God finally put out the fire, the aroma coming from the maguey bush was very enticing. When one Indian tasted the plant, he passed it around to the others and the Agave plant and tequila became one of the most important treasures to the tribes of pre-Hispanic Mexico. The sweet nector of the agave is distilled into what is now modern day tequila. The most premium tequila’s are made with 100% blue agave and aged in oak barrels.
1758: Jose Cuervo buys a massive farmland to cultivate the blue agave plant, the origins of tequila.
1800: Tequila is aged in barrels for the first time, giving it flavor, complexity and creating a the true character of what tequila is to become.
1873: Tequila is first exported to the U.S. in El Paso Texas and spreads quickly.
1910: During the Mexican Revolution, Tequila becomes the symbol of national pride.
1935: The Margarita is born in Mexico and changes the cocktail world forever.
1940: Tequila rises in popularity in the United States as WWII halts European exports.
1968: The Olympic Games in Mexico City bring Tequila international notoriety and sales increase for decades.
1987: Don Julio launches a line of premium tequilas.
2005: 1800 Introduces a the first ever tequila portfolio of Silver, Reposado and Anejo
2006: Mexico passes a law requiring all Tequila to be bottled inside of Mexico to guarantee its’ quality.
2008: Patron silver is the favored shot of premium liquors in bars across the United States.