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204 × 128 × 18 mm
176 pages
57 illustrations, 55 in colour
01 Apr 2015

Tequila A Global History Ian Williams

With its unique aroma and heady buzz – the perfect accompaniment to even the spiciest tacos – tequila has won its way into drinkers’ hearts worldwide. There are few places on earth besides Mexico that have the climate and terrain to evolve the agave plant from which tequila is made, and there are even fewer people who have the patience to wait the seven years or more that it takes ‘the tree of marvels’ to grow. Tequila is a lively history of this potent and popular drink.

Mayans, Olmecs and Aztecs fermented a drink called pulque from the sap of the agave. It was reserved for pregnant women and priests – and their sacrifices. Later the Mexicans began to use distillation to make tequila and mescal and since its humble beginnings as a local firewater, it has exploded into global popularity.

Ian Williams visits countless tequila producers, distributors and connoisseurs to tell the story of how tequila started in the agave lands of Mexico, became an icon of youthful inebriation and then developed into a truly artisanal product which today draws the most discerning drinkers.

Including recipes for cocktails, as well as advice on the buying, storing, tasting and serving of tequila, mescal and other agave spirits, this book will delight beverage aficionados and anyone interested in the history of Mexico and its unique drinking culture.

Ian Williams is the author of Rum: A Social and Sociable History (2005). He lives in New York.

1. The History and Legend of the Spirit of Mexico
2. What’s in a Name? Protecting and Branding Tequila
3. Agave: Not a Cactus—But Definitely a Tree of Marvels
4. Agave: The Food—and Drink—of the Gods
5. Mescal Mythology, All Mixed Up?
6. Where It is Made: The Heart of Tequila
7. How it is Made: Do-it-yourself Tequila
8. Who Makes It: The Dynasties
9. The One with the Worms—Sometimes: Mescal
10. Going Global
Glossary and Definitions
Tequila Brands: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Websites and Associations
Photo Acknowledgements