Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chinese Tequila: The Red Menace

I am as alarmed as any self-respecting Mexican at the prospect of Chinese tequila. Say it isn't so!
Can you imagine? My national pride is wounded just to think about it. And I have nothing against the Chinese. Some of my favorite food is Chinese. But tequila is from Mexico and should not be from anywhere else. Not China, not Canada, nowhere but MEX. But I am even more upset at this paragraph from the clueless BBC:

Marketing experts have tried to change its reputation from a cheap peasant drink to a sophisticated international spirit like whisky.

Excuse me, but tequila is not and never has been a cheap peasant drink. It is true that it has been a humble and, until recently, when it got fancy, a democratic spirit, imbibed by both peasants and presidents. It has always been the nectar of the gods. It will cure (in moderation) all your ills. Or at least it will make you feel that way for a while.
The misinformation about our esteemed national drink is staggering. Here are some useful clarifications:
No, it doesn't have a worm (that's mezcal).
No, you can't chug it like it's spring break. It is a sophisticated beverage, meant to be sipped and savored.
Yes, it will make you regret the day you were born if you overdo it and if you don't make sure it's made of 100% agave.
There is nothing better than a shot of good tequila with a Mexican beer chaser (do not attempt on an empty stomach)
Tequila is a jealous master. It does not agree with anything but beer. Do not mix.
Margaritas are lethal because of the high sugar content. The higher the sugar, the worse the hangover.
Better to have a clean shot of tequila with lime and salt on the side.
In my ultraorthodox view, if a Margarita comes from a blender, it is heresy. If it comes in flavors, it is blasphemy. If it comes without salt and on the rocks, it is apostasy. If it is not made with fresh squeezed lime juice, good tequila and triple sec, what is the point?

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