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We’re Cookin’ with Tequila!

We’re Cookin’ with Tequila!

Blue Weber Agave plant

To be called 'tequila', an alcoholic beverage must be made from the Blue Weber Agave plant.

July 24th is National Tequila Day!

In honor of this day, we'd like to dedicate this post to North America's first distilled spirit. Tequila has been produced in México since shortly after the Spanish conquered the country in the early 1500s. Similar to cognac and champagne in terms of specific growing regions, only alcoholic beverages made with Blue Weber Agave (Agave Tequilana Weber Blue), grown within approximately a one hundred mile radius of the town of Tequila in Jalisco State, and under the rules of the Official Norma of Tequila, can be labelled as "Tequila".

There are two basic categories of tequila: mixtos and 100% agave. Mixtos tequila uses no less than 51% agave, with other sugars making up the remainder. Mixtos tequila tends to be more economical and is commonly used in mixed drinks. The 100% agave tequila, a higher quality tequila, can be used in mixed drinks, but it can also be served by itself. A new breed of premium and ultra-premium tequilas have recently come to market made from 100% Blue Weber Agave. Called "sipping tequila" these brands are quite smooth and are meant to be sipped from a glass created especially for these higher end tequilas by the famous Riedel Crystal company.

Beyond the ever-popular margarita, tequila aficionados are finally giving this spirit the respect it deserves. More chefs from coast to coast are experimenting with different types of tequila in their recipes as well. It is showing up in high end restaurants in Houston, such as TQLA. There's even a new Tequila Library (where you buy and store your tequila) located in The Marque in Houston CitiCentre.

Cooking with tequila can add depth to a simmering sauce or it can add a splash of zing to a dessert. The longer it cooks and the higher the temperature, the more alcohol is burned off. Also, when cooking with tequila, or any spirit, remember that alcohol has a higher freezing point and it may affect the consistency of a frozen dessert.

To get you cookin' with tequila, try recipes from our Recipe Corner.

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