History of Tequila

Dr. Frederic Albert Constantin Weber discovered blue agave (also known as “agave azul”) near the town of Tequila in the late 1800s. Prior to its discovery, tequila makers created tequila from a variety of succulent plants, but Dr. Weber encouraged them to use only blue agave because its natural sugars were perfect for the spirit. Blue agave is formally known as “agave tequilana Weber” in his honor. Under Mexican law, no distilled spirit is real tequila unless it comes from the blue agave within designated districts in the state of Jalisco.

However, large corporate tequila makers were able to get an amendment passed that allows a distiller to call their spirit “tequila” as long as it is more than half blue agave. Thus, to reduce costs, many tequila makers use up to 49.9 percent sugar cane alcohol in their tequila (which is really just a very cheap un-aged rum). To counter the bad taste from the rum, such distillers use flavorings and chemicals to disguise the harsher qualities of the sugar cane alcohol. They also introduced the practice of using salt and lime, persuading American consumers that it’s a customary practice in Mexico (it’s not). The salt and lime anesthetize the taste buds so that you can tolerate a bad tequila. The sugar cane alcohol in cheap tequila is also what causes headaches and hangovers — something you won’t experience with top-shelf tequilas.

At Baston del Rey, we use only 100 percent blue agave to make our tequila and tequila liqueurs. We also do our best to use organic blue agave piñas that have not been exposed to pesticides or other chemicals. You can see our process of making artisanal tequila here, but we also hope you can come to Puerto Vallarta and see for yourself how we make it. Come taste all of our tequilas and liqueurs, and enjoy the sights and sun in one of the most beautiful areas in the world. We invite you to come be part of our family!