History of Tequila

The Blue Agave (also known as “Agave Azul”) was discovered near the town of Tequila in the late 1800’s by Dr. Frederic Albert Constantin Weber. Prior to its discovery, tequila was made from a variety of succulent plants, but Dr. Weber encouraged tequila makers to use only Blue Agave because its natural sugars were perfect for the spirit. The Blue Agave was named for Dr. Weber, and the plant is formally known as “agave tequilana weber” in his honor. Under Mexican law, no distilled spirit can be called “tequila” unless it is made from the Blue Agave and it is made within designated districts within 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% 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. This is where the practice of using salt and lime comes from. Large tequila makers persuaded American consumers that this is a customary practice in Mexico, but it is not. The salt and lime anesthetize the taste buds so that you can tolerate a bad tequila. It is also the sugar cane alcohol that typically gives tequila drinkers a headache or hangover.

At Baston del Rey, we use only 100% 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. Our process of making artisanal tequila is described here, and we encourage you to watch the videos on how we make tequila. We also hope you can come to Puerto Vallarta and see for yourself how our tequilas are made. 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!