Hola de nuevo amigos! It's #TequilaTuesdays again and this time, we bring you 4 more Tequila facts that you might not have known about before. Couple these newfound facts with what we've already schooled you on previously, and you'll be one step closer towards becoming a true connoisseur of this prized Mexican liquor

[caption id="attachment_16539" align="aligncenter" width="760"]image source: tequilasource.com 

image source: tequilasource.com[/caption] 

Agave is NOT a cactus 

The first and most important thing you might have known about Tequila is the fact that it is a plant-based beverage made specifically from the Blue Agave. For reasons beyond our comprehension, it seems that many have pictured the plant as a cactus of some sort. 

Well, the truth is that Blue Agave is NOT a cactus. In fact, Blue Agave is actually a type of succulent plant that's related to the lily and amaryllis families, with spiky leaves and a juicy interior like a pineapple. 

[caption id="attachment_16541" align="aligncenter" width="500"]image source: Jose Cuervo 

image source: Jose Cuervo[/caption] 

Like fine wine, Tequila has terroir 

Now before you pass off Tequila as a 'cheap' or unrefined drink, think again. Like the grapes of fine wines, Tequila's Blue Agave does in fact have terroir - a set of all environmental factors that affect a crop's phenotype, unique environment contexts and farming practices, when the crop is grown in a specific habitat. 

Essentially, Blue Agave grown in the highlands north of Guadalajara are known for its fruitier and floral flavours. Blue Agave from the valleys on the other hand are known to have a bit of spice to their flavour. 

[caption id="attachment_16538" align="aligncenter" width="756"]image source: Don Julio

image source: Don Julio[/caption] 

Blue Agave is difficult to cultivate 

In its natural state, the Blue Agave is forbidding, with pointy needles and sharp leaves. Furthermore, it takes 8-12 years for the Blue Agave plant to mature enough for the Agave farmers (read Jimador) to harvest its heart or piƱa to make Tequila. 

Adding to that is the fact that the Blue Agave harvesting and Tequila making processes are done largely by hand. With premium Tequilas, humans extract the pulp from the fiber in large stone bowls after being ground down in the tahona. 

[caption id="attachment_16540" align="aligncenter" width="500"]image source: Jose Cuervo

image source: Jose Cuervo[/caption] 

Colour is NOT a guarantee of Tequila quality 

The colour of Tequila gets turned either from being aged in barrel or by the having colour additives added. A prime example of the latter is Gold Tequila as its clear and un-aged liquid has added colourings. 

Just remember that a premium white or Silver Tequila will taste much better than artificially coloured young Tequila. In other words, if you wanted a finer-tasting Tequila, your best bets lie in ones made of 100% that are slightly aged - Reposado or Anejo types. 

(Main image source: thebigmansion.com)