Daydreaming about floating in the sparkling blue pool of your summer vacation rental in Phoenix, sipping an ice cold margarita and watching the sunset? You should make that happen! And if you need a reason to celebrate, it’s National Tequila Day today! Moxie Girl is here share some interesting facts about this potent spirit – and a recipe for our very own MoxieRita!
Whether you are on Team Frozen or Team On-the-Rocks, if you enjoy a margarita you are not alone especially here in Arizona. Try this version – the MoxieRita – using prickly pear syrup for a unique taste of our beautiful desert AND our favorite color!
2 ounces tequila
4 ounce limeade
1 ounce prickly pear syrup
Course salt (optional) – pink if you can find it!
Pour salt onto a small plate and moisten the rim of the margarita glass – dip the rim in the salt.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in all liquid ingredients. Cover, shake and strain over ice into your sugar-rimmed margarita glass.
Need some reading material while you sip? How about a few fun facts about tequila?
It’s Not Just a Name
Similar to champagne vs. sparkling wine, tequila has rules for being true tequila. To be labeled as tequila, the spirit must be made in Mexico and contain at least 51% of its sugars from the blue agave plant – the Weber Blue Agave variation, to be exact. That means up to 49% of its sugars may a mixture of other agave sugars. Tequilas containing a higher percentage of the premium blue agave are considered to be superior quality, so read those labels!
We’re Surrounded by Agave – Why is Tequila so Pricey?
Many variations of the agave plant are native to the hot, dry regions of Mexico and the Southwestern United States, including Arizona. Look around – you’ll probably spot at least one. But of course, it’s the treasured blue agave that makes tequila, tequila. Most blue agave plants take at least six years to mature, and it may be two to four years after that for the plant to be harvest-ready. One agave plant equals roughly only 3 – 4 liters of 100% tequila. And once the agave has been harvested, that’s all, folks!
The Heart of the Matter
It’s the center, or heart, of the agave plant which is used to make tequila. The leaves of the giant plant are cut away and the heart is harvested and baked. The agave juices are then extracted, fermented and distilled. The heart of a blue agave may weigh up to 200 pounds and is referred to as the “pina” because it looks like a giant pineapple when harvested. The origin of this process may be traced back to the ancient Aztecs, who favored a drink called “pulque” which also used the fermented sap of the agave. Even what we know today as “modern” tequila dates back to the 1700s.
That Worm, Tho!
If your bottle of “tequila” came with a worm, stop right there. You’ve got yourself a bottle of mescal, not tequila. Remember the rules about blue agave percentages? While true tequila must contain at least 51% sugars from blue agave, mescal uses the same process and creates a similar spirit, but has no such requirements. The sugars in mescal may be produced using any agave plant and some mescal producers add a whole insect larva, aka “the worm”, during bottling…for flavor!
“Arriba, abajo al centro y para dentro – salud!” (Up, down, to center and into – cheers!) We hope you enjoy National Tequila Day! As always, please drink responsibly and hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE! (Did we mention, HYDRATE?!?!) Our Arizona sun is brutal and if you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already on your way to dehydration – and nobody wants that.
Moxie Girl has valuable information to help make your summer vacation rental a success for both vacation rental home owners and guests – in addition to smart tips for party prep, serving and clean-up for more carefree summer soirees. Check our past blogs and don’t miss the new ones – follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on everything Moxie!