Cinco de Mayo: Save Mother Earth, Drink Tequila

cinco-de-mayo-paintingIt’s almost Cinco de Mayo. Did you know drinking tequila helps the environment? Keep reading and I’ll explain.

The answer lies in how tequila is made.

cinco-de-mayo-jimador
An oil painting at the Corralejo Tequila distillery in Pénjamo, Mexico, shows a jimador harvesting the piñas from which the juice is extracted

It all starts in the blue agave fields around Jalisco state in Mexico. Farm workers harvest blue agave plants in their twelfth year of maturity. The jimadores carefully choose the plants and remove the spiky leaves revealing the core, or piña (pineapple).

cinco-de-mayo-oven

The piñas are placed in ovens and pressure steamed 24 hours or more. These ovens will hold 22 tons of pineapples. Once steamed, the piñas rest before taking a journey to a milling machine where they are crushed.

cinco-de-mayo-molinoModern-day tequila making employs industrial mills to squeeze the piña of their juices. The new contraptions aren’t as picturesque as this ancient grinding stone. That’s why I’m showing this relic instead.

cinco-de-mayo-cellar-w

 Tequila is aged in stainless steel or oak.

• Blanco (or silver) tequilas are either not aged or aged less than two months in stainless or neutral oak.

• Joven (young) is a mix of blanco and a bit of older tequila.

• Reposado (relaxed) is aged 2 months to one year in oak.

• Añejo (mature) is aged one year to three years in oak.

• Extra Añejo is aged a minimum of three years in oak.

 

cinco de mayo bar

Chula’s Classic Margarita

Lime wedge and coarse salt for the rim, optional

Crushed ice

3 parts blanco (or silver) tequila

1 part Cointreau

2 parts lime juice

Secret ingredient: Simple syrup to sweeten, optional

adapted from the Bar of the Maria Cristina Hotel, Mexico City (above)

 

And that brings us to why drinking tequila on Cinco de Mayo is good for the environment.

bagazo

Bagazo

This is bagazo. When the piñas are crushed and juice is extracted, this residue is left. The bagazo is composted and then used as organic fertilizer to grow more piñas.

So drink up. Mother Earth is counting on you.

 

cinco-de-mayo-reposado

 Photos from Ex Hacienda Corralejo, Pénjamo, Mexico, and Hotel Maria Cristina, Mexico City © Doug Hall

Corralejo Tequila Reposado is available in Atlanta at Tower on Piedmont Road.

If you enjoyed this article you may want to check out this and this.


 

 

4 Responses to Cinco de Mayo: Save Mother Earth, Drink Tequila

  1. Celeste Bracewell April 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    Beautifully presented. The photographs are wonderful. The shot of the barrels with the beautiful brickwork in the background speaks to their appreciation of beauty and the integration of art into daily life. Thank you.

  2. Jo Anne McCloud Myers April 29, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    Lovely blog, Doug. Who knew? Simple syrup is the answer. Thank you for adding to my reasons to appreciate all good things South of the Border. Have a wonderful Cinco de Mayo celebration.

  3. Jeri Dies April 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I love the images–and wish that I could drink a margarita without consequence. I love the fresh squeezed variety of juices for breakfast. I’ve only been to Monterrey.

  4. Anne Dubois April 30, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    Excellent fun! And beautiful photos. As always. Next up: Margarita!

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