Mexican law states that Tequila can only be manufactured within the Mexican state of Jalisco and in small areas of the states of Guanajuato, Michocán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas. The main ingredient and base of Tequila is an agave plant known as Agave Tequilana, which grows around the town of Tequila because of the high altitude above sea level, 1500 meters, and sandy soil, the plant is grown both commercially and naturally in this region.
Tequila has a predecessor known as Octli, which later became known as Pulque, which was made by the Aztec people when fermenting the agave plant, it is believed that this drink was made long before the Spanish conquistadors arrived to the region in 1521. However, when the newcomers ran out of their own brandy they started making this beverage which they stole from the Aztecs, making Tequila the first North-American indigenous distilled drink.
The beverage did not become known as Tequila until the town by the same name was established in 1656. Tequila is mostly produced with 38-40% of alcohol content, but the drink is produced with an alcohol content ranging anywhere from 35 to 50%, depending on how much water is mixed into the compound to make the taste less harsh. There are two main types of Tequila, one called Mixtos, with up to 49% of the sugar used in the fermentation process being other sugars than agave, using both glucose and fructose sugars, the other called 100% agave Tequila, also known as blanco or plata, has a harsher taste with the bold agave taste up front.
There are also five different categories of Tequila, the difference being in how long the Tequila has been aged in oak barrels, ranging from less than two months to over three years:
1. Blanco (white) or plata (silver).
2. Joven (young) or oro (gold).
3. Reposado (rested).
4. Añejo (aged, or vintage).
5. Extra Añejo (extra- or ultra aged)