There are as many legends of Mexico as there are Mexicans and lovers of this beautiful and rich country. There is one legend though, that Capella Pedregal’s sommelier Ernesto Mendoza loves to share the most: the legend of tequila.
During a recent tour of the Capella Pedregal wine cave and spirit room, Ernesto shared the story with me:
Many centuries ago, there was a big thunderstorm in Mexico and a lightning bolt hit an agave field, completely destroying the plants. Once the storm had passed, the farmers went to survey the damage. They discovered a syrupy liquid remaining at the core of the plants. One of the farmers tasted it, and finding it sweet, decided to collect the liquid from the plants’ charred remains.
Time passed and the farmer went to check out his agave liquid stash. Foam had formed atop the liquid, which the farmer discarded. He then tasted the fluid again and discovered it now possessed a richer and stronger flavor. The farmer found it so delicious that he drank some more.
Legend says it changed his personality, which led others to believe that it was a gift from the goddess Mayahuel, a symbol of ancient fertility and drunkenness. This drink was then reserved for the lords and priests for use in different religious events and festivities. As the drink grew in popularity it began to be known as Tequila, the town where this gift was first bestowed.
Don’t you just like this legend of tequila? I have already marked my calendar for my next meeting with Ernesto, on which he promises to explain me all about the tequila varieties and other important elements of savoring this popular Mexican drink.
“El Jimador” – a man at the agave field: by Celso Flores via Flickr