Tequila

A Global History

Ian Williams

Tequila

Ian Williams

Distributed for Reaktion Books

128 pages | 40 color plates, 20 halftones | 4 3/4 x 7 3/4 | © 2015
Cloth $18.00 ISBN: 9781780234359 Published May 2015 For sale in North and South America only
With its unique aroma and heady buzz—the perfect accompaniment to even the spiciest tacos—tequila has won its way into drinkers’ hearts worldwide. There are few places on earth besides Mexico that have the climate and terrain to evolve the agave plant that makes tequila—and there are even fewer people who have the patience to wait the seven years or more that it takes “the tree of marvels” to grow. In this book, Ian Williams presents a lively history of this potent and popular drink. Beginning with pulque, the drink fermented by the Mayans, Olmecs, and Aztecs and reserved for pregnant women and priests—and their sacrifices—he traces how the Mexicans distilled tequila and mezcal (mescal) and began its heady surge into global popularity. From twenty-year añejos to giggle-inducing margaritas to the bravado—and regret—of that round of shots, he offers a history as gripping as the drink itself.

Williams visits countless tequila producers, distributors, and connoisseurs to tell the story of how tequila started in the agave lands of Mexico, became an icon of youthful inebriation, and developed, today, into a truly artisanal product drawing the most discerning drinkers. Peppered throughout are illustrations that capture tequila’s Mexican heritage and commercial image. Including recipes for tequila-based cocktails, as well as advice on the buying, storing, tasting, and serving of tequila, this history will delight any beverage aficionado or anyone interested in the history of Mexico and its culinary riches.   
Contents
Foreword
1. The History and Legend of the Spirit of Mexico
2. What’s in a Name? Protecting and Branding Tequila
3. Agave: Not a Cactus—But Definitely a Tree of Marvels
4. Agave: The Food—and Drink—of the Gods
5. Mescal Mythology, All Mixed Up?
6. Where It is Made: The Heart of Tequila
7. How it is Made: Do-it-yourself Tequila
8. Who Makes It: The Dynasties
9. The One with the Worms—Sometimes: Mescal
10. Going Global
 
Recipes
Glossary and Definitions
Tequila Brands: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Bibliography
Websites and Associations
Acknowledgements
Photo Acknowledgements
Index
Review Quotes
Tequila Aficionado
“If Bob Emmons’ quintessential primer is considered The Greatest Tequila Story Ever Told, then Ian Williams’ Tequila:  A Global History, could be its worthy sequel in a continuing agave saga.”
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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