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May 15 , 2009


A Global History


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. 
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