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Today, July 24, is National Tequila Day!

National Tequila Day - July 24

As you probably should know by now is that I do love my cocktails. However, what you don’t know is that my favorite spirit as both a mixer and straight is Tequila!

Tequila comes from the Blue Agave (Agave tequilana) plant and is distilled to make the liquor. More specifically, it comes from the area surrounding the city of Tequila in the highlands (Los Altos) of the western Mexican state of Jalisco where more than 300 million blue agave plants are harvested yearly and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Blue Agave

Mexican law only permits Tequila to be produced in the state of Jalisco and in limited regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit and Tamaulipas. And just as France has the international rights to the word “champagne”, Mexico has international rights to the word “tequila”.

Types of Tequila

  • Silver/Blanco/Joven: generally unaged (or very briefly aged, for smoothness, e.g. “Suave” styles); full of agave flavor, but also heat, and an impression—but not taste—of vegetal sweetness
  • Gold: Basically a hybrid type, usually a mixto with coloring added to make it seem aged when it’s not; best bet is buying a brand that actually states “100% agave” on the label
  • Reposado: Meaning “rested,” aged in wood barrels for 2 months to under a year
  • Anejo: Aged between 1 and 3 years, the widest available complexly aged tequila, with softened heat and good wood character; too much aging isn’t recommended, as tequila is about expression of vegetal agave
  • Extra Anejo: A newer category, aged over 3 years, not as many examples but worth looking into if you like wood characteristics

Bottles of Tequila

See VinePair’s Learn About Different Types Of Tequila for more in-depth information.


Below are some classic cocktail recipes that I have savored throughout my adulthood.

Classic Margarita


    • 1 lime wedge, plus 2 lime wheels for garnish
    • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, for glass rims
    • 4 ounces blanco Tequila
    • 2 ounces Cointreau
    • 1 1/2 ounces fresh juice from 2 limes

Run the lime wedge around the outer rims of 2 rocks glasses and dip rims in salt. Set aside. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over). Fill glasses with fresh ice and strain margarita into both glasses. Garnish with lime wheels and serve.

Classic Margarita

Tequila Sunrise


    • 2 oz blanco Tequila
    • 4 oz Fresh orange juice
    • 1/4 oz Grenadine
    • Garnish: Orange slice
    • Garnish: Cherry

Add the tequila and then the orange juice to a chilled highball glass filled with ice. Top with the grenadine, which will sink to the bottom of the glass, creating a layered effect. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

Tequila Sunrise

The Long Island Iced Tea recipe (which is vodka, tequila, gin, and rum) can be found in our World Rum Day 2020: Classic Cocktail Recipes and Smooth Sippers blog post.

Did You Know…?

Did you know that Tequila is technically a Mezcal?

Mezcal is the smokier, hotter cousin of Tequila. But not all mezcals are tequila. That’s because any spirit distilled from the agave plant is considered Mezcal, but Tequila can only come from the Blue Agave variety.

Here’s a little extra cocktail for those that like it hot!

Hell On Wheels by Miguel Aranda of Boticarios


    • 4 Tbsp Sombra Mezcal
    • 3 tsp ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto
    • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
    • 3 tsp agave syrup
    • Several dashes habanero tincture

Place all the ingredients into a shaker, add ice and shake well. Strain into a hollowed-out red bell pepper and garnish with a habanero pepper.

Hell On Wheels by Miguel Aranda of Boticarios

You can also find the signature cocktail recipe for Hot Stuff Margarita in a previous blog post about Golf Resort of Week: Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas.

Cooking with Tequila

Ooooh, I found another pork rib recipe! This time it is Margarita-Glazed Baby Back Ribs from Fine Cooking online.


For the marinade

    • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 medium orange)
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
    • 1/4 cup blanco (silver) tequila
    • 3 Tbs. dark agave syrup or honey
    • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 Tbs. Cointreau (optional)
    • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
    • 1 Tbs. minced fresh garlic (about 3 large cloves)
    • 1 Tbs. pure New Mexico or ancho chile powder
    • 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 racks pork baby back ribs (about 1-1/2 lb. each), membrane removed

For the glaze and sauce

    • 1/2 cup blanco (silver) tequila
    • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice; more to taste
    • 2 Tbs. dark agave syrup or honey; more to taste
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Margarita-Glazed Baby Back Ribs by

Looks yummy right? Well, you can find the rest of the instructions online: Margarita-Glazed Baby Back Ribs.

Smooth Sipper Tequila Recommendations

Finally, there are lots of opinions out there regarding the best sipping Tequilas but the following bottles seem to consistently be on almost every list:

  • Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
  • Don Julio 1942 Añejo
  • Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Extra Añejo
  • Casa Dragones Joven
  • Casa Dragones Blanco
  • Milagro Tequila Barrel Select Reserve Reposado
  • Avión Reserva 44
  • Tequila Fortaleza Blanco Still Strength

I have enjoyed Don Julio 1942 on several occasions but look forward to trying the others. So have that Zoom, Facebook or Instagram Live party tonight and drink up!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these at home.



Check out my Mexico Travel Guide for more great spots. And when you’re ready to visit some part of Mexico, let SelfishMe Travel help you design your next best vacation by booking a complimentary discovery call with me.

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Dani Lew

DaniLew is a podcaster and a retired nomad who loves to slow travel around the world and share her travel stories and personal photography.The Slow Traveling Soul Sister podcast is all about me and my travels around the world for the last 40 years as a solo black woman, My motto: travel nourishes the soul and broadens the mind, but solo travel frees our imagination and builds our Confidence. #slowtravelingsoulsister #GoSeeDoBe

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