Out of nowhere you remember specific memories from your childhood, and all the things you forget when you are sober, like the meaning of life, come to surface and it all makes sense… until you sober up!
Summer 2019 is officially the summer carbonation took over the hearts and minds of the adult beverage industry. Natty Light, PBR, Four Loko, the internet favorite, White Claw, and practically any alcohol company with a pulse who can make and bottle boozy seltzer jumped on a train that continues to bubble out of control.
The next phase of the sparkling beverage boom: sparkling tequila.
LA-based Pure Azul just announced that it will be rolling out Azulana sparkling tequila this week in California, producing the first and only beverage on the market made with 100% blue agave tequila and sparkling soda.
Crafted in Jalisco, Mexico, it comes canned in three flavors: Original (tequila-flavored sparkling soda), Lime, and Pineapple Rosemary. Azulana sparkling tequila will be released in 12-oz. cans, containing 4.3% ABV with 145 calories.
In other words, the legit perfect drink for summer. You just may want to break out some sal y limón to fully enjoy it.
The three flavors are each unique and, not gonna lie, sound straight up tasty.
According to the company’s website, the “Original” flavor goes down smooth with a “lightly sweet” and “slightly tart” taste.
The “Pineapple Rosemary,” meanwhile, boasts a fruity, herbal flavor somewhat reminiscent of flowers, while the “Lime” option is zesty and tropical.
Sparkling tequila is the latest in a total takeover of the alcoholic beverage industry by sparkly, bubbly bebidas.
Clearly, Azulana looks to capitalize on two glaring beverage industry trends: the proliferation of sparkling hard seltzer and the continued success of tequila, which Azulana notes “continues to thrive.” In 2017, for example, the US saw an 8.5% increase in tequila liter sales over the previous year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.
In a press release, Katie Pittman, Head of Sales and Marketing at Pure Azul notes, “Our goal is to help others understand that tequila isn’t just enjoyed during a wild night out – with Azulana, it can truly be enjoyed during all occasions – anywhere, anytime.”
It’s also good timing — tequila sales are up, up, up, across the US.
It may not seem like it to those of us who regularly order the Patron or Cuervo when having a party, but it’s true. Tequila sales are booming in the US. In 2017, for example, tequila sales were up 8.5% from the year before.
So if there was ever a time to enter the tequila business, it would be now. Make them coins.
The grand unveiling was August 22nd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
And, of course, it made its debut at a Rolling Stones concert. Because I guess tequila and Stones go together like…sal y limón?
But don’t worry if you didn’t make it to that concert. You won’t have to wait long. The sparking tequila beverage will be available at Bristol Farms supermarkets in Southern California from August 28th before expanding to other markets and regions from then.
While some seem to at least be open to the idea…
I mean, it all really depends on your feelings toward sparkling drinks to begin with. If you’re already a fan, then sparkling tequila isn’t too much of a stretch.
Mexicans are openly skeptical.
But let’s note, many on Latino Twitter basically said they were simultaneously fascinated and disgusted by the idea of sparkling tequila.
And a few people pointed out that summer is nearly over.
But if you have sparking tequila at your house…is summer ever really over?
Along with tequila and mezcal, pulque is the one of the most iconic Mexican alcoholic beverages. Its origins ago deep in history and speak of the indigenous past and present of the country. This is what you need to know about this mythical drink that is making a comeback as a mainstream road to indulgence.
So what exactly is pulque anyway?
Pulque is beautiful in its simplicity. The drink is the fermented sap of the maguey or agave plant. It has a thick, gooey consistency that takes some time getting used to. It has a milky color in its pure state, but many pulquerias add fruit juices and honey to make it a curado or flavored pulque. This is how journalist Emily Sargent described pulque in The Times: “sweet, thick, syrupy agave juice served inexplicably in pint-jug portions”.
It was known as octli by the Aztecs and is surrounded by fascinating myths.
Credit: Instagram. @neomexicanismos
Pulque has been drunk for at least 1,000 years. The Aztecs believed that the liquid collected at the center of the succulent known as maguey was actually the blood of Mayahuel, the goddess of the maguey. It was also believed that if you got drunk on octli a rabbit would possess you. There were 400 rabbits known as Centzon Totochtin, and they were the children of Mayahuel. Up to this day, some pulque drinkers spill some of their drink to the floor as an offering to Mother Earth. The word pulque is Mexican Spanish, dating in print to 1877.
Pulque is a key element of Mexican popular culture.
Credit: Instagram. @celsotours
In particular, pulque is a constant in visual memories of the Mexican Revolution. Salud!
There are even B-movies that honor pulque culture!
Credit: La Pulqueria / Videocine
In the 1970s and 1980s, low-quality films known as sexy-comedias-mexicanas showcased pulque culture in various films. The most famous is La Pulqueria, directed by Victor Manuel Castro and featuring la creme de la creme of Mexican comedians and the most famous boxer in Mexico’s history, Ruben Olivares.
Pulque is now being consumed by Mexicans of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Credit: Instagram. @neomexicanismos
For decades, pulque was associated with the lower classes, which speaks of the sad but inherent racism that permeates Mexican mestizo culture. For example, it was common to see homeless men drunk on pulque featured in Mexican cinema. The drink has made a huge comeback in the past 15 years, and pulquerias, traditional dens where people meet to drink pulque, are popular amongst city dwellers of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Pulque production is mostly artisanal and “organic.”
Credit: Instagram. @estampas_de_mexico1
Rather than being distilled as with tequila and mezcal, the elixir that emanates from the maguey is left to be fermented. First, the sap is extracted from the center of the maguey and then placed in 50-liter barrels called tinas. After than, mature pulque, known as seed pulque, is added to jump start the fermentation, which takes from one to two weeks. The pulque maker needs to consider factors such as the weather and the quality of the sap to determine the exact fermentation period that stops the pulque from turning sour and undrinkable. It is more art than science.
Pulque is the product of a long, natural process.
Credit: Instagram. @cocinafacil
Pulque is a labor of love. Each maguey plants needs to mature for at least 12 years before the sap can be extracted. After that, it produces sap for only one year at the most. That is a long wait, but the benefits are worth it.
And hey, it brings some health benefits too!
Credit: Instagram. @bandita_chilanga
Of course you need to drink it in moderation, but pulque does bring important nutritional benefits. An academic paper states that for some Mexicans “pulque was the third most important source of iron (non-heme form), ascorbic acid, riboflavin, and other B-vitamins”. Carnales, it’s science!
Pulquerias usually have creative names.
Credit: Instagram. @semahernandez
Great names include “My Office”, “Memories of the Future”, “Drink and Go”, “I’m Waiting for You Here at the Corner”, and “The Recreation Center of Those Across the Street”. A true testament of Mexican everyday creativity and knack for humor.
The state of Hidalgo is pulque heaven.
Credit: Instagram. @mexico_desdeadentro
Even though pulque is produced across the country, particularly the areas surrounding Mexico City, the state of Hidalgo takes the crown as the most prolific. There are about 250 pulque haciendas in the state.
In Tlaxcala, the state government has organized a tour called “la ruta del pulque.”
Credit: Instagram. @enriquenoriega
You can visit different production sites… and perhaps be possessed by a rabbit if you drink a bit too much!
There is no right or wrong way when it comes to pulque-drinking receptacles!
Credit: Instagram. @nilsbernstein
You know how people get snobbish when you drink white wine with a red wine glass? Well, that is not the case with pulque, which you can enjoy in basically anything that holds the nectar from the gods. Each pulqueria has its own style when it comes to serving methods.
You can even drink it directly from the plant when it has been naturally fermented.
Credit: Instagram. @neomexicanismos
Yes, even a used Coke bottle will do! Just look at this pulque master!
Or you can also drink it straight from a maguey leaf.
Credit: Instagram. @oscarlemuss
Can you think of a more Instagrammable way of doing this? We can’t!
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