23 September 2011

Just a little bit

First off, I want to say what an amazing individual Hilda Castillo is! For those of you who don’t know, she is the Tequila Ambassador at La Cava del Tequila of San Angel Inn in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion. Without her amazing insight, today’s article would not have been possible.

So, what precisely are we talking about today? By now I’m sure you’ve guessed the where (La Cava del Tequila), but quite possibly not the what. Along a wall of La Cava, there is a mural, and like all good murals in Walt Disney World, this mural tells a story. From left to right, it is the story of how tequila is produced.For starters, tequila is made from the blue agave plants seen at the far left. These plants must grow and mature for 7 – 10 years before they can be harvested. The method of gathering the plants requires a special tool, a coa, and a very strong back. There are no machines that can complete this practice, so it must be done by hand.

From there the hearts of the plants are cooked and put through a milling process to separate liquid from plant matter. The next step is fermentation, which lasts 18 hours. For those of you who are familiar with the process of wine making, you know that wine is a fermented juice, but tequila is a distilled juice. This means that there is an extra step, distillation, after the 18 hours of fermentation. The tequila is then placed into barrels and, dependent upon how long it spends in that barrel, it becomes Silver, Reposado, or Anejo.

Now, I call that edutainment at its finest! Wouldn’t you agree?

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