Mexico seeks to increase Tequila exports in Azeri market


Tequila presentation and tasting

By Elena Kosolapova

Azeri Observer Staff Writer

Mexican Ambassador in Baku Rodrigo Labardini hosted tequila presentation and tasting in his residence on April 27.

The guests of the event had an opportunity to taste different types of tequila, such as tequila silver (blanco in Spanish), gold (joven or oro), aged (reposado), extra aged (añejo) and ultra aged (extra añejo). These types of tequila differ in color, taste, maturity, alcohol percentage and process of preparation. Some of them are used in cocktails, others are a good choice to drink straight or accompanied with some snacks. Even the glasses for different types of tequila are different.

Representatives of a special delegation of tequila producers from Mexico took part in the event. They told the guests about the great variety of tequila and showed their interest to promote and increase its exports in Azerbaijan. Mexico produces about 1,200 types of tequila, however only 8-10 of them present in Azerbaijani market now. According to Ambassador Labardini, the trade delegation has held a number of meetings with Azerbaijani distributors and plans to sign several deals on supplies of new types of tequila to Azerbaijan.

Mexica’s annual tequila production exceeds 271 million litres, over 213 million litres of them are exported to about 120 countries. The main importers of tequila are the US, Spain, Germany, Japan and France.

Tequila is produced from the fermented and distilled juices obtained from agave, which is a native Mexican plant. There are more than 200 varieties of this plant, but only one can be used to produce tequila: the Agave Tequilana Weber Blue Variety. The process of tequila production includes several steps. First it takes 7 years to grow an agave, then it is harvested. The next steps are cooking, extraction, fermentation, distillation, maturation and the final step is bottling. About 4-7 kilos of agave are needed to make a litre of 100% agave tequila.

Just like cognac or champagne, tequila takes its name from its region of origin, which is the town of Tequila, Mexico. The culture of agave cultivation in Western Mexico dates back to 1,500 B.C.  In 2006, the agave landscape and the ancient industrial facilities of tequila in Mexico were included in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.