The Reason Anthony Bourdain Would Refuse Tequila Shots

Anthony Bourdain was a talented chef, television celebrity, and culinary author whose career required him to venture to distant lands and sample regional dishes and liquors. In fact, he'd test nearly any drink, even something presented to him in an old Pepsi bottle with bits of particles floating in it. However, Bourdain still had his limits. The food host told Refinery 29 he would always decline tequila shots after a long night of drinking.

Bourdain's hesitancy to indulge in late-night tequila — that smooth, earthy spirit with a subtle honey taste — had a lot to do with the time of the day and the reality of navigating social interactions around him. "If I've been drinking...any other beverage, and at 11 o'clock at night, someone approaches me with the idea that we should do some tequila shots, this is always an important moment," he explained to the outlet, noting that the offer usually came from a smiling friend. Even if well-intentioned, "No good will come of this," he mused.

Knowing the differences between tequilas can save you from a hangover

Perhaps those popular tequila shots Bourdain shied away from weren't 100% agave. U.S. regulations allow tequila to be made with as little as 51% agave, supplemented with other sugar sources, which is why this type of alcohol has a reputation for making you feel terrible after a night of drinking. Pure agave plant-based and premium tequila can prevent you from getting a hard hangover and doesn't have the burning sensation at the finish like silver tequila. And the best agave-based tequilas in the world are served neat and sipped slowly, rather than poured as a flowing party drink late at night. 

But despite not loving this beverage, Bourdain did enjoy the home of tequila for other reasons. In his travel blog, Bourdain expressed a deep fondness for Mexico during many visits to shoot his television show. "We'll gather around a street stall and order soft tacos with fresh, bright, delicious salsas, drink cold Mexican beer, sip smoky mezcals, and listen with moist eyes to sentimental songs from street musicians," he wrote. It's clear that even though Bourdain is gone, his advice on liquors like tequila and travels beyond our comfort zones is a legacy that continues.