This is a closeup image of an Agave plant in the historic city center of Oaxaca, Mexico. This particular Agave was grown for decorative purposes.
Food - Drink
Why Tequila Can't Be Made Outside Of Mexico
The tequila industry continues to grow and in 2021, the global market was worth nearly $10 billion, with tequila drinkers residing all over the world. However, despite the popularity of tequila all over the world, tequila only comes from Mexico, and true tequila is strictly regulated by a council to ensure it is of the highest quality and made with the best practices.
Tequila is regulated by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT), a council that ensures high quality and consistency throughout the profession. According to the CRT, tequila has to be made from at least 51% blue agave, or agave tequilana, and must be produced in one of the five Mexican regions of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tamaulipas, and Michoacan.
Any agave-based spirit that is made outside of these five states in Mexico or does not have the appropriate blue agave concentration is not a true tequila. To check your tequila, look out for the CRT "Norma Oficial Mexicana," or NOM, a four-digit code that references the distillery; if your bottle lacks a NOM or is labeled "agave spirit," it’s not a true tequila.
Second, look for the percentage of blue agave present in the spirit since true tequila requires at least 51% blue agave to be called tequila, while premium tequilas will have a higher percentage of blue agave, typically 100%. Lastly, you'll know you've found the real deal when you open the bottle and taste the rich, artisanal flavor.