Everything you didn't know about tequila

To celebrate National Tequila Day we spoke to Maya’s resident expert to find out more about its origins.

Neil Churchill July 24, 2014

Today, July 24th, is none other than National Tequila Day! We’re not sure which country decided the beverage was worthy enough of its own day (probably Mexico) but it did make us pause for thought.

Any self-respecting gentleman knows the process of vineyards that leave us with wine; that hops go into beer and that whiskey comes from grain. But what’s the story behind tequila?

Luckily for us – and you – Dubai’s tasty Mexican restaurant Maya, at Le Royal Meridien hotel, has its very own tequila expert – Enrique Gluckmann Moreno. So who better to speak to on the subject, than him:

The history

Tequila is the Mexican spirit of excellence. It embodies the flavour, passion and culture of Mexico. The production dates back to the 16th Century and its origins are still disputed to this day, with the spirit surrounded by all sorts of interesting tales, myths and legends.

Tequila making is still a skilled, labour-intense and artisanal process. This popular distilled beverage is made from blue agave [above], a plant related to the lily flowers, and not cactus, as many people believe. Nowadays, 300 million agave plants are harvested every year and there are more than 2,000 brand names registered.


Contrary to popular belief, there are many other enjoyable ways to consume tequila aside from the traditional shot with lime and salt. In fact it is advisable to sample the spirit by taking time to explore its deep and complex flavours. The best way to discover tequila is by enjoying a tequila flight – a tasting session which includes sampling a variety of types to compare and contrast the different flavours.

One popular option at Maya is the Terroir Flight, which features four different tequilas from four very different geographical areas, where all factors vary: type of soil, altitude, sunlight exposure, etc. These variables have a huge impact on the taste and you really don’t have to be a tequila expert to enjoy the nuances. In fact you’ll find that it’s very quick and easy to learn enough about the spirit to impress your friends!

Details: Maya’s tequila flight menu offers guests an interesting yet fun way to learn about the flavours and different types of tequila on offer. Visit: maya-dubai.com