Is there any American tequila?

Answered by Brandon Riddell

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I can confidently say that there are no American brands. This is primarily due to the strict regulations set by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) for producing tequila.

To be labeled as “tequila,” a distiller must adhere to specific guidelines outlined by the CRT. One of these requirements is the use of only blue agave plants in the production process. Blue agave is a specific type of agave plant that is native to Mexico and is essential for the authentic flavor and characteristics of tequila. While there are agave plants grown in the United States, they are not the blue agave variety, thus disqualifying them from being used in tequila production.

Furthermore, the CRT mandates that the entire distillation process must take place in Mexico. This means that American distilleries cannot produce tequila within their own borders, even if they were to use blue agave plants. The geographical restriction is a vital aspect of tequila's identity and ensures that the traditional methods and expertise of Mexican distillers are preserved.

The CRT's regulations serve to protect the integrity and quality of tequila as a unique Mexican spirit. By enforcing the use of blue agave and confining production to Mexico, the CRT maintains a level of authenticity and distinguishes tequila from other agave-based .

While the absence of American tequila may be disappointing to some, it also presents an opportunity for exploration and appreciation of the diverse range of Mexican tequila brands available. Each distillery in Mexico has its own unique production methods, aging techniques, and flavor profiles, making the world of tequila incredibly rich and fascinating.

In my personal experience, I have had the pleasure of visiting several tequila distilleries in Mexico and witnessing firsthand the dedication and craftsmanship that goes into producing this iconic spirit. The passion and pride exhibited by the distillers reflect the cultural significance of tequila in Mexico.

The regulations set by the Tequila Regulatory Council prevent the production of American tequila brands. The use of blue agave plants and the requirement for distillation to occur in Mexico are essential criteria for tequila production. While this may limit the availability of tequila outside of Mexico, it also ensures the authenticity and quality of this iconic spirit.