Anyone marking the event with a shot of cheap tequila and a chilled beer with a wedge of lime should think again
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Fans of all things Mexican will have the perfect opportunity to indulge in plenty of their favourite food and drink items during the coming days to mark an important milestone in the nation's history. Mexico declared independence in September, 1810, after decades of Spanish rule.
Celebrations take place for days before and after the anniversary, but anyone considering marking the event with a shot of cheap tequila and a chilled Sol should think again. Drinks experts Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland, known as the Thinking Drinkers, are encouraging revellers to explore the nation’s wealth of indigenous agave spirits – such as tequila and mezcal.
Ben said: “Mexico’s spirits have long been misunderstood. But now, finally, they are getting the recognition that they so richly deserve – and rightly considered as complex as any cognac and as sophisticated as any single malt scotch.”
Tom added: "There’s never been a better time to discover the drinks of Mexico. Sales of agave spirits are soaring on both sides of the Pond thanks to a vast improvement in production techniques, tighter regulations and, crucially, celebrity endorsements.
Tequila is the nation's most popular export. Any variety that spends time in a barrel fits into three categories, in order of ‘age’: reposado, añejo and extra añejo.
The Thinking Drinkers state: "A reposado will be aged in oak for a minimum of 60 days, so will have a subtle impact from the oak. Search for reposados that have enjoyed a spell in smaller casks if you can, some are matured in large vats and have less direct influence from the wood.
"Añejo will be aged a year minimum, maximum capacity of 600 litres; and extra añejo will be aged for a minimum of three years, again with that maximum capacity of 600 litres.
"When you explore extra añejo you find some truly luxurious tequila, and because maturation is in its infancy, the best are incredibly rare. And as with any spirit, the idea of maturation is leading to wider conversations about the style of wood being employed, with barrels previously used for wine or rum now being considered, ensuring the final tequila is as complex as fine French brandy or single malt Scotch."
Mezcal is produced in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, from various types of agave. It is cooked using wood-fired ovens, giving and was traditionally bottled with a worm. Mezcal is often called a type of tequila, but in fact, tequila is a variety of Mezcal.

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