Academia Mexicana del Tequila, A.C. Legion guardians of the Tequila culture, since 2000

G L O S A R I O

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ABOCADO:

Pleasant wine, due to its softness. The NOM (Mexican Official Norm) of Tequila says that it's the procedure to soften the taste of this drink through the addition of one or more of the following ingredients:

 

  • Caramel color
  • Natural extract of oak and encina
  • Glycerin
  • Sugar syrup

 

The use of these ingredients should not be more than 1% of the total weight of tequila before being packed.

 

ACORDONAR:

Preparation of the ground, putting all the dry grass together along the ground lines in order to burn it after cleaning the field.

 

AGAVE:

Amaryllis plant, also called maguey. There are over 400 different kinds of this plant; one of them is the Blue Tequilana Weber, and that's the only one that must be used to produce tequila.

 

AGAVE SAZON:

Mature agave. The Agave plant takes from eight to twelve years to mature.

 

AGAVE POTATORUM:

Agave, from which is made the distillated drink called Bacanora, in the state of Sonora, Mexico.

 

AGAVE TEQUILANA WEBER BLUE KIND:

According to the NOM (Mexican Official Norm), this is the only kind of agave from which the production of tequila is allowed, and it has to be cultivated and processed in a denomination of origin zone.

 

AGAVERO:

Agave grower (cultivator).

 

AGUARDIENTE:

It's the result of the distillate of any product. Usually that's the name given to the distillation of the sugar cane.

 

ALAMBIQUE (alembic):

An apparatus consisting of two vessels connected by a tube, formerly used for distilling liquids and musts.

 

ALQUITARA:

Slow process alembic.

Añejo (aged). Tequila that's been kept in oak or encina barrels, maturing for at least one year. The barrel must have a capacity not over 600 liters (158.5 gallons).

 

AUTOCLAVE:

 A strong, pressurized, steam-heated vessel that cooks the agave hearts. A device that has made the old ovens obsolete, speeding up the agave cooking process. The masters of tequila say that the fast cooking does not produce good quality tequila.

 

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BACANORA:

Distillation of agave of the pacific oyaquiana kind, produced in the state of Sonora in Mexico. (Revised by Luis Fernando Acuña Flores)

 

BAGAZO(residual):

Fibrous residual of the milling process, once the juices have been extracted.

 

BARBEO (barbing):

Barbing the agave, which is the act of removing the pulpy leaves.

 

BARBEO DE ESCOBETA (brush barbing):

Pruning that induces the fast maturation of agave.

 

BARRICA (barrel):

Wooden container, frequently made out of oak or encina.

 

BLANCO (white):

Tequila obtained from the second distillation of the fermented musts of agave, Tequilana Weber blue kind; in general, 55% of the alcohol volume is diluted to achieve the desired grade, put in a bottle and collocated in the market.

 

BOTIJA:

Potbellied vessel made of mud, with a narrow and short neck.

 

BRONCO (Rough):

Medium quality tequila with rough taste.

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CABALLITO:

 Traditional cup for tequila, with a narrow base and a slightly wider top.

 

CABEZA (head):

 Heart of agave.

 

CABEZAS:

 The first part of the distillation is discarded to get rid of the harmful parts.

 

CHACUACO:

Chimney.

 

CHICOTUDA:

Weak and Old Appearance agave.

 

CHINGUIRITO:

 Mixture of bad quality ingredients made of sugar cane and mescal.

 

100% AGAVE:

Tequila produced and bottled in the origin exclusively for the Agave Azul Tequilana Weber. It also can be classified as "100% pure agave".

 

COA:

Tool used for the "jima" (to harvest) of agave to prune it.

 

COGOLLO:

Little appendix located at the top part of the heart of the agave.

 

COLAS:

Tails; End part of the distillation. In high quality tequilas, the tails are eliminated as well as the heads of the distillation. For other qualities of tequila, the tails are distilled again.

 

CONDENSER:

Water-cooled serpentine, where the fumes of alcohol are condensed and they turn into ingredients.

 

CONCHA:

Bubbles or pearls formed on the surface of tequila when it's served or shaken.

 

CORAZON:

Heart of agave, also called pine or pineapple.

 

CORAZON:

Main part of the distillation.

 

CRIT:

Regional Chamber of Tequila Industry (Cámara Regional de la Industria Tequilera)

 

CRT:

Tequila Regulatory Council (Consejo Regulador del Tequila). Non-governmental organization that watches so that the agave producers, distillers, bottlers and sellers of tequila follow the specifications of the NOM by the book.

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DAMAJUANA:

Crystal potbellied cup with a narrow mouth, with or without a cover, sometimes covered with dry agave fibers. It can hold up to 32 liters, and it's used to transport tequila.

 

DAMIANA:

Aromatic plant of arid zones, used in several distillates, including tequila, along with other fruits, to make cordial liquors.

 

DGN:

General Direction of Norms, a governmental dependency (Dirección General de Normas).

 

DENOMINACION DE ORIGEN: (Origin denomination):

Recognition of the name Tequila as property of Mexico for its exclusive use in the denomination of distillates, produced by the agave azul Tequilana Weber, in the declared area. In France, it's called "Appellation d' Origen Controllee".

 

DESQUIOTE:

Elimination of the shaft and flower (quiote) of agave, avoiding the consumption of the sugars of the heart.

 

DISTILLATION:

Process of extracting the fermented must of agave (the alcohol produced).

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ELIXIR DE AGAVE:

Agave elixir, liquor made of tequila with fruits or flowers or aromatic plants.

 

ENVASADO DE ORIGEN: (bottled in the origin).

This text can be read on any label of a product that implies that the drink was bottled by the producer country of origin and in the denomination area.

 

ERWINIA CARATOVORA:

Bacteria that infects the plants of agave.

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FACTORY:

A way to call the tequila distillers.

 

FERMENTATION:

Process in which the sugars contained in the must of tequila are turned into alcohol.

 

FUSARIUM OXISPORUM:

Disease that attacks the agave in the state of Jalisco.

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GRANEL:

Tequila transported in large volume, usually in tank vehicles without being bottled.

 

GRAN REPOSADO:

Sentence that identifies the tequila that's been resting in the barrels for longer than the NOM indicates.

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HIJUELO:

Shoots of agave that sprout at the bottom of the plant.

 

HORNO: (oven).

Place where cooking of the hearts of agave is done. The traditional oven is built of masonry and steam is injected for cooking.

 

HUACHICOL:

Distilled drink, mixed with alcohol of cane.

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IXTLE:

 Fibers of some agaves from which art pieces, ropes and tissue for coverings are made.

J

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JIMA:

Process of removing agave leaves and making the root come loose.

 

JIMADOR:

Person that carries out the jima of agaves.

 

JOVEN: (Young).

Product that forms as a result of the mixture of white tequila and rested, or old, tequila.

 

JOVEN ABOCADO:

Mixture of white tequila and rested or old tequila, then 1% of the following ingredients, added to smooth the flavor of agave in tequila.

 

  • Caramel color
  • Natural extract of oak and encina
  • Glycerin
  • Sugar syrup

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LECHUGILLA:

Traditional distillate, made with wild agave, that's produced and consumed in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua and Puebla in Mexico.

 

LIMPIA: (cleaning).

Removal of the weeds and dirt around agaves.

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MADRE:

Mother agave where the sprouts come off. The sprouts will then be planted in other fields.

 

MADURADO: (matured).

Rested or old Tequila.

 

MAESTRO TEQUILERO: (Master of Tequila).

Person who's in charge of watching every step of the process of the production of tequila, from the arrival of the hearts (piñas) until the end of the distillation.

 

MAGUEY:

Word that was assimilated by the Spanish conquerors from the Antilles.

 

MAGUEY ACARRILADO:

Agave that's ready to have its quitoes (flowers) removed.

 

MAGUEYEROS OR AGAVEROS:

Growers of agave.

 

MARRANA:

 Dry waste of agave produced after the milling and extraction of the juices.

 

MARGARITA:

It's the most famous cocktail made with tequila, prepared with citrus juice, fresh lime and tequila.

 

MELGAS:

Space between furrows where the agave plant is sowed.

 

METEPAN:

A row of agaves

 

MEXIOTE:

Translucent strong film that cover the leaves (pencas) of agave. In the past, the natives used it to make paper. Nowadays it is used as the cover for a dish that's cooked with steam called Mixiote.

 

MEYOLOTE:

Central part of the agave.

 

MEZONTLE:

Heart of the agave.

 

MEZOTE:

Dry agave

 

MEZCAL:

Cooked part of the Heart (piña) of agave; if chewed, the juices come out. It's usually sold in the country towns and in some cities.

 

MIXTO:

Tequila made with 51% sugars of agave and 49% of other sugars.

 

MOSTO: (must).

Juice that's extracted from the cooked agave, after fermented, the alcohol is produced.

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NITZICUILE:

Disease that eats the roots of agave, destroying it.

 

NOM:

Oficial Mexican Norm (Norma Oficial Mexicana).

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ORDINARIO: (Ordinary).

Tequila that comes from the first distill without the heads or tails.

 

ORO: (gold).

Also called "young" Tequila, it's the result of mixing white and rested or aged tequila.

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PALENQUE:

Rounded deep hole, built with rocks, where the hearts (piñas) are cooked.

 

PALOMA:

Disease that attacks the leaves of agave.

 

PENCAS:

Leaves of agave or maguey

 

PERLA O CONCHA:

Bubbles that appear for a short time on the tequila's surface after serving it or shaking it.

 

PICADOR:

Worker who removes the shaft and flowers of agave.

 

PIÑA:

Head or bulb of agave which contains the starches that will become sugars after the cooking process.

 

PIPON:

Big wooden containers that can hold approximately 5,200 liters where the aged tequilas mature.

 

POTRERO:

Agave sowing field.

 

PROOF:

Amount of alcohol that the drink contains. The proof measure is equal to double the percentage of alcohol volume that the drink's label reads. (GL.)

 

PUNTA:

It's another way to call the initial part of the distillation process.

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QUIOTE:

Offspring and flower of agave.

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REPOSADO:

Because of the norm, this kind of tequila must be kept in contact with the wood (oak or encina) for at least two months.

 

RESERVA DE LA CASA: (house reserve).

Unofficial denomination used by some producers of tequila to indicate the aging of its product.

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SANGRITA:

Tequila's sidekick that sometimes substitutes the lime, its original recipe was orange juice and red hot chili salsa. Nowadays a lot of producers wrongly use juice or pulp of tomato.

 

SECOFI:

Secretary of Commerce and Industrial Development (Secretaria de Comercio y Fomento Industrial).

 

SOTOL:

Regional distill made in Chihuahua, Mexico, with a different kind of agave.

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TABERNA:

This is what the distillers and factories were called a long time ago.

 

TAHONA:

Mill made with a big rounded rock moved by animals, the cooked agave was milled there to extract the juices and become the must for fermentation.

 

TEQUILA:

Alcoholic regional drink obtained by the distillation and rectification of musts; prepared from the original extract, it's a derivate from the mill of the matured agave heads, hydrolyzed or cooked, then fermented with yeasts, cultivated or not. This drink can be enriched with other sugars up to 49%. In order to be called tequila, this drink must be made with agaves of the genus Blue Tequilana Weber, cultivated in states and municipal regions of the denomination of origin.

 

TONEL: (barrel).

Wooden container with 833 kg. capacity.

 

TUBA:

Tequila that comes from the second distillation process.

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VINAZA:

Shattering or distillation residues of musts, usually containing water and solids such as sludge and fibers.

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WEBER:

Classification of a genus of agave.

 

WEBER, FRANZ:

German naturalist that arrived in Mexico in 1896. He was devoted to researching the domestic western flora. He was friends with the most powerful families of Tequila, Jalisco in Mexico. He did research for six years to find the most appropriate plant for the production of tequila. In 1902 he decided that the blue agave was the most appropriate and called it Agave Tequilana Weber.

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