Agave tequilana, commonly called blue agave (agave azul) or tequila agave, is an agave plant that is an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico, due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila, a popular distilled beverage. The high production of sugars, mostly fructose, in the core of the plant is the main characteristic that makes it suitable for the preparation of alcoholic beverages.
Tequila is made by distilling and fermenting the juices of the blue agave plant. After about 12 years of growing, these large bulbous plants are cut up and slowly baked in steam ovens until all starches are converted to sugars.
Good quality tequila is labeled as 100% blue agave. Anything less is a cheap, poorly made tequila that relies on “fillers” like corn syrup and grain alcohol.
Next time you buy tequila, examine the label to ensure that its made with 100% blue agave… unless you don’t care about the taste and are just looking for a quick buzz. If that is your goal, any old version of grain alcohol will work just fine.