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National Tequila Day, July 24, 2011

Happy National Tequila Day!
San Diego's On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina® has all the ingredients for a fun and flavor-filled National Tequila Day

July 24th is National Tequila Day! Although the origins of the holiday are a mystery there are many reasons to celebrate! We'll help you get in the mood with some history, trivia, and delicious tequila recipes.

Tequila was first produced in the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors invading Mexico ran out of their own brandy supply and began to distill the blue agave as a replacement.  Even before then, however, the Aztec people used the agave plant to make a similar fermented beverage called octli. At the turn of the 17thcentury the first tequila factory was established in present-day Jalisco, Mexico and mass production of tequila began. It wasn't until the late 19th century that tequila was first exported to the United States and later popularized by the margarita.

Did you know?
By law, tequila can only be produced in select regions of Mexico - its production is carefully monitored by the Mexican government
The blue agave plant takes 8-12 years to mature before it can be made into tequila
The part of the agave plant from which the juices are extracted can weigh as much as 130 pounds
Today there are over 2000 registered brand names of tequila
In 2006 a one liter limited-edition bottle of premium tequila was sold for $225,000 making it the world's most expensive spirit
Looking for ways to celebrate? Here are some of our favorite Mexican-inspired tequila recipes:

Mexican Martini (courtesy Herradura Tequila)
2 oz. Herradura Silver Tequila
1 ½ oz. Cointreau orange liqueur
2 oz. sweet and sour mix
1 oz. lime juice
2 oz. orange juice
Splash of lemon-lime juice
Pour all ingredients into a large cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a large martini glass with a salt rim. Add two olives on a spear and serve

Queen of Mexico (courtesy of Drink of the Week)
2 oz. Tequila
1 oz. Dark Rum
2 oz. Pineapple juice
1 oz. Orange juice
1/4 oz. Lime syrup
Combine everything except the nutmeg in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or an old-fashioned glass if serving 'on the rocks'. Grate some fresh nutmeg on top and garish with a wedge of pineapple, lime or an orange wheel.

The Prickly Margarita (courtesy Cabo Wabo Tequila)
2 oz Cabo Wabo Anejo
1/2 oz Agave Nectar
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Prickly Pear Puree
1 medium Jalapeño Slice
1/4 oz Amaretto
Place all ingredients except Amaretto in a shaker, muddle Jalapeño, add ice, and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass, float Amaretto on top, garnish with a lime wheel, and serve.

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