In this era of craft spirits and, yes, even, itБs unlikely somebody would plunk a bottle of tequila in front of you, point at the worm floating around on the bottom, and challenge you to eat it. Unlikely for two reasons: well, weБre all much classier these days, and thank you very much. But the second, far more important reasonБthere is no worm in the bottom of the tequila bottle. Not trying to invoke a Бthere is no spoonБ vibe here, just, the worm in the bottom of the tequila bottle is an old school myth, a misunderstanding born of some marketing savvy and probably bolstered by the rowdy one-upsmanship of tequila swilling machismo. The worm weБre all thinking of actually belongs in a bottle of (tequila has to be at least 51% Blue Agave, but mezcal can be made from any variety of maguey succulents, the heart charred before distillation). And even then, the worm wasnБt a traditional aspect of mezcal production, even though to this day, some misinformation endures about the virility and hallucinations youБll supposedly get as a reward for your worm-eating bravery. The worm itself is actually a moth larvae called a gusano de magueyБsince it feeds off of the maguey plant. If they werenБt being drowned in booze, each of these little guys would actually turn into a night butterfly called the Mariposa. And believe it or not, gusano de maguey are eaten, on the regular in Mexico.
In theory, if weБre digging all this virility/purity worm infusion stuff, a gusano rojo is a better worm to have in your bottle, since it feeds on the heart of the maguey (the part thatБs roasted and distilled into mezcal). A gusano de oro, or gold gusano, just eats the leaves, so (yes, weБre saying this) that would be a less desirable worm to have to eat. Some think the worm in the bottle started as a marketing ploy, to get people to drink more mezcal in the 1940s and 1950s. Word has it a former art student-turned-mezcal entrepreneur named Jacobo Lozano Paez got the idea to actually
l after realizing that the gusano changed the flavor of the spirit. (Since gusano feed on the maguey plant, it happened that sometimes a heart would be roasted with worms in it; this is, again supposedly, where Paez got the idea. ) ThereБs also the possibility this was purely a marketing angle, aimed at the American market. б б Tequila was flooding the U. S. , and mezcal needed a way to differentiate itself. From here, ideas that the gusano indicated purity (a strong, pure mezcal would keep the worm intact) or could impart virility or good fortune were just a matter of some marketing imagination. DidnБt matter if Mexicans themselves never drank mezcal with a worm. We bought it, hook, line, and gusano. Even today, with mezcal making a strong, high quality comeback in the spirits world, bottles complete with a worm (and a tiny packet of worm-flavored salt) are.
Meanwhile, itБs said the Normas Oficiales Mexicanas (the Mexican Standards authority) actually to tequila. So no, youБll never see a worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle. But itБs not at all impossible youБll encounter a worm in the bottom of a mezcal bottle. Just steer clearБthe good stuff, as with many things in life, is entirely larvae-free. Why Is There a Worm in My Tequila Bottle? Send all questions to:В Why does tequila sometimes have a worm? Contrary to popular myth, there is no historical precedent for finding a worm in the bottom of a tequila bottle. Chalk it up to an old wives tale that spun out of control в and then got a serious marketing push. В To this day, some misinformation endures about the virility and hallucinations youвll supposedly get as a reward for your worm-eating bravery. That doesnвt mean there never was a worm in the bottom of a liquor bottle. Itвs just that the spirit in question was mezcal, tequila s. However, it s worth noting that only a few mezcal producers used to include a worm in the bottle. Some think the worm in the bottle started as a marketing ploy, to get people to drink more mezcal in the 1940s and 1950s. Tequila was flooding the American market and mezcal needed a way to stand out. Unfortunately, the ploy didnвt seem to work, as mezcal remained in relative obscurity to many U. S. markets (until the past decade when mezcal reemerged thanks to the explosion of American cocktail culture).
Now mezcal is everywhere, but youвd be hard-pressed to find a worm at the bottom of any bottles. The spirit can easily stand on its own, no gimmick needed. Does non-alcoholic beer have alcohol in it? Yes. In the United States a non-alcoholic beer is a brew with 0. 5 percent alcohol. So while there isnвt much alcohol, there is still a bit in there. However, it would take a lot of non-alcoholic beers to feel a buzz. Youвd have to drink nine to simply reach the alcohol percentage of a normal light beer like Bud or Miller. By that point you would have probably been to the bathroom so many times you wouldnвt be interested in continuing to drink. Iвm having a dinner party, and I d like to serve white to start and red for the main course. Is it O. K. to tell my friends what to bring? Itвs perfectly acceptable to tell people who ask what they can bring exactly what you need. If youвre planning a dinner and you donвt want to wind up with all red wine, then simply tell a few friends to bring bottles of white instead. It can be daunting figuring out what to bring over to someoneвs house when youвre being hosted. Giving your guests instructions can actually be extremely helpful в on all sides. Got an Ask Adam question? Send all questions to:В