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Tequila Hardcover – October 17, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If you think tequila comes with a worm in the bottle and is best downed with lime juice and salt in a margarita, you'll definitely learn a thing or two just leafing through this browsable, illustrated monograph. Ruy-Sánchez and de Orellana outline the fundamentals: tequila is made only from a particular agave plant, the Agave tequilana Weber, blue variety. Its three basic styles—blanco (clear), reposado ("rested") and añejo (aged at least one year)—are all wonderful for sipping straight. A different agave produces pulque (a spirit uncommon in the U.S.); still others are distilled for mezcal. While indigenous people were fermenting and drinking agave juices long before the Spanish invaded Mexico, it was the Spanish who brought the technique of distillation (using the Arabic still) to the Tequila region, which lies between Guadalajara and San Blas on Mexico's Pacific coast. In addition to the history and method of tequila production, chapters cover tequila's role in Mexican film and poetry, the rituals of tequila drinking, and recipes for tequila cocktails and cuisine. The book ends with an illustrated gallery of some 65 notable tequilas, all lovingly described. Even if readers don't care for tequila, this work's luscious layout and sunny graphics are alluring. Some of the color art has been created especially for this volume; other pages reproduce paintings in private collections that feature a retro-Mexican look. All told, it's a lovely literary cocktail.
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Review

“If you think tequila comes with a worm in the bottle and is best downed with lime juice and salt in a margarita, you'll definitely learn a thing or two just leafing through this browsable, illustrated monograph. . . . Even if readers don’t care for tequila, this work's luscious layout and sunny graphics are alluring. Some of the color art has been created especially for this volume; other pages reproduce paintings in private collections that feature a retro-Mexican look. All told, it's a lovely literary cocktail.”—Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Books; First Edition edition (October 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588342131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588342133
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
67%
4 star
25%
3 star
8%
2 star
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See all 12 customer reviews
Great coffee table book to flip through and enjoy.
allison
It is an informative and interesting read if you are looking to learn about the drink, and it's history and the culture it is derived from.
Janey McAdoo
Very good starter book for someone just getting into Tequila.
Fries

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Louis C. Oronoz on March 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Definitely a good 'starter' book for a new Tequila Afficionado. Nothing bad to say, but after you read this book, you'll want to know more........
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Terrybfla on August 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read several tequila books and the wonderful website In Search of the Blue Agave which I feel is about the most complete factual reference widely available on tequila. This book offers something different. First, I feel it is a PERFECT gift for tequila lovers and experts alike. It is a bit light on the science and pure facts regarding tequila but it more than makes up for that with lush illustrations, descriptive stories and essays and fantastic vintage photographs of the history and culture of tequila. Part art book, part history, part sociology, this book delves deeper into the roots and cultural significance of tequila than any other source I have seen. It is compiled and edited, not authored so the viewpoints are diverse and fresh. Long after you (or your tequila loving friend) have mastered the technical differences between Blanco, Reposado, Agave and Joven, this gorgeous volume will continue to cultivate the art of tequila.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Cole on March 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're into poetry and tequila, you'll love this. However if you - like me - just want your liquor history and could do without overly romantic, wordy, head-in-the-clouds poetic prose you might be a little annoyed at the tone of this book. It was also a little jarring that every few pages seems to be written by a different author - but you don't find out until the end of that section, after feeling disoriented and wondering if you've had too much to drink. I'd be fine with guest-writers and unique chapters, but when you get in the groove with a writer's style and then you're jolted out of it unexpectedly again and again, it's a little bothersome. I'd prefer to be introduced to (or at least made aware of) the fact that there's a new author now, and then I can happily start with fresh expectations for each chapter.

I'd guess that this author probably writes and/or reads a lot of poetry, which was apparent only after reading half the book and realizing that something was "funny" about the way it's written. Some of it was so ridiculous I found myself wondering what on earth the author was talking about and waiting for them to "bring it back home" to tequila - and in most cases they did, after taking the long scenic route.

Still, I enjoyed it DESPITE the fluffy tone. There is good information and even though the graphics look very early-90s, they are appealing. Early 90s is starting to look less "OLD" and almost "retro" now, so if you can think of it that way, the imagery is kind of neat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janey McAdoo on January 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is really interesting. I enjoyed reading the food recipes and deciding which to make. I also enjoyed the listing of all the different brands of tequilas. It is an informative and interesting read if you are looking to learn about the drink, and it's history and the culture it is derived from. You will find much more in this book than what you anticipated. I also enjoyed the photos in the book. It is a wonderful book to have on hand and an e-format of this book just would not live up to the actual book itself.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By N. Kobbernagel on November 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This must be without a doubt, the most beautiful book on tequila. Informative and exciting. Love tequila(?!), love this book!
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By Mark Berkeland on February 13, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazon asked me to review this book. It was purchased as a gift. As a gift, it fit the need nicely; it was in the correct price range for a daughter's-newish-boyfriend gift, it was sufficiently rectangular to make wrapping easy, and the subject matter was generic enough to stand a decent chance of being relevant despite not knowing much about the guy other than he has a job and a motorcycle. The only reason I didn't give it the full 5 stars was because on unwrapping the present, the daughter's-newish-boyfriend started looking around for ANOTHER gift, somehow convinced that his newish-boyfriend status warranted an actual bottle of Tequila to go with the book. Maybe next year, bud.
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