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The Day of the Dead is looming, as is Halloween... take a look at a walk on the dark side with this outstanding Tequila.

Cazcabel is a beautiful hand crafted tequila made in the town of Arandas in the heart of the Jalisco Mountains in Mexico. Three generations help to create each batch of this award winning Tequila and quality is always their main focus.

The Town of Arandas is the second largest producer of Tequila in Mexico and sits to the very east of Jalisco. Known as 'Los Altos' (The Highlands), this area is just over 2000m above sea level and is famous for its nutrient rich, red volcanic soil known as 'Tierra Roja'. The soil is so rich in iron and other minerals that the agave can be planted in much denser fields - between 3000 and 5000 per hectare which is around double that of the area of Tequila. The Agave in this area are also known to grow around a third bigger than anywhere else in Jalisco and due to its very unique microclimate the agaves take a little bit longer to mature - around 8-10 years compared to around 7 in the lowlands.

The result of all this means that the Agave that is useed to create Cazcabel have a much higher sugar content and leads to a much more aromatic tequila with beautiful, fresh notes of agave.

Agave has been used to create alcohol in Mexico for over 1800 years, the Aztecs created a fermented drink from the sap of agave called Pulque (Pol-Kay) and while the first documented evidence of this was in 200 A.D it's commonly thought that the Olmecs and civilisations dating back to 1000 B.C created a very similar thing.

Pulque was so important to Aztec culture that they worshipped two Gods related to this amazing liquid. The first was Mayahuel, the goddess of the maguey (a type of agave), and the second was her husband Patecatl, the god of pulque.



It wasn't until the Spanish invaded Mexico in 1520 A.D that the history of Tequila really began. When they first invaded they brought with them brandy and wine but as supplies started to dwindle they looked to the indigenous people and their revered drink 'pulque' and more importantly Maguey or 'Agave' and they began to create their own version of what we now know as Mezcal using mud ovens to cook the Agave and utilising distillation methods from Europe.

In the mid 1500's the Spanish opened up a trade route between Manila and Mexico and in the early 1600's they started exporting what was known at the time as 'Mexican Whiskey' or 'Mezcal Wine'.

Although the first tequila production was reported in the 1600s, some experts argue it was being produced several years earlier by some haciendas for their personal use. Production was done behind closed doors because if caught, the hacienda would be forced to pay taxes to the Spanish crown. The town of Tequila was founded in 1656 and shortly thereafter tequila was produced throughout the whole of Jalisco. The late 1800's saw the first imports to the U.S. and the following Mexican Revolution and World Wars added to the international popularity of tequila and it started to spread around the world.

Today, more popular than ever, people are starting to really appreciate the beauty of well made Tequila and also the versatility of the liquid. While Cazcabel is great to enjoy on its own it's also a perfect ingredient for making some outstanding cocktails or just simple mixed drinks. Whether it's a twist on a classic margarita or just served with a side of tonic and a slice of fresh orange - there are so many great ways to enjoy it.

At the end of October the famous Mexican holiday of Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated across the whole of Mexico and around the world. Not to be confused with Halloween, this holiday has a rich history and is a time when people gather to celebrate the lives of those that have died. It's Mexico's largest celebration of the year and many a Tequila is drunk over the two days.

Maybe this year, pour yourself a glass of Cazcabel Tequila and toast the dead with us.

Call the sales office on 01747 827030 or email ten/ratcen//selas

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