How To Celebrate National Tequila Day
Your Guide To National Tequila Day 2022
The perfect excuse for another big summer celebration, National Tequila Day is right around the corner. To make the most of this holiday, we put together a list of everything you need to know, as well as the best ways to celebrate and appreciate this distinct drink. Keep reading to learn more!
When Is National Tequila Day?
National Tequila Day this year falls on Sunday, July 24th, timing it perfectly for a whole weekend dedicated to celebrating (although maybe celebrate Saturday and leave Sunday for recovery). In 2023, the holiday will be on a Monday, so take advantage of it being on a weekend this year!
National Tequila Day’s History
Millenia before tequila, a drink called pulque was made in central Mexico by fermenting sap from the agave plant. In the 1500s however, Spanish conquistadors invading Mexico ran out of their own brandy and decided to experiment with making wines from the area’s native plants, including agave. They figured out that fermented agave could be distilled into what would later become mezcal, and that’s how tequila was discovered.
After that, around the year 1600, the first tequila factory was opened by Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle in what is now the city of Tequila.
As for the holiday itself, there isn’t a consensus about who first originated it or why it’s on July 24 in the U.S., and the third Saturday of March in Mexico. We’d like to think the creators just had a little too much fun with the tequila and forgot why they created it and why it’s on a specific day. Or on the other hand, maybe one day a year just isn’t enough. Whether you’re enjoying the holiday at home, going out, or both, we’ve compiled the best ways to start a new tradition, enjoy old ones, and make the most of it!
Types Of Tequila
While all tequila comes from the agave plant, there are different types that you should know if you really want to get the most out of this drink. The primary factor that separates each type is how long each is aged, with things like its color getting richer and more amber as it ages longer. Each has different characteristics that might be more or less favorable for certain people, and can be paired with different foods.
- Tequila Blanco - sometimes called silver tequila, this is an unaged variation that appears clear (or slightly green-tinted) in its bottle and is the most common type of tequila used for margaritas.
- Tequila Reposado - aged in oak barrels anywhere from two months up to a year, this type has more flavor (spicy or sweet) and kick than unaged tequila.
- Tequila Añejo - aged in oak barrels for more than a year, añejo is generally best for sipping neat or as a substitute for recipes that call for brown spirits (like whiskey).
- Extra Añejo - as the name would suggest, these are aged in barrels for even longer — more than three years. Like añejo, this is best appreciated by sipping it neat or on the rocks.
- Tequila Joven - sometimes called gold tequila, joven is usually a bottle of tequila blanco with a small amount of aged reposado mixed in, but can also get its gold color from additives like caramel syrup.
How To Celebrate National Tequila Day
Now for the fun part – how to celebrate National Tequila Day. We’ve put together some of our favorite ideas for activities and things to try this year, whether it’s in-person or online.
Margaritas & Burgers
Hopdoddy has incredible selections of burgers and margaritas for spending National Tequila Day drinking, eating, and having a good time. The pairing goes great together and can be enjoyed with friends, family, or all to yourself. With burger bars across the country (and more opening through 2023), we’re pretty proficient at celebrating delicious drinks and good food.
Homemade Margaritas & Mexican Food
Speaking of alcohol and good food, stay in and make homemade margaritas and Mexican food to honor the day’s roots and culture. It can also be a fun way to spend time with those you haven’t seen or spent time with in a while. This activity is sure to be entertaining, whether it comes out incredible or inedible.
Tequila Popsicles & Ice Cream
Because the U.S. has National Tequila Day during the height of summer, staying cool is essential. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to combine tequila and margaritas with popsicles and ice cream. This recipe for tequila sunrise popsicles only takes five minutes to prep and even includes the lime! You can buy margarita ice cream from a number of places, but if you want to make your own, try this recipe for a quick overnight snack to celebrate.
A relatively unique dish to change it up with and try making is tequila-grilled shrimp. Its tequila-infused flavor is perfect for National Tequila Day, or just any grill party. Not only that, but it’s also versatile enough to be an appetizer or a full meal just by changing the amount you grill!
Experiment With Other Tequila Drinks
On the subject of changing it up, try other drinks with tequila in them! Beyond margaritas, there’s plenty of ways to celebrate tequila. Here are some of our favorite picks that you may or may not have heard of and tried:
- Tequila Sour - sour cocktail and a margarita mix with bitters and egg white foam
- Mexican Mule - variation on the traditional Moscow Mule (with tequila instead of vodka)
- Envy Cocktail - vibrant tropical-flavored blue drink with blue curaçao and pineapple juice
- Tequila and Coke - not just delicious with rum, try this instead
- Bloody Maria - alternative to Bloody Mary (with tequila and hot sauce instead of vodka)
- Dulce de Tequila - dessert cocktail with cognac and agave nectar for sweetness
Drinking games almost always make for a good time, or at least good stories. Bringing about endless fun and laughter, drinking games will depend on who you’re with, what you’re doing, and what you’re drinking, but are a perfect way to break the ice or get to know people better. Whether it’s something more structured or just asking each other questions or drinking every time something happens, drinking games are sure to make National Tequila Day memorable (or maybe not so memorable depending on how much you drink).
Perfect to add to any of the activities mentioned here, or anything else you might do on National Tequila Day, a playlist sets the mood and atmosphere. It can make or break a great time, so we took this very seriously.
We’d recommend including classics such as Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville (it’s mandatory), the Eagles’ Tequila Sunrise, and Alan Jackson’s It's Five O' Clock Somewhere. For even more feelgood and relaxing summer music, Kenny Chesney’s Summertime, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Have You Ever Seen The Rain, and The Cars’ Good Times Roll all are quintessentials for summer parties.
Foods To Pair With Tequila On National Tequila Day
We already mentioned a few great ways to combine the holiday and food (such as burgers or shrimp), but there are countless other ways to enjoy these together. With food and margaritas being such a large part of our culture, we have some combinations for you to try come July 24th:
- Raw fish - from fish tartare to sushimi, variations of raw fish are fantastic with a tequila blanco
- Vegetables - our recommendations for this category are asparagus, green peppers, and tomatillos, which also go well with a tequila blanco
- Pork - whether grilled or pulled, pork is a great pairing for a sweeter or spicier tequila reposado
- Chocolate - the fudgy texture and taste of dark (or milk) chocolate combined with a tequila añejo is one of the best ways to treat yourself on National Tequila Day
- Tacos - while we already discussed Mexican food in general, tacos (and any spicy food for that matter) pair well with a quality tequila joven
Stay Hydrated & Have Fun
Remember that National Tequila Day is a fun holiday, but it also comes around the hottest part of the year. Stay hydrated so you can enjoy the day (or days) drinking tequila and spending time with friends and family.
Side note: Of all the liquors, tequila’s reputation is known for being a little… wild. And while it can be just that, it doesn’t have to be. When consumed responsibly, you can enjoy imbibing delicious and unique beverages without any regrets or, hopefully, splitting headaches. So with that, we say salud! Have a great weekend and let us know if you use any of our suggestions!