Tequila is one of the fastest-growing spirits categories in America, the margarita the country's most popular cocktail. But longer is it only cheap party fuel-it has become America's luxury sipping spirit. How the Gringos Stole Tequila eloquently traces this extraordinary evolution. As Chantal Martineau makes clear, there's far more to the story than an upmarket trend shift. Martineau spent several years immersing herself in the world of tequila-traveling to visit distillers and farmers in Mexico, meeting and tasting with leading experts and mixologists around the United States, and interviewing academics on either side of the border who have studied the spirit and its raw material: agave. How the Gringos Stole Tequila addresses issues surrounding the sustainability of the limited resource that is agave, the preservation of traditional production methods, and the legal constructs designed to protect tequila from counterfeiting. It examines the agave advocacy movement-made up of agave growers, distillers, bartenders, importers, and scholars-that has grown up alongside the spirit's swelling popularity. But besides detailing the culture and politics of Mexico's most iconic liquid export, this book also takes readers on a colorful tour of the country's Tequila Trail, as well as introducing them to the mother of tequila: mezcal. Including an unprecedented drinking guide to Mexico's agave-based spirits and a stunning collection of full-color photographs of the production process, How the Gringos Stole Tequila will long remain the definitive look at the evolution of North America's only truly native spirit.
Chantal Martineauhas written articles about food, drink, culture, and travel for numerous publications, including Afar, Allure, the Atlantic, Decanter, Edible, the Guardian, Islands, Redbook, Saveur, Time Out, the Village Voice, and Wine Enthusiast. She lives in New York City.