September 16, 2011
Be sure to watch the video below!
There are many accounts of the origins of Mexican Independence Day. Reviews of the accounts distill (no pun intended… well, maybe perhaps a little!) down to this:
The Grito de Dolores (known as the “Cry of Dolores” and also known as El Grito de la Independencia or the “Cry of Independence”) was first voiced from the small town of Dolores (near Guanajuato) on September 16, 1810. Considered the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence, this is the most important national holiday observed in Mexico. The “Grito” was declared by a Roman Catholic priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costalla.
Hidalgo and several companions were planning a revolt against the Spanish colonial government when they were betrayed. Along with his brothers, Hidalgo was able to release by force 80 of his pro-independence compatriots. Early in the morning of September 16, 1810, Hidalgo ordered the church bells to be rung to gather his congregation. With his brothers standing beside him, Hidalgo spoke to the congregation and encouraged them to revolt.
The Battle of Guanajuato occurred four days later and was the first major engagement of the revolt. However, it wasn’t until after a decade of war, on September 27, 1821, that Spain would finally concede independence for Mexico.
As part of the celebration of this year’s anniversary of Mexican Independence Day, we are offering a variety of Tequila drink specials! You may have wondered – what makes Tequila special and what is its connection with our celebration?
Well, Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, which flourishes in the red volcanic soil of the Mexican state of Jalisco – in which Guanajuato is located. (Remember the Battle of Guanajuato mentioned above? Hmmm… Perhaps that wonderful drink helped inspire the revolution! Who knows?)
As a little history, Tequila was first produced in the 16th century, near the location of the city of Tequila, as a fermented beverage from the agave plant – long before the Spanish arrived. Around 1900, Don Petro Sanchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira, began mass production in the first factory in the territory of modern-day Jalisco.
Today, although some tequilas have remained as family owned brands, most well-known tequila brands are owned by large multinational corporations. However, there are over 100 distilleries making over nine hundred brands of tequila in Mexico and over 2,000 brand names have been. Due to this, each bottle of tequila contains a serial number depicting which distillery the tequila was produced in. Because there are only so many distilleries, multiple brands of tequila come from the same geographic location.
Okay, history lesson over! Let’s grab our lime, salt and shot – and celebrate! (Where are The Champs when you need them?)