Once little more than party fuel, tequila has graduated to the status of fine sipping spirit. How the Gringos Stole Tequila traces the spirit’s evolution in America from frat-house firewater to luxury good. But there’s more to the story than tequila as upmarket drinking trend. Chantal Martineau spent several years immersing herself in the world of tequila–traveling to visit distillers and agave 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.
The result is a book that offers readers a glimpse into the social history and ongoing impact of this one-of-a-kind drink. It addresses issues surrounding the sustainability of the limited resource that is agave, the preservation of traditional production methods, and the agave advocacy movement that has grown up alongside the spirit’s swelling popularity. In addition to discussing the culture and politics of Mexico’s most popular export, the book takes readers on a colorful tour of the country’s Tequila Trail, as well as introducing them to the mother of tequila: mezcal.