hornitos brand  
 

You may have never tried any of the three Tequilas in Hornitos' line (Plata, Reposado or Anejo), but if you've ever had tequila before you've no doubt tasted Hornitos influence (or at least the influence of its parent company, Sauza). Read on and learn the history of this storied brand and how it's become one of the best-selling tequilas in Mexico and the U.S.

 The story starts in 1858 when a 16-year old named Cenobio Sauza moved from his father's farm in Jalisco, Mexico to the town of Tequila, where he began working at a distillery owned by Jose Antonio Gomez Cuervo (i.e., Jose Cuervo). There he learned how to farm agave and how to distill it into what at the time was called Mezcal Wine or Mezcal Brandy.

He quickly rose through the Cuervo ranks and began exporting the Mezcal Wine to other parts of Mexico until in 1870 he leased an agave farm and distillery and began making his own. Within three years he had made enough money to purchase his own farm and distillery, naming it La Perseverancia.

 
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(La Perseverancia distillery, Tequila, Mexico - credit tequilasource.com)

It's at this point that the story really begins to affect you. You see, in 1873 Sauza became the first distiller to export his product to the United States by bringing three casks and six jugs through what is now known as Juarez, Mexico and bordering El Paso, Texas. He also began calling his product "Tequila" based on the town of origin. Another contribution was his argument that only Blue Agave should be used to make tequila - a choice shared by many distillers who followed him and which is also the standard for today.

hornitos

Later his son, Eladio Sauza carried on the tradition of Cenobio by continuing to distill at La Perseverancia and also by expanding distribution and production, exporting to all parts of Mexico and the United States. It was Eladio's son, Francisco, the third generation of Sauza distillers, who persuaded the Mexican Government to pass a law deeming that only the spirit made in the state of Jalisco may be called "tequila". This law is still in effect today, assuring consumers that anything called "tequila" will be from Jalisco, is regulated, and is the genuine spirit.

It was then Eladio's son, Francisco Javier Sauza, who, in 1950, created a new brand of tequila called Hornitos - named for the small ovens they use to bake the agave plant before fermentation. At the time, quality tequila was expensive, and so the working class were only able to afford a cheaper, foul-tasting version. He reckoned that a high-quality tequila would be welcomed by blue collar workers in his country and the U.S. - and he was right! Hornitos became the working man's tequila!

While a very modest price, Hornitos is made with the same quality and care as much more expensive brands. It is still made at La Perseverancia in Tequila, Mexico and still uses only 100% Blue Agave. The tequila is double distilled while others of the same price are only distilled once. This makes it a much higher quality when compared to similarly-priced brands.

They make three different types in their line - a Plata (clear and unaged), a Reposado (rested for 2 months in oak) and an Anejo (a blend of tequilas aged from one to three years).

What makes the Reposado particularly interesting is the mechanism they use to rest it. Most other brands rest the tequila in small, American Oak barrels. Sauza, however, uses 10,000 gallon American Oak vats. This means less contact with the wood and so the tequila tastes more "agave-y" compared to most other Reposados.

Whichever type you try you won't be disappointed. The Working Man's tequila is a high-quality tequila that can be, and should be, afforded and enjoyed by all.