Tequila mit Wurm? - Alles was du wissen musst! - Pacific and Lime

Tequila with worm? - Everything you need to know!

There's the worm in there! Actually, worms and food don't go very well together. You can find out here why you shouldn't call the health department if you have a tequila bottle with a worm in front of you.

Tequila and Mezcal

Is there a worm in every tequila?

A bottle of alcohol with a worm is tequila, more precisely mezcal , which is relatively unknown in this country. Both tequila and mezcal are made from agave, but only the Agave tequilana variety, also known as Blue Agave, can be used for tequila. For mezcal, on the other hand, over 30 types of agave come into question, which influence the individual taste. So the following applies: every tequila is a mezcal, but not every mezcal is a tequila.

However, as you have probably already noticed in the beverage market, a tequila with a worm is not the standard. Most of the time, a tequila or mezcal with worm is a rather high-priced product that can mainly be obtained from online shops such as Pacific & Lime .

Why does a worm swim in tequila?

How it came about that original tequila from Mexico is supplemented with a worm is not entirely clear. There are assumptions that this was originally intended to be a special quality feature. If mezcal or tequila contained a worm, it was taken as proof of the purity of the alcohol because the worm hadn't broken down like it would if there was too much methanol. Too high a dose of methanol can cause blindness in humans and can even be fatal. However, it is not the methanol itself that is so harmful, but the metabolites that are formed during the breakdown of methanol. However, since a dead worm no longer has a metabolism, it is not suitable as a warning quality guard.

Other myths claim that the worm in tequila is an impotence-enhancing drug or that it has hallucinogenic effects. It probably goes without saying that these theories are scientifically untenable.

The assumption that the worm in tequila was originally a unique selling point sounds more realistic. Due to alcohol shortages, many Americans broadened their alcohol horizons during World War II and also discovered tequila for themselves. At that time, however, Mexican distilleries often had no brand names or bottle labels for their products. For example, American consumers had trouble recognizing a tequila or mezcal they thought was good. Manufacturers from Oaxaca are said to have added a worm to their products so that they stand out from the competition.

However, the real reason for Mexican tequila with worm is probably a marketing strategy. The leaves of the agave are often attacked by caterpillars. When these leaves are used to make mezcal or tequila, the flavor of the distillate changes. Jacobo Lozano Páez, a Mexican mezcal producer, realized this in the 1950s and made a virtue out of necessity. Instead of discarding caterpillar-infested leaves, he relied on the unique taste and placed a worm in each bottle to identify it.

agave field

What's that worm in tequila?

Strictly speaking none at all, as just indicated, the insect is actually a caterpillar. In a real tequila with worm you will find white or red specimens. The white worms are moth larvae of the genus Meocuiles. The butterfly lays its eggs on agave leaves, from which the larvae later hatch and eat their fill of the leaves.

Red worms have the scientific name Chilocuiles. This is a moth larva that eats through the roots and stalk of agaves. An infestation can be recognized by a sticky coating on affected areas.

Worm in tequila

Tequila with a worm - can you eat it?

When you enjoy a mezcal or tequila with worm, the contents of the bottle will eventually run out. That's when it happened: The worm makes its way to the end and ends up in the jar! To eat or not to eat, that is the question now!

First the most important thing: The Mexico Tequila worm is completely harmless to health. When making tequila with worms, care is taken to ensure that the insects are cleaned and free of pesticides before they end up in the bottle, otherwise you wouldn't be able to drink the tequila with worms. It is doubtful whether the dead caterpillar, which has been swimming in alcohol for some time, is a culinary delight.

In Mexico, eating the tequila worm is sometimes considered a tradition, but its origins are unknown. In general, insects are a common part of the menu in many other cultures. In our country, however, they are not usually considered food, so eating the worm is perhaps best placed in the dare category.

How is tequila drunk with worm?

A good original tequila with or without a worm is drunk slowly and carefully in order to enjoy the aromas unfolding . The party variant is better known: You sprinkle salt on the back of your hand, lick it off and then pour the tequila down. The ritual is completed with a hearty bite into a lemon. The milder version uses golden tequila, cinnamon and a slice of orange.

Incidentally, this drinking variant is not found in Mexico, although a small bowl of salt and limes are certainly served with a tequila. However, this serves to open the taste buds, the alcohol is still drunk in small sips.

Tequila with salt

And how do you drink mezcal?

Since Mezcal is one of the medium- or high-priced distillates in Germany and is rather difficult to obtain, it is best enjoyed pure or with ice. It is also suitable for the salt and lemon ritual, but it is actually too good for it. Instead, the variety of flavors should be enjoyed as consciously as possible.

In Mexico you can order a "Sal de Gusano" with a Mezcal. It's a bowl of spices, consisting of chili, salt and - there they are again - ground caterpillars. A piece of fruit, usually an orange, is usually served with it.



So tequila or mezcal with worm mainly has a marketing background. And this strategy has worked, after all, many believe that the worm belongs to Mezcal like the pear belongs to Williams. The assumption that the worm is a special quality feature is also objectively untenable. The fact is that the insect influences the taste of the mezcal or tequila, whether positively or negatively, opinions differ.

Are you curious and want to convince yourself? Wondering where to buy tequila with worm? At Pacific & Lime we have a large selection of top-quality mezcals and tequilas for you, both with and without worm. Decide for yourself whether worms and food go well together in this combination or whether the worm is more likely to be in it!
Pacific & Lime products
Back to blog