National Tequila Day takes place every year on July 24th in the United States, and there are many different ways to celebrate. While the exact origins of the holiday in the US are unknown, there is plenty of rich history surrounding the spirit itself both in Mexico and the United States.
In this article, I will highlight some of the best places to celebrate National Tequila Day both in 2023 and 2024, as well as some of the best drinks to enjoy on the holiday. I will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions on the internet surrounding National Tequila Day.
History of Tequila and National Tequila Day
Some of the earliest spirits made from the agave plant were called pulque, and it was made by fermenting agave sap to produce a thick and frothy beverage. Traces of pulque production can be traced all the way back to the 3rd century, and it was a popular drink among the Aztec people.
In the 1500s, Spanish conquistadors entered Mexico and brought with them much more advanced distillation equipment and techniques that were popular in Europe at the time. Mezcal was created using the same agave plants with this new distillation technology, and the drink became very popular around the country.
Over the next 100 years, the state of Jalisco became especially well known for cultivating high-quality blue agave and producing some of the best Mezcal in all of Mexico. Tequila became the name for the highest quality spirits produced in Jalisco, and to this day all Tequila must be produced within the state.
The oldest officially recognized Tequila distillery in the world was granted its license by the Mexican government in the year 1758. The Cuervo family has been successfully producing and selling tequila for over 250 consecutive years, and Jose Cuervo Tequila is still a favorite today among many Tequila enthusiasts.
Tequila didn’t really start to gain a foothold in the United States until the 1960s, as increased tourism to Mexico at the time brought much-needed visibility to the product. By 1973, the Mexican government had declared Tequila the nation’s national drink, and international sales have steadily increased in the years since.
While the exact origins of National Tequila Day in the United States remain unknown, it is thought that the holiday was first celebrated in 2003. By the year 2014, the United States had surpassed Mexico as the largest consumer of Tequila in the world, and both Tequila and Mezcal are very popular drinks in the US today.
Celebrating National Tequila Day in 2023
While National Tequila Day technically takes place on July 24th, there are plenty of different Tequila themed festivals and celebrations being held all across the country throughout the summer of 2023. I have hand selected some of the most popular 2023 Tequila festivals that make for a great way to celebrate National Tequila Day.
Tequila and Taco Music Festival 2023
The Tequila and Taco Music Festival is a recurring event that takes place in different locations across Southern California each summer. This year, there is an event in San Diego on April 22nd and 23rd. There is also a celebration in Santa Clarita on May 20th, as well as a final party in Ventura on July 15th and 16th.
Tequila Fest Cincinnati 2023
In 2023, Tequila Fest Cincinnati takes place exactly one week before the official National Tequila Day. Between 4 pm and 11 pm on June 17th, the largest Tequila event in the entire state of Ohio will be held in Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati.
There will be more than 50 different individual tequila selections, as well as live music and vendors. There will also be many different food trucks to choose from, and a VIP package is available for those willing to spend a bit more.
Las Cruces Tequila, Taco and Cerveza Festival 2023
The Las Cruces Tequila, Taco and Cerveza Festival is set to be one of the largest Tequila-themed celebrations that the state of New Mexico has ever seen. This two-day event will be held in downtown Las Cruces, and is only open to those 21 years of age or older!
There will be over 40 different Tequilas available for sampling, as well as a live Lucha Libre wrestling show. General admission only costs $25, and included 10 different individual samples of Tequila.
Celebrating National Tequila Day in 2024
While it is still a bit early for 2024 National Tequila Day celebrations to be announced, it is safe to assume that the same cities that are hosting parties in 2023 will do so again in 2024.
San Diego and Los Angeles are two major markets that hold National Tequila Day celebrations annually, and celebrations are generally announced 3 to 6 months ahead of time.
What to Drink on National Tequila Day
Many Tequila enthusiasts are well aware that July 24th is a great annual opportunity to try some top-shelf offerings with serious discounts. Many bars, restaurants, and cantinas offer National Tequila Day specials, giving customers major discounts on some of their top Tequila-based drinks.
The Margarita is by far the most famous Tequila based cocktail in the world, and there are many different versions and flavor combinations available. The Prickly Pear Margarita is one of the most popular new variations of the drink and is available at many bars across the country.
The Paloma is another Tequila-based drink that has become very popular over the past few years. It is made with Tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda. It is one of the most popular summertime cocktails and is best enjoyed outside on a warm day.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is National Margarita Day?
National Margarita Day takes place in the United States on July 24th every year. Many different bars and restaurants across the country have drink specials to commemorate the holiday, and some cities even host large parties and celebrations.
What is the Difference Between Tequila and Mezcal?
By law, Tequila can only be produced in the Jalisco state of Mexico. Mezcal is also a fermented spirit made with the agave plant, but there are fewer restrictions in terms of sourcing and production locations.
National Tequila Day – Final Thoughts
National Tequila Day is a fairly “under the radar” holiday compared to other celebrations like Cinco De Mayo. Every year on July 24th, Tequila fans from around the country rejoice and enjoy pirates and drink specials.
I personally have celebrated National Tequila Day by sampling some top-shelf Tequilas at my local cantina, and I highly encourage you to do the same this year!
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any special traditions for National Tequila Day, and be sure to let others know which labels of Tequila are your favorite!