Tequila – What’s with the lime, the salt, and the worm?


Credit: Christine und David Schmitt

Most people automatically look for lime and salt when they drink tequila. This popular practice is seen in bars, pubs, and even in movies.  However, a closer look at tequila will shed light on how good this drink is best enjoyed.

The Place of Lime or Lemon and Salt

The necessity of lime or lemon and salt is debunked by people who know their tequila. In Quora’s Why do drinkers take lime and salt after a shot of tequila?, Jim Gordon describes this process. “The drinker licks a dash of salt off their moistened hand, to bring saliva into the mouth.  The drinker then takes a sip or swallow of tequila.  The drinker then sucks or bites the lime, to ameliorate the raw, burning taste of the tequilas…”

He adds an uncompromising verdict about the salt-and-lime practice by saying, “The salt and the lime are aids for drinking cheap, sharp-tasting (cruda) tequila…

“Salt and lime are unnecessary or undesirable when drinking smooth, more refined tequila.  In some regions of Mexico, it is customary to follow sips of better-quality-tequila with sips of sangrita (note the similarity of the name to the Spanish cocktail sangría), a cocktail of orange juice, sweet grenadine syrup and hot chilies…”

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