Tequila Worms

 Dedicated to all things tequila

 There is no worm in Mexican-bottled tequila!

Yes, some Americans-bottled tequila put a worm in their bottles to impress the gringos and boost their sales, but this is only a marketing ploy and not a mexican tradition. Some types of bottledmezcal contain a worm called a gusano, properly a butterfly caterpillar (Hipopta Agavis) - in . You may also get a small bag of 'worm salt' - dried gusano, salt and chile powder tied to a mezcal bottle.

The worm-in-the-bottle myth is old and tired. The truth has been broadcast and expounded for years by the cognoscenti of tequila, in newspapers, magazines and on the Net.

Is the worm even a traditional element in mezcal production? Not according to Del Maguey Mezcal producers:they say it's a recent development, a marketing ploy that appeared only in the 1940s to try and get more attention on mezcal - and they should know.
When the worm is included in Mezcel this is known as 'Con Gusano', which means 'with worm.' Aside from its consumption with mezcal, the maguey worm is considered a delicacy in Mexico and can be found on some restaurant menus.
The worm is harmless to consume and it is believed in certain traditions that doing this is beneficial to the spirit and locks in the vigour of mezcal.

worm in_bottle

The use of the worm is exclusive to mezcal, the Mexican standards authority, NOM, prohibits adding 

insects or larvae to tequila.

Lots of people make the mistake of thinking tequila bottles should contain a worm but this is completely untrue!

So what is it with the worm?

Mezcal is famous for the dead agave worm rolling around at the bottom of the bottle. The alcoholic strength of the contents is proved by the state of preservation of the worm, which is considered a powerful aphrodisiac for Zapotecan Indians. Alas, like most aphrodisiacs, it's all hype and the worm is really just a marketing gimmick.

The worm is usually soaked in pure alcohol before being added to the bottle of mezcal to preserve the worm, some say the worm changes the taste of the drink.

Another variety of worm added to Mezacl is actually the larva of a weevil which can cause a great amount of damage to maguey crops, the damage is caused a bacteria rather than the weevil its self.