Blue Agave is a specific species of plant which is used to make a certain type of Tequila or as many believe all sorts of Tequila. It was first grown or discovered in Jalisco which is a region in Mexico which has long been associated with the origins of the fermented drink when it was just sap drunk by Pre-Hispanic settlers.
It is even today the main ingredient for various versions of the drink as different distilleries have their own age old recipes for making it. The other names for Blue Agave include it being called mezcal, Tequila Agave, and Weber’s Blue.
Although the Blue Agave looks very much like a cactus it is actually an offshoot of the lily species. It is somewhat bluish green and is found in the ground as a clump which eventually grows into a full fledged plant. The leaves are situated around an oval part called the heart and they are typically about 6 inches or less. The plant is harvested upon maturation and then used for Tequila production. Many Tequila producers actually specialize in the growing of the plant so they can control the quality of the end product.
The plant does not grow on its own in the wild as was earlier supposed. It needs to be planted and taken care of and can only grow in certain types of topography. It needs the dry soil which is found in Jalisco state and the soil chosen also needs to be mineral rich which is why these soils are regularly replenished especially if the plant has been growing for a while or is regrown for commercial usage again and again.
It is well tolerant of dry weather which means there isn’t a lot which affects the growth of Blue Agave. It grows easily in most temperatures unless it rains a lot which is usually not the case in that region anyway. It retains water in its leaves much in the same way as a cactus would even though it is not classified in that category.
Minimal irrigation and ample sunlight is enough for the plant to flourish. When it is harvested, typically only the ‘heart’ is used in the actual making of the drink. The heart is roasted first and then ground into small bits. It takes a full ten years for the plant to reach the stage when it can be harvested for use.