Are people actually drinking tequila with worms?

Some tequila drinkers might think that tequila bottles have worms at the bottom, but seasoned tequila-drinkers know that’s not the case. A similar Mexican liquor Mezcal features a worm at the bottom of the bottle. If you’re thinking of how and why this trend came to be, keep reading on!

Many people think the wormy surprise at the bottom of the bottle started as a marketing technique, a ploy to get people to drink more mezcal in the 1940s and 1950s. The American market was flooded with tequila and Mezcal needed a unique way to stand out. The ploy did not seem to work, unfortunately, because mezcal remained undiscovered until the past decade when mezcal resurfaced thanks to the explosion of the American cocktail trend. Mezcal is currently extremely trending and ubiquitous. But it will be a hard task for you to find a worm at the bottom of any bottle.

This infamous worm is actually a moth larvae, called a gusano de maguey because it feeds off the maguey plant. Surprisingly, if these worms weren’t being drowned in alcohol, they would turn into night butterflies called Mariposa. These gusano de magueys are actually eaten without tequila, on the regular in Mexico. 

So, what’s better: Tequila or Mezcal?

Both these liquors are made from distilling the juice of the agave plant. The liquor, by law, is distilled from the blue agave and produced in areas that are designated only for tequila. Mezcal, on the other hand, is allowed to be produced in any region of Mexico and can be made form any species of Agave.

What about the worm?

If a bottle of mezcal contains a worm, the liquor is described as con gusano or “with worm” in Spanish. The worm is actually a larva of 2 different types of moths that live on the agave plant. The reason behind the worm is not exactly verified but a theory states that the worm is a guarantee of high proof: that if the worm remains preserved within the bottle, it proves to the consumer that the alcohol percentage is high enough to preserve it. 

Can you consume this worm?

So if you’re wondering whether it’s a good idea for you to be eating this worm, after all, we have got you covered. One urban legend says that the worm in mezcal is so saturated that it might cause hallucinogenic reactions similar to peyote. This is one of the reasons why eating it is considered to be a rite of passage to test the drinker’s machismo. Although this might be a popular trend, it does not hold any scientific reasoning to it. 

So there you go, folks! We hope this article was insightful and cleared any misconceptions you had about Tequila or Mezcal, or the worm that resides within it! Head over to our shop section on our website to be surprised by other amazing spirits and liquors. Download the Liqroo app for easier access and instant deliveries in London!