informative speech on tequila outline

Informative Speech Outline General Purpose: To inform Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about how tequila is made; from growth, to field harvesting, to factory production Central Idea: The art of producing tequila is passed down from generation to generation, and follows a strict code of reproduction to maintain the quality and reputation of the tequila

Introduction:We have all heard the saying “one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor” made famous by George Carlin. But, has anyone ever wondered about how the spirit is made before hitting the shelves of stores or bars? The story of tequila starts many centuries ago with the conquistadors of Mexico, who instead of drinking water (which contained disease-emitting bacteria) with their meal, drank the local alcohol, called pluque (Weir 3).

Pulque was the much weaker cousin of the tequilas and mescals we enjoy today, but the conquistadors realized they could transform this mildly alcoholic beverage into something much stronger. Through the Old World technologies of distilling alcohol in copper sills, tequila began its evolution to the drink of Mexico, often at the time referred to as, vino de mescal, or mescal wine in English. Tequila did not officially get its name until the 1870s, when it was named after the state in Mexico that wanted to distinguish its mescals from all others.

In the present day, tequila, by law, can only be made by using the blue agave plant. This beautiful plant, which looks like an erratic blue cactus, is grown in only five official zones of Mexico, and to maintain the integrity of the tequila harvesting and distillation must be done in the same place. I will take you through the steps of producing this fine spirit, beginning with the growth of the plants, to harvesting the agave pinas, and finally the distillery production. Body: I. The scientific name of the blue agave plant is Agave tequilana Weber var. azul, named after Dr.

Franz Weber who discovered the difference between the Blue Weber agave plant and all other agaves (Blue 105). The growth process of agave plants takes anywhere between 8 to 12 years, and begins with the growing plant called the madre. The madre produces about 6 to 10 offshoots a year that will eventually be the next generation of mature agaves. The timing of planting these offshoots is critical, because if they are picked to early, or too late, they will not produce healthy plants. Agaves are very efficient in reproduction, due to the fact that they do not need to be replanted as seeds.

The madres offshoots are all that is needed. Once the agaves reach maturity, they are ready to be harvested. II. Unlike any other alcohols, tequila is the only spirit that contains a whole life (Weir 10). It is also a spirit that is harvested using traditions passed down from jimadores, the harvesters, from generation to generation. These skilled workers have been unaffected by many of the technologies of today, and still use the tools that have been used by their predecessors for over a hundred years. The most important tool is the coa de jima.

This half-moon shaped blade is used to cut off the leaves of the agaves to expose their hearts, named pinas. It must always remain razor sharp, or it has potential to damage the heart. The skill of the jimadoes is so exact, that they are able to uproot, cut the leaves of the agave, and then split the pina in two, in just about 6 minutes (Valenzuela-Zapata 58). These 60 to 120 pinas are then loaded onto trucks to take them to the distillery to which they will be converted into delicious tequila. III: The making of tequila has several steps.

The first begins just after the pinas are delivered to the distillery. A. First the hearts must be cooked. The hearts are slow roasted for at least 24 hours in order to start the process of the agave hearts releasing their liquid. After they are done baking, the pinas are put into a mill that grinds them down in order to extract all of their juices. The pulp is then washed and fibers separated so that the tequila will have a smooth ride through the sills. B. The next step is the fermentation process. The fermentation process various from producer to producer, and also for what type of tequila is being made.

If it will be 100% blue agave, only the agave juice and yeast are added. If it is to be a blended tequila, additional sugars are added to the mix (Dias 108). The tequila then lets the yeast do its work by converting the sugars to alcohol and CO?. When frothy brown foam forms on the brew, fermentation is complete, and it is ready to be distilled. C. Copper pot sills are the preference for distilling the tequila. When heat is applied to the pot, liquid transforms to steam and condenses, and then drips down into another pot.

There are three parts that come out of the distillation process: the heads, the heart, and the tails. The heads and tails are discarded, leaving only the heart, which will go through a second distillation to produce the final product. Once completely distilled, tequila can be aged or not, depending on the preference of the producer. Conclusion: As you can see, the process of producing tequila is very involved. From the planting of the plants to the final bottling, many steps, and traditions are involved. Mexico takes pride in its tequila.

With the time it takes to create such a fine product, they would be crazy not to. Now who wants a drink? Reference List Blue, Anthony Dias. The Complete Book of Spirits. New York: HaperCollins, 2004. Print. Graham, Colleen. ?Hola Tequila!. South Portland: Seller’s Publishing, Inc. , 2012. Print. Ruy-Sanchez, Alberto and de Orellana, Margarita, eds. Tequila. Washington: Smithsonian Books, 2004. Print. Valenzuela-Zapata, Ana G. and Nabhan, Gary Paul. ?Tequila!. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2003. Print. Weir, Joanne. Tequila. Berkeley: 10 Speed Press, 2009. Print.

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