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what i’ve learned in my 20-year relationship with tequila

Few beverages are as suited for celebration as is tequila.  Preferably, good tequila.  Unfortunately, this is a lesson that took years for me to learn.

My introduction to tequila came via a naive freshman girl during my second year of undergrad in 1994.  The method employed involved an activity she labeled “machine shots.” Coca-Cola was poured into a shot glass already containing cheap tequila, the shot glass was slammed onto the table to make the Coke fizz, and then the drink was consumed.  I watched her do this at least 15 times.  Did I mention this girl was about 5’2” and maybe 100 pounds?  A few hours later, I was driving her to the Druid City Hospital’s emergency room to make sure she didn’t die.  Was I scared of tequila after this experience?  You bet your ass I was.  I avoided it for the next 4 years.


(photo source)

On Cinco de Mayo 1998, my friend Jesse had a party to commemorate the holiday.  Everyone was instructed to bring tequila; he was to mix margaritas.  I brought whatever was cheapest; I didn’t know enough about tequila to realize quality matters.  A few hours later, we were being escorted out of Bobby Dodd stadium by the Georgia Tech campus police after we’d scaled the fence, jumped off the 10 meter high dive, and begun kicking field goals.  I’m certain we would have gotten away with it, but for the crappy tequila.

In 2000, some friends from school and I flew from Atlanta to Los Angeles to watch the University of Alabama beat UCLA at the Rose Bowl stadium Labor Day weekend.  We were ranked #3 in the country; they weren’t.  We ran back a punt in the opening minutes for a touchdown, and I knew we were going to cover the spread.  And then Deshaun Foster slalomed through the Bama defense for 187 yards and 3 touchdowns.  We lost by 11.  Determined to make our trip to L.A. an enjoyable one nonetheless, my friend Jim Bob opened a bottle of Cuervo tequila.  And with each shot, the sky got bluer, the grass got greener, and the game got forgottener.  A few hours later, I was certain the Tide had defeated the Bruins.  That was the power of good tequila.


A few months ago, Atlanta was doused in snow and ice during the work day.  Traffic came to a complete standstill.  Children had to spend the night in schools as motorists had to spend the night in cars.  The nation laughed at our inability to drive in 2” of snow.  But not me.  Our office walked to Tin Lizzie’s at lunchtime and spent the entire afternoon shooting tequila and laughing at the frustrated thousands miserably honking their horns at the red light just outside.

shooting tequila

It took 20 years, but that day was the pinnacle of my relationship with tequila.  The climax.  The day I realized that good tequila along with games from is about forgetting the lousy circumstances that may surround you and just enjoying time for yourself and the good people who are there to make it better.  The folks who, when life hands you a lime, they hand you a shot of tequila.

And that?  Is the happy conclusion to my 20-year educational history with tequila.  Speaking of history, here’s a video honoring the 219-year history of Jose Cuervo tequila:  the good stuff.  The stuff that won’t get you arrested or sent to the emergency room.  The stuff that makes the day better and your friends friendlier.

This was a sponsored post, but the opinions and stories are mine (as if anyone else could make this shit up). 

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  1. The first time I went to Hawaii with my friends, we stayed up late the night before celebrating with tequila. I was still drunk when I was driven to the airport… two-and-a-half hours away… the next morning. And I was still drunk when the flight left for Maui two hours after that. Somewhere over the Pacific I managed to finally sober up, but the hangover was horrific. I didn’t drink tequila again for nearly 16 years. It took that long for the taste of cheap tequila to stop haunting me.

  2. I love that you have a tequila sponsored post.

  3. I loved tequila with a passion until the night several friends thought it generous to overload my ‘sunrises’. The next day I woke up and felt for my limbs…to see if they were intact.

  4. I am a weirdo and not much into drinking. I do like margaritas but not if I can taste the tequila. Not even if it is “top shelf”.

    However, I did find that I like apple martini’s. At a friend’s 50th birthday party. But then again I was mixing them so I am not sure if I would like one when I am out.

    AND Jose Cuervo reminds me of that old song form either the late 701’s or 80’s I don’t recall. Jose Cuervo you are a friend of mine. 🙂


  5. Machine shots. That’s what they’re called. That was my first experience with tequila as well, and evidently too much of an experience since it made me forget what the drinks were called.

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