Legend of the Tequila Worm

Tequila Worm – Mezcal Worm

One of the main myths that surround tequila is all about the worm. Although many individuals are under the misconception that tequila is the alcohol that contains the worm, it is not the case.
Mezcal the close relative to tequila is the alcohol that consists of the worm in the bottle. However, not all mezcal brands and types contain the worm, and this is especially true for the better premium brands. Even though fables, foklore and theories all direct to the legend of the tequila worm. When people find out the truth they seem to be very disappointed so it just continues to be carried around tequila, because no one wants to speak in terms of the mezcal worm.




To clarify some elements of the legend of the tequila worm, an individual must first realize that tequila is made from mezcal, however only mezcal that consists of at least 51% of the blue agave plant. Mezcal itself can be made from many other types of agave plants known as Magueys. This fact that spearate tequila from mescal causes confusion allowing many people to devise their own theories about them both.

The tequila worm itself if often misrepresented, people want to know what type of worm it is, why it is placed in the bottle to begin with, and whether it is good or bad to consume the worm. First of all, the tequila worm that is placed in the bottle of mezcal can be in various forms and in various species of worms. In fact, the worm is not really classified as a “worm.” It is a larva that is gold or of fat coral in origin.

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Here are some of the many stories that you might have already heard about the tequila worm:

  • That the tequila worm is a type of caterpillar or moth.
  • That the red color worm is the best for mezcal.
  • New species of tequila worm are being used to enhance the flavor and aroma of some types mezcal.
  • The tequila worm is known as the maguey worm or Gusano worm.
  • The gusano worms vary in stages and species such as moths, butterflies, and caterpillars.
  • Worm poachers of the agave plants are real.
  • The tequila worm can be consumed safely and without harm to an individual.
  • Eating a worm of mezcal is often performed for different rites of passage for people.
  • The tequila worm is actually packed with protein and nutritious for health.
  • The tequila worm was not introduced to mezcal until the 1950’s.
  • The tequila worm was utilized as a marketing strategy.
  • Many believe that the tequila worm is an aphrodisiac and contains properties that are hallucinogenic.
  • The tequila worm is not magical and does not give those who consume it special powers.

The tequila worm is one of those mysteries that are better left unsolved. However, those who know the facts from legend are wiser than those who continue to believe in something. Perhaps when the idea of the tequila worm began as a gimmick to create some business opportunities, it was pure marketing genius. This is because stories still circulate about the tequila worm and mystery that surround it continue to generate enough curiosity that people still purchase and search for bottles of mezcal and tequila that contain the amazing worm.

Tequila Quote: I’ve been drinking tequila for a long time now, and it’s never been about drinking to get drunk. I don’t do that. I never drink tequila during the day, and I don’t
drive at night. ~ Sammy Hagar