The Truth About the Worm in Your Tequila

What is the worm in your tequila?

The worm isn’t technically a worm. It is a larva of a moth that live on the agave plant (which is used to produce tequila and mezcal). We’ve all heard the theory of a higher-proof tequila when a worm has been deposited in a bottle.

Legend has it that consuming the tequila worm may cause hallucinations or increase your state of drunkenness… but is it true? Not really.

The truth about the tequila worm

Contrary to popular belief, tequila doesn’t actually contain the worm. The worm was reserved for mezcal, which is known as tequila’s big brother. So what’s the difference? Tequilas consist of at least 51%, whereas mezcal must be 100% agave (read more on the difference between tequila vs. mezcal). Mezcal is a smokey, aromatic spirit while tequila is more robust.

The legend of the worm started in the 1950s when a Mexican mezcal maker discovered a moth larvae in a batch of mezcal. This mezcal maker thought the worm’s presence actually improved its taste. He placed a worm in each bottle as a marketing strategy. Over time, other manufacturers followed suit due to its popularity.

Today, tequila does not contain a worm in the bottle (in fact, the Mexican Standards authority prohibits it). But if you do find a bottle, they’re usually in lower-ended mezcal.

Should I eat the tequila worm?

If you’re up for a bit of adventure. Who isn’t? According to a trusted Saucey colleague, the worm tastes like chicken. His first advice? Don’t down a shot with the worm. Sip the mezcal slowly for its agave flavors and aromas. Second advice? Chew the worm and enjoy the taste on your palette.

For all the over-achievers out there, you can always find a bottle of scorpion mezcal (yes, you read that correctly). Don’t worry, the stinger and poison are removed, plus, it is FDA approved. Intrepid drinkers only.

The bottom line is, mezcal and tequila are worth enjoying, worm or not. Especially when it can be delivered to me in 30 minutes by Saucey. Enjoy the experience of the spirit first and foremost and eat bugs if the fates present them.

Staff selections of Saucey spirits

Not sure what to order? We got you! Here is a shortlist of some of the more popular spirits that our customers love!

They work great neat and on the rocks, or enjoyed in a margarita or tequila sunrise. Check out our menu for mixers and ingredients!

Showing 3 comments
  • Grant

    Hell yeah eat the worm

  • Joseph H Jeffries

    true tequila is made with 100% blue webber agave. if it is only 51% agave it is considered a mexto and in my opinion (as a long time bartender and tequila lover) mixto is the one that leaves you feeling horrible the next day. so if the bottle doesnt say 100% agave steer clear

  • Mckelee Landry

    The larva of a moth is a worm

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