Jose Cuervo

Original name: "Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Cuervo" (1795)

Jose Cuervo logo
Jose Cuervo logo
Name: "Jose Cuervo Tequila" (1900)

Category: Liquors

Subcategory: Tequila

Inventor: Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo

First producer: La Rojeña (original name "Taberna de Cuervo", established in 1795 by Jose Antonio de Cuervo's son Jose Maria Guadalupe de Cuervo, officially founded in 1812 under the name La Rojeña).

Production start: 1795 - Santiago de Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico

Jose Antonio de Cuervo
Jose Antonio de Cuervo
inventor of the
Jose Cuervo Tequila
Recipe: The plant species for making tequila is "blue" agave, so called for the silvery blue hue of its spiky leaves. Blue agave grew best in the state of Jalisco, particularly in the area surrounding the village of Tequila. The leaves are chopped off and the core (piña) is cooked and crushed to create juice, which is fermented, distilled twice, and aged in oak barrels to make tequila. The clear tequila is diluted with water to bring the alcohol content down to around 40%. Pure tequila is distilled 100% from the sap of the blue agave plant, while mixto tequilas only need to be at least 51% blue agave in order to legally be called tequila.

Interesting facts: In 1758, Jose Antonio de Cuervo obtained a title to a parcel of land in Jalisco, Tequila, to begin growing agave on his lands for producing tequila. In 1795 Jose Antonio de Cuervo's son Jose Maria Guadalupe de Cuervo was granted the first official permit to produce tequila commercially; Jose thus founded "Taberna de Cuervo", the oldest active distillery in Latin America. In 1812, Jose died and left his holdings to a son, Jose Ignacio, and a daughter, María Magdalena Ignacia Cuervo. She married Vicente Albino Rojas - her dowry was the distillery. Vicente disapproved of the name "Taberna de Cuervo", and changed its name to "La Rojeña" after himself. In 1860 Jesus Flores, owner of the taverns "La Floreña" and "La del Puente" (also known later as "La Constancia"), acquired "La Rojeña" from the Cuervo family. Flores was the first producer to bottle tequila in glass vessels. His bottles were called damajuanas, hand blown, rounded-shape 5 liter bottles, wrapped in agave fiber. Later these bottles would be as large as 32 litres. The use of the small pocket-sized "pachoncita" bottles at the end of the century really gave tequila sales a boost because workers could carry them around in their baggy pants. In 1889, Mexican president Porfirio Díaz awarded Cuervo its first gold medal for the quality of tequila it produced. In 1900, upon the death of Don Jesus, his wife, Ana Gonzalez Rubio, married Jose Cuervo Labastida, who called the tequila "Jose Cuervo". The tequila produced under this name won some international awards, including Gran Premio in Madrid, Spain (1907), and Grand Prix in Paris, France (1909).

Property: JOSE CUERVO - Tequila Cuervo La Rojeña, S.A. de C.V.

Producer website:

Jose Cuervo Vino Mezcal ad
Jose Cuervo Vino Mezcal, early advertisement

Jose Cuervo Tequila bottle 1930s, front-back
Jose Cuervo Tequila bottle 1930s, top
Jose Cuervo Tequila bottle (1930s)

Jose Cuervo Tequila ad, Playboy 1960-61
Jose Cuervo Tequila advertisements (Playboy magazine, 1960-61)

Jose Cuervo Tequila ad 1962
Jose Cuervo Tequila ad 1963
Jose Cuervo Tequila: advertising for the Margarita cocktail (1962-63). According to Casa Cuervo, in 1938, at Tail O' the Cock Restaurant in Los Angeles, head bartender Johnny Durlesser noticed a pretty lady at the bar one night, and then again another night. The third time he saw her at his bar, he wanted to make a drink to impress her. He grabbed the Cuervo, and added a touch of sweet just like her. Margarita original recipe: 1 1/2 oz White Cuervo Tequila; 1/2 oz Triple Sec; 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice. Shake well and serve in a salt-rimmed glass.

Jose Cuervo 220th anniversary
Jose Cuervo 2015 limited edition
Jose Cuervo Tequila celebrate 220th Anniversary (1795-2015) releasing Especial Gold and Silver bottles, representing the first limited edition Jose Cuervo Especial bottle ever produced in brand history