chapter  9
17 Pages

Life of the party

Tequila in the American marketplace
WithMarie Sarita Gaytán

This chapter traces tequila’s reputation as it shifted from feared to fun in the American marketplace. What does the history of a product’s social and economic life tell us about the development of identity and taste? How did tequila become permissible, pleasurable and profitable? Tequila’s progression into one of the United States’ most popular party drinks was far from an inevitable process; instead it was mired in conflict related to colonial aspirations, ideas of racial inferiority and the evolution of United States–Mexico relations.