Happy National Tequila Day! To celebrate we've put together a list explaining why the distillate of blue agave deserves more of your attention.

  • 1
    Because ¡Viva México!
    It's a purely Mexican product, so by drinking it you're helping boost your neighbors' economy.
  • 2
    Tequila's been there for us when we needed it.
    Tequila -- originally known to Americans as mescal brandy -- first made its way into the United States in the late 19th century, as railroad transportation expanded. In the 20th century, tequila helped the United States weather its two great alcohol crises. With Mexico just across the border, tequila became the drink of choice in the Southwest during Prohibition, according to spirits writer Anthony Dias Blue. When distilleries turned to industrial production during World War II, Mexico again helped fill the void. Tequila exports to the United STates skyrocketed to 1.2 million gallons in 1945, compared to just 6,000 gallons before the war.
  • 3
    It's presidential
    A light drinker by D.C. political standards, President Barack Obama enjoys a margarita every now and then, according to Politico.
  • 4
    Because it makes good ice cream
    By drinking tequila, you are helping ice cream become more creative.
  • 5
    Because what other liquor is made from pineapple?
    Not exactly, but sort of. Tequila is made from the blue agave, which, when its leaves are sheared, leave a massive pit referred to in Spanish as the "piña," or pineapple. The agave juice that will be fermented and distilled into tequila comes from heating and crushing the piña.
  • 6
    To celebrate our indigenous ancestors
    The word "tequila" most likely originated as a corruption of "Tecuilo," an indigenous group of Central Mexico.
  • 7
    Because of love
  • 8
    It's good for your gut
    (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
    The agave that tequila is made from helps promote calcium absorption, the regulation of lipid absorption and facilitates the growth of intestinal flora, according to the American Chemical Society.
  • 9
    Because of its proud history
    Tequila is the first indigenous North American spirit. When the Spanish colonized Mexico, they brought distillation with them and applied the principle to juice of the blue agave, from which the locals had traditionally made a less potent drink called pulque.
  • 10
    You can cook with it
    There's some classics, like tequila wings, and then there's more sophisticated creations, like tequila-lime cheesecake. Either way, that bottle of tequila can come in handy in the kitchen.
  • 11
    It improves cross-cultural understanding
    Learning to appreciate this historic spirit and the Mexican ingenuity that brought it into existence will make you less inclined to support border walls.
  • 12
    Because Jorge Negrete endorses it
  • 13
    Because it comes in cool bottles
  • 14
    You don't have to wait so long
    Unlike Scotch or brandy, which can sit around aging for decades while their prices rise into the stratosphere, tequila stops improving after around four years in the barrel.
  • 15
    Though it's still super classy
    For those looking to boost their personal elegance, the world of tequila has a lot more to offer than cheap shots greased down the hatch with a lick of salt and a mouthful of lime.
  • 16
    But it doesn't have to be expensive either
    The budget-conscious need not worry. There's plenty of bottles -- el Jimador, Espolón, and 1800 among them -- that you can pick up for less than $25. The main rule of thumb to remember when shopping around is to avoid anything less than 100 percent blue agave. Such products tend to add sweeteners to aid the fermentation process, leading to an inferior beverage and, possibly, an unnecessarily painful hangover.
  • 17
    But remember moderation
    Because all those health benefits go out the window when you start chugging from the bottle.