On Cinco de Mayo I ask myself the hard questions. Not Mexican history questions, tequila questions. Why is there a worm in some bottles? Is that worm safe to eat? I have answers for you that could come into play at your local bar's Trivia Night at some point.

After hours of grueling research, here are my findings:

  • That's not a worm, it's a gusano moth larvae that lives on an agave plant.
  • The bottle with the worm is not filled with tequila, it's filled with mezcal.
  • The difference between tequila and mezcal is that tequila has to be made from at least 51% blue agave, mezcal can be made up of a blend of agave plants. Mezcal is considered a lower quality alcohol.
  • The worm is safe to eat and has been cooked and then pickled for about a year. I don't suggest throwing a bait worm into your bottle of Jose Cuervo.
  • Adding the worm boosted sales by adding mystery and novelty to the mezcal.

Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo and drink responsibly!