Music and tequila

In the golden age of Mexican cinema, the best composers of ranchera music created songs inspired by tequila, a drink that draws emotions such as love, heartbreak, parties, religion, and even love for the land, the homeland, and the family.

"Ella", canción de José Alfredo Jiménez by José Alfredo JiménezFundación Beckmann A.C.

Tequila and the singers of the golden age of cinema

The emblematic figures of the golden age of Mexican cinema played characters from the fields and ranches that usually appeared in the bars or serenades dressed in a charro suit, where they drank tequila and sang the theme of the corresponding film.

"México lindo y querido" del compositor Chucho Monge by Chucho MongeFundación Beckmann A.C.

In these scenes the fusion was generated between renowned musicians and movie stars of the day like Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante, Lucha Reyes, Matilde Sánchez Elías (La Torcacita), José Alfredo Jiménez, among others, who portrayed tequila as a national symbol along with mariachi and charrería.

"¡Ay Jalisco, no te rajes" canción interpretada por Jorge Negrete by Manuel EsperónFundación Beckmann A.C.

Undoubtedly, the magic of the composers of the time was fundamental and very influential at the time, as many of their songs were the title of the films like Ay Jalisco no te Rajes, by Manuel Esperón and México Lindo y Querado, by Chucho Monge.

"Cuando quiere un mexicano"del compositor Manuel Esperón. by Manuel EsperónFundación Beckmann A.C.

The mariachi and tequila: the Mexican duo par excellence

Mariachi is a musical tradition that represents the entire Mexican nation to the world. However, it originates in the Mexican west. Indigenous, European and African elements are mixed in the rhythms. These musical groups emerged from the pure sensitivity and talent of the people of Mexico, as technical competences were passed from parents to children, and learning by ear was the principal method of studying mariachi.

"¡Ay Jalisco, no te rajes" canción interpretada por Lucha Reyes by Manuel EsperónFundación Beckmann A.C.

Already organized, these musicians toured the villages to entertain fairs, secular-religious festivals, weddings and serenades. Traditional mariachis have two or more musicians dressed in regional clothing, inspired by the charro suit, who perform a wide repertoire of songs accompanied by string instruments. Orchestras that perform modern mariachi music have trumpets, violins, vihuelas and guitarróns, and are usually made up of four or more musicians.

"Dos palomas al volar" canción interpretada por Matilde Sánchez "La torcatita" by Jesús GaytánFundación Beckmann A.C.

This new coarse style of music already had well-placed male voices that appealed to the public's taste. However, two women from Jalisco led the way with their voices on the stage and at the cinema, masterfully interpreting the feelings of the authors and composers of the time.

"Aires del Mayab" interpretada por Matilde Sánchez "La torcacita" by Matilde Sánchez "La torcacita"Fundación Beckmann A.C.

Lucha Reyes and Matilde Sánchez Elías (La Torcacita) were fundamental pillars in the golden era of the Mexican ranchera song, imposing a style with their voice and presence that distinguished them from the whole guild. The coarse song was sung in a major tone, it was an aggressive and affirmative voice in which the throat was often used directly.

"La tequilera" canción interpretada por Lucha Reyes by Lucha ReyesFundación Beckmann A.C.

Tequila has inspired composers and musicians, so it is common to find scenes where singers pour out their emotions accompanied by a bottle of tequila. Here we see the Lucha Reyes playing La Tequilera.

An exemplary case of ranchera music is that of the great composer José Alfredo Jiménez, who manages to create fundamental themes in Mexican music, making a partnership with the musician and composer Rubén Fuentes.

Juan Diego Flórez Ranchera music at the Scala Theatre in Milan

To close the theme of ranchera Mexican music, here appears a contemporary interpretation of the song "Cucurrucucú Paloma" by the composer Tomás Méndez, performed by the renowned tenor Juan Diego Flórez at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

"Piñas" de agave al interior del horno de mampostería. (2020) by Mundo CuervoFundación Beckmann A.C.

Tequila and contemporary music

Tequila's influence on contemporary music has been immense from the second half of the 20th century to the present day. There is no other drink that has had this impact on the spirit and creativity of musicians, singers and composers of all genres and countries.

There are some songs dedicated to wine of course and very few to whiskey, but those dedicated to Tequila are thousands and of all genres. Here are some examples of the diversity of Tequila music: rock, pop, mambo, flamenco, rap, country, reggae.


The renowned Cuban composer Dámaso Pérez Prado, inspired by the great jazz bands, puts together his own orchestra of Cuban son, boleros and mambo with extraordinary musicians and for the singer, the talented Benny Moré

The Champs. "Mambo Tequila" and Rock

It was at that time that the mambo was internationalized with great success thanks to the compositions "Mambo No 5", "Mambo No 8" and of course "Mambo Tequila". These mambos have been performed by symphony orchestras and rock bands in Asia, America, and Europe.

The Eagles. Rock and Tequila

The Eagles is a rock band that originated in Los Angeles California in 1970. They propose a southern sound mixing it with soft rock, with touches of country and western. Authors of a classic rock song: "Hotel California", also created compositions about Tequila.

Mambo, Tequila and Flamenco

Azúcar Moreno is a musical duet composed by the Salazar sisters, born in Extremadura. The sisters are of gypsy origin and descendants of important flamenco musicians. They composed a song dedicated to Tequila.

Ed Sheeran. Tequila and pop music

Ed Sheeran is a English musician and songwriter born in 1991. Outstanding artist who received awards and nominations ever since his first album. In 2014, he received the Grammy for best artist and album of the year and Spotify named him "most listened to Anglo-Saxon artist".

Tracy Bird. Tequila and country music 

Country music artist Tracy Bird reached No. 1 on Billboard records in the United States with his song "Ten rounds with Jose Cuervo."

The Chainsmokers. Trap, Rap and Tequila

The Chainsmokers, a group from New York formed in 2012. By 2014 they had already achieved international recognition and awards. They wrote the song "Everybody hates me" with Tequila.

Juanes and Christian Nodal Regional Mexican Music and Tequila

Duet formed by two composers and interpreters of music in Spanish: Juanes, who has been the winner of 24 Latin Grammy Awards and 2 American Grammy Awards, and Christian Nodal, the young composer of regional Mexican music that is currently the most listened to in our country.

We present a list of songs that have been dedicated to tequila for those interested

See a list of songs about Tequila

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