Good news, tequila lovers! This week is Cinco de Mayo—the drinking holiday that most people think marks Mexican Independence, but is actually the date of the (mostly uncelebrated) Battle of Puebla. Don’t worry, we’re not going to be party poopers. Cinco de Mayo is a great opportunity to celebrate the amazing food, drink and culture of Mexico, despite its origins.

Drinks are a key element of any Cinco de Mayo celebration, so we suggest that you choose your tequilas wisely, whether you are going to make mixed drinks or sip straight. Check the Tequila Matchmaker app or website to see how different tequilas are made, how they rate, as well as which aromas and flavors people are finding.

Now it’s time to load up on tequila fun facts so your party conversations never go dry.

Weber Blue Agave Leaves

1) Eating an agave leaf can kill you.

Don’t let the fact that you can eat nopales (cactus, yum!) fool you into attempting to do the same with agaves. The plant’s sap contains compounds (calcium oxalate crystals, acrid oils, saponins) that are meant to scare off insects and other pests, but can also seriously irritate the human body. To quote agave expert Dr. Ivan Saldaña Oyarzábal, “If you try to eat raw agave you die of diarrhea a couple of days after.” Yikes.

(Photo: Weber Blue Agave growing at the Tequila Fortaleza distillery.)

Nuestros Dulces tequila store in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco

2) Tequila brands: 2,025 and growing

The Tequila Matchmaker app tracks current brands as well as those no longer in production. As of today, it has 2,025 brands in its database, and 193 distilleries (132 of which are currently listed as actively producing tequila.) That is an enormous amount of variety, and why we believe there is a tequila for everyone!

(Photo: Inside the Nuestros Dulces tequila store, in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco.)

La Cofradia tequila distillery fermentation vats

3) 500 liters of tequila per minute!

The tequila industry produced 271.4 million liters of tequila in 2017*. So, let’s do the math: that means 516 liters would need to be created each minute, every single day, for a year, non-stop, to meet that number. Just over half of last year’s production was 100% agave tequila, and the rest was mixto (at least 51% agave, the remainder some other type of fermentable sugar, like cane sugar.)

Tequila fans, let’s really work on this and try to drink more 100% agave tequila this year, even in mixed drinks! You’ll thank us the morning after.

(Photo: Fermentation vats inside of the La Cofradia tequila distillery in Tequila, Jalisco.)

Tequila Aroma Kit from Ana Maria Romero Mena

4) Detected in tequila: 600 different aromas.

Tequila sensorial expert and teacher Ana María Romero Mena explains this fun fact in her classes. In addition, she says that cognac, which is often considered the most complex, only contains around 300 aromas. And whisky, just 150. Surprised?

So now you have 600 more reasons to slow down and sip your tequila.

(Photo: A tequila aroma kit, made by Ana María Romero Mena.)

Tequila Exports for 2017

5) The USA is nuts for tequila, but what’s up with Canada?

So, it’s no surprise that the U.S. imports the lion’s share of tequila (a whopping 80.5% of tequila exports went to the United States in 2017). But guess which country took second place in tequila exports? Spain, with 2.5%, followed by Germany with 2.2%. You may be wondering why Canada doesn’t import more, given that it’s a NAFTA partner. Well, the reasons are complex** but it basically boils down to the fact that liquor purchases are controlled by provincially-run outlets, so a small number of people get to actually choose what goes on the shelves. So, unless those people are tequila lovers who push for large orders, the public doesn’t get the variety or education they need to boost demand (among other reasons.) We feel for you, Canada! What can we do to help?

So take this time to celebrate Mexico, tequila, and all of the other gifts it has given to this world. Do it safely, know what you’re drinking (100% agave please), and most importantly, have fun!

Oh, and since we mentioned the topic of knowing your tequila, here are some handy links that may improve the quality of your Cinco de Mayo tequila drinking experience:

*According to 2017 statistics obtained from the CRT and CNIT.
**Shout out to longtime tequila advocate and Canadian Ian Chadwick for the great information!