The flowers of the blue agave plant are pollinated by the Mexican long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris nivalis). Agave sap is derived from the heart (piña) of the plant; fermented, it becomes a milky drink, known as "pulque," and was enjoyed by the Aztec indians.
The traditional way to enjoy straight tequila is to partner the shot with a shot of sangrita, a nonalcoholic drink that clears the palate between sips and complements the agave flavors. There are two basic sangrita variations: The first uses 3 parts tomato juice, 1–3 parts orange juice, 1 part lime juice. The second uses 1 part grenadine, 2 parts orange juice, and 1–2 parts lime juice. For either recipe, chill the sangrita and add a few splashes of hot sauce or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to taste.