How the Tequila Shot Glass Got Its Name

The Tequila shot glass is known as el Caballito (the little horse) in Mexico.

In days past it was common for agave farmers to travel from one agave field to another on horseback. On the side of their saddle they hung a gourd filled with water to quench their thirst after a laborious hot day. Often, instead of water, the gourd was filled with tequila to celebrate a hard days harvest.

The story goes that one day a supervisor surprised one of his employees carrying two gourds hanging from his saddle. One was filled with water and the other contained tequila. The gourd filled with tequila had a bull’s horn along side it. This hollow bull’s horn was used as a shot glass to knock back the spirit. The foreman asked, “What is with the two gourds?” The labourer wisely responded, “ This gourd is mine” (pointing at the one that contained water). “And the other one?” asked the supervisor.

“Ah, that one is for my horse (éste es para my caballito)”!

This story quickly spread throughout the region and cantinas. Instead of calling for “one for the road”, people began calling the last shot of tequila, “one for my caballito”.

The bull’s horn used to slam tequila back was given the name, el caballito and legend was born!