The Reason Anthony Bourdain Refused Tequila Shots Is Too Relatable

Anthony Bourdain, the world-traveling everyman and chef, hardly needs an introduction. His enviable TV shows, best-selling books, and bold personality spoke of his vast culinary journey to all who would listen. Tragically, Bourdain has passed to the other side, but the immense archive of his work leaves the world a panoramic view of his thoughts and philosophy of the world around him.

Bourdain made no bones about his struggles, including a history of substance misuse. Because of his anti-celebrity stance, he was a hero to regular people. He quit using drugs shortly before he became famous. Although he would still enjoy a regional beer or cocktail, there was one drinking tradition he had no time for —  tequila shots.

It wasn't that the famed chef disliked tequila, far from it. Bourdain had a deep affinity for Mexico and its people. It was one of his favorite places to travel, and he wrote about the country frequently on his travel blog. What concerned him about tequila shots were the social norms and the time of day these particular libations were generally offered.

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Nothing good happens after...

"If I've been drinking ... any other beverage, and at 11 o'clock at night, someone approaches me with the idea that we should do some tequila shots, this is always an important moment," Anthony Bourdain once told Refinery 29, adding, "No good will come of this." This is a sentiment that perhaps a lot of people can relate to, but Bourdain wasn't shy about this topic — or any other for that matter.

Bourdain's aversion to tequila shots had more to do with the aftermath of imbibing at that time of night, not the quality or taste of the liquor. As the adage goes, nothing good happens after 2 a.m., and in the same context, late-night shots after a night of indulgence may lead some astray. His hesitancy gives us a glimpse into the knowledge and wisdom acquired by a nomadic chef who had matured with age.