1. We go for mescal over tequila.
If we must have tequila, we sip the añejo, or longest-aged variety. Mescal, the smokier, richer alcoholic concoction usually comes with a free worm. Don’t even get us started about margaritas.
2. Arizona’s Mexican food is the correct north-of-the-border version.
We each have a favorite hot sauce, salsa, and type of chip. We know that the correct answer to whether we want corn or flour tortillas is almost always corn, and tacos should be garnished with cabbage, not lettuce.
3. Our slushy drinks crush.
Eegees is a small chain of fast food restaurants that began in Tucson but is slowly branching out to other parts of the state. It specializes in the best frozen slushies in the world and you can’t get them anywhere else. Real respados, though, maybe made with frozen coconut and mango with a little bit of condensed milk? That’s where it’s at.
4. Hawaii and Montana and Texas got nuthin’ on an Arizona sky fire.
Our sunsets are the best. Period.
5. Crazy cool buildings
From preserving ancient adobe walls; to worshipping in churches carved into red rock cliffs; to housing several Frank Lloyd Wright structures; to celebrating mid-century modern design with festivals; to hosting both Biosphere II and Paolo Soleri’s oddly wondrous vision called Arcosanti — our architecture narrates the story of our past and future.
6. We know our pinot noir from our petit Verdot.
Most people don’t know it, but Arizona’s wine industry has grown almost 2,000 percent over the last 15 years. About 110 wineries grow 22 kinds of wine grapes, mostly in Baja Arizona.
7. We can recognize a B 52 from a B 24 from a Blackbird from birth.
Tucson houses the Pima Air and Space Museum — the world’s largest airplane boneyard and museum, and Prescott has Embry Riddle Aeronautical University — one of the best aerospace engineering schools in the world. We’ve got the most aerospace manufacturing facilities in the country.