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My dear friend, Jose (not Cuervo), and his lovely wife took a trip recently from Guadalajara to Tequila. He has been sweet enough to share their adventure with us. Let’s follow Jose on their incredible trip.
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Welcome to Mexico! Join me as I take you to Tequila, Jalisco, a mesmerizing town in the heart of Mexico’s agave-filled region. Through this captivating journey from Guadalajara to Tequila, we will explore the rich heritage and flavors of this popular drink through the famed Jose Cuervo Express tour.
Guadaljara to Tequila
The morning journey and agave fields; our adventure begins in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city and a vibrant hub of art, culture, and history. After enjoying the live DJ, coffee, and sweet pastries, we set off on a scenic bus ride to Tequila. The approximately one-hour journey winds through rolling hills and lush agave fields, providing a captivating preview of the beauty that awaits us. The air is filled with excitement as we arrive at the Agave fields, the birthplace of this magical drink. Here, we are welcomed with open arms and offered a complimentary cup filled with a delightful concoction of tequila and agua de tamarindo (tamarind water).
Meet the Jimadores: Guardians of the Agave
As we explore the Agave fields, we are introduced to the Jimadores, the skilled farmers responsible for nurturing and harvesting the agave plants. These dedicated artisans embody generations of knowledge and expertise in selecting the perfect agave piñas (hearts), ensuring the finest quality for tequila production. We learn about their laborious techniques and witness first-hand as they skillfully extract the agave hearts – the heart and soul of tequila.
Tortas Ahogadas, Music, and Scenic Delights
Following our insightful experience in the Agave fields, we enjoy a delicious lunch of Tortas Ahogadas, a local specialty that translates to “drowned sandwiches”. What sets these tortas apart is the final step of “drowning” the sandwich in a rich and spicy sauce made with tomatoes, chilies, garlic, onions, and other seasonings. While eating, we are serenaded by live music and take advantage of the open bar (with of course, more tequila). As we take in the picturesque surroundings, we seize countless photo opportunities, capturing the essence of Tequila’s natural beauty.
Next, we embark on the famed Jose Cuervo tequila tour, where we delve deeper into the art and science of tequila production. We are able to browse historical pictures, providing a glimpse into the rich heritage of this renowned tequila brand. Guided by the tequila experts, we participate in taste-testing sessions, exploring the diverse flavors and learning the proper way to appreciate tequila.
The Jose Cuervo tour is bilingual. There is a point at the museum in which you can go with an English tour guide or a Spanish tour guide. The only time there could be a language barrier is when you’re shopping or eating in the town of Tequila with the locals. But they’re so used to tourism that it shouldn’t be a problem at all!
How to Drink Tequila
Sipping tequila is an art that enhances the flavors and aromas of this distinctive spirit. To fully savor the experience, remember the following steps:
- Select a high-quality tequila that suits your preference, be it blanco (white), reposado (rested), or añejo (aged).
- Pour a moderate amount into a narrow, tulip-shaped glass to concentrate the aromas.
- Observe the tequila’s appearance, noting its color and viscosity.
- Gently swirl the glass to release the scents.
- Bring the glass to your nose, taking in the enticing aromas.
- Take a small sip and let the tequila coat your palate, noting its flavors and complexities.
- Allow the flavors to linger, appreciating the tequila’s lingering finish.
Different Types of Tequila
Tequila offers a range of flavors and varieties, each with its own distinct characteristics:
Blanco (White) Tequila: Often referred to as silver or plata, blanco tequila is typically unaged or aged for a short period. It showcases the pure essence of agave with vibrant and robust flavors.
Reposado Tequila: Reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months, but less than a year. This aging process imparts subtle notes of vanilla and caramel, balancing the agave flavors and creating a smoother profile.
Añejo Tequila: Añejo tequila is aged in oak barrels for at least one year, resulting in a deep amber hue and a rich, complex taste. It has a fusion of agave, oak, and spices, creating a more luxurious sipping experience.
My personal favorite (and the Jimador’s) is the blanco tequila.
Exploring the Town of Tequila
After delving into the world of tequila, we are allowed a two-hour break to explore the town. We are amazed wandering through its charming streets, full of local shops that showcase artisanal crafts, traditional souvenirs, and, of course, an array of tequila-related products. We are able to indulge in the local cuisine, eating authentic dishes, and, of course, continue our tequila journey by sampling various tequila brands and cocktails.
Cultural Performances and Unlimited Margaritas
As the day progresses, we are captivated by the colorful and energetic performances of traditional Mexican dance groups, their vibrant costumes, and rhythmic movements adding to the town’s festive atmosphere. The beautiful melodies of mariachi bands fills the air and has everyone on their feet. And what better way to enhance this experience than by sipping on unlimited margaritas, the iconic tequila cocktail that perfectly blends the spirit with zesty citrus flavors?
The Jose Cuervo Train: A Scenic Return
As our day draws to a close, we board the Jose Cuervo train once again, bidding farewell to Tequila. This scenic journey back to Guadalajara treats us to breathtaking views, allowing us to take in the stunning landscapes one last time. On the train, we are pampered with a variety of tequila cocktails, including the Paloma, Vampiro, and Mariachi Negro, each offering a unique twist of flavors.
As a self-professed Paloma enthusiast, I highly recommend this invigorating tequila cocktail.
Visiting Tequila, Jalisco, is a destination that combines history, culture, natural beauty, and the allure of its namesake spirit. Whether you’re a tequila aficionado or simply seeking an immersive cultural experience, Tequila has something for everyone to enjoy.