Did you know that there is a city called Tequila? Yes, it is in Mexico, Guadalajara!
Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city and the capital of the state of Jalisco – tequila-making region. We didn’t have much time here, but even so we had to take a day trip outside the city to see how and where Jalisco’s most famous drink is made. We booked a tour through our hotel and off we were to an agave farm in the hills outside of Guadalajara.
Our first stop on the tour was Las Tres Mujeres (Three Women), a distillery that makes organic tequila. According to our guide, organic tequila will not give you a hangover. Let’s find out…
Aleho helping with the agave harvest at the Tres Mujeres farm:
Doesn’t he look just like this guy?
When the blue agave plant is ripe, the jimador (the harvester) cuts off the leaves with a tool called a coa. The core of the plant that’s left is called the piña (pineapple), which is the part used to make tequila. The entire harvesting process is called the jima.
Here are the piñas waiting to be heated in giant hornos (ovens):
Inside Tres Mujeres distillery. Our first taste of Tequila!
From Tres Mujeres, we headed over to La Cofradia to continue our tastings.
Huge mango trees grow right through the roof of the La Cofradia distillery, functioning as a form of natural climate control:
After our tequila tasting, we headed down into La Cofradia’s underground bar/restaurant area. It just so happened that the owner was hanging out there and he proceeded to entertain us with more tequila served directly out of this huge carafe:
and with this crazy cocktail:
Needless to say, we were all VERY happy by the time we left La Cofradia and headed over to eat lunch at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the hills. Our final stop after lunch was the small town of Tequila itself, home to the famous Jose Cuervo distillery.
Cuervo means «crow» in Spanish:
Jose Cuervo’s distillery is housed in a beautiful colonial style mansion and hacienda, complete with gift shop, courtyards, and restaurant open to the public. Guided tours are available for Jose Cuervo’s distillery as well, but our suspicion is that it’s more fun (and you’ll get to taste more tequila) visiting the smaller distilleries like we did.
Our tour was with a company called Tequila Grand Tour, and cost 350 pesos ($23US) for the whole day (not including lunch). Definitely worth it if you’re near Guadalajara and like tequila!
Though we didn’t have much time to explore Guadalajara, we did spend half a day wandering around the historic center, saw some of it’s beautiful parks and buildings, and ate some great tacos. To see some more photos from Tequila and Guadalajara, check out our Facebook page!