The first bout of touristista has happened. We’re about 8 weeks into our Mexican journey and it was bound to hit one of us. Poor Bode. It’s mostly fever, but the little guy has been a trouper. We sat in a hotel with wifi for the day, but learned that many major online video sites do not allow viewers from Mexico. No cartoons today. Oh well, at least we had some movies.

Like any good mother, I left the boys in the hotel room while I headed out to tour the Jose Cuervo distillery and take photos. I felt a tinge of guilt as I headed out the door just as Bode  got up and headed for the bathroom for the 10th time.

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The entire town has a patina and every other store around the main square is a tequila shop.  I toured the museo de tequila, and then coughed up the 105 pesos for the Jose Cuervo tour.

I was the only person on the English language tour, and had 3 guides to torment with my questions. We’ve been on several vineyard and brewery tours, but this was by far my favorite. Perhaps it was the 3 tastes and a margarita they included in the tour. Perhaps it was just the solo respite from a 4 year-old’s gastroenteritis issues.

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The heart of the agave plant (not a cactus) is cooked in a huge oven for 38 hours, cooled for another 9 and then taken by hand to the press. The pulpy stuff is used as compost and donated to artisans for things like  paper making. The rest is the good stuff. The ‘heart’ of the plant can be eaten like sugar cane, but it is much sweeter. I swiped a couple extra pieces for the boys.

After it’s distilled twice, it is 50% alcohol, and a bit rough.They water it down a bit for consumption. If it’s gold tequila, it’s got other additives and is best for mixing drinks, not drinking straight. The good stuff is put into oak barrels for a while; Reposado for 2-11 months, Añejo (Aged) for over a year, and Extra Anejo for over 3 years. Extra Añejo is the really good stuff.

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After the tour, they drop you off at the bar for 2-for-1 margaritas. I love supporting the local economy here.

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When I came out of the distillery there was some sort of spring celebration going on. All the kids were in costumes, so I ran back to the hotel to get Bode. He was fast asleep, poor thing. Luckily, the stuff I picked up for him at the pharmacy worked wonders and he was much better by morning.

3 thoughts on “Tequila!

  • March 30, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    your dispatches remind me of the way cervando and I (and kids) used to travel in mexico in our vw bus in the early ’70’s. we never had more than a month at a time, though.
    just talked to your s.f. cousin; he was out in the middle of the night to “count the homeless”, or attempt to, for his current part-time job with the census.
    you might talk to lizzie about doing that translating you needed.
    still hoping we can all connect in mexico in june. will you still be there?
    keep up the great adventure.

  • April 1, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    Oh yeah – the money I spent on a tour of the Souza distillery (I think it was like $3) is still the best money I’ve ever spent as a tourist. Educational tour, beautiful grounds to stroll, and a nice little buzz to boot.

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