In recent years,July 24 has been dubbed National Tequila Day; a new unofficial holiday of sorts,designated to honor the wonder that is tequila,with celebrations taking place throughout Mexico,the U.S. and even abroad,making it more of an international event than one that is local to any one area or country.
Still,tequila is – even down to it’s very name – entirely Mexican. In fact,it must be made in Mexico,so if the bottle says “tequila” you can bet it was produced south of the border,where the government oversees production with strict regulations. In order to be labeled tequila,it must be produced in the state of Jalisco or other designated regions of Mexico,for example. To ensure authenticity,make sure it bears the official NOM (Norma Official Mexicana) standard,as well as the Tequila Regulatory Council’s CRT monogram on the label.
As one of North America’s first indigenous spirits,Tequila has been officially produced from the blue agave,or agave azul,plant,since the 15th century,but has origins dating back to ancient Aztec times. Native to Jalisco and a few other limited areas of Mexico,the blue agave produces a high volume of sugars,which makes it particularly ideal for the production of alcoholic beverages. Today,the liquor we know (and love!) called tequila exhibits a complex,unique bouquet and flavor,depending on its type.
Of course,not all tequila is created equal,so attending a tequila tasting is a great way to get acquainted with the different varieties. With more than 100 different brands to choose from,it helps to understand the different types of tequilas and main two categories. The 100% blue agave variety will be labeled as such,while the tequila mixto,or mixed variety must contain a minimum amount of 51 percent blue agave and the rest from sugars and a few other select ingredients.
Many of Mexico’s top resorts now offer regular tequila tastings,and some have even created events specifically in celebration of National Tequila Day 2014. Tastings offer un (or under) initiated tequila drinkers a chance to learn from an expert and are structured similar to a traditional wine tasting,only with fine tequila and tequiliers instead of fine wines and sommeliers.
Click here to learn more about tequila in Mexico!
Riviera Maya & Cancun
This year the Rosewood Mayakoba on the Caribbean Sea in the heart of Mexico’s Riviera Maya region has planned a special celebration for National Tequila Day,inviting guests to celebrate at the nearby Tequila Herradura Sensory Museum,which opened in 2010 in nearby Cancun’s Hotel Zone. The private museum tour is complimentary for Rosewood Mayakoba guests and includes round trip transportation,tastings and various educational components. External attendees can join for $85,which includes the tasting.
For those who prefer to remain at the resort,Rosewood Mayakoba’s Agave Azul Sushi & Tequila Bar houses more than 100 labels of premium tequila,and the resort’s resident tequiliers will host a tasting in honor of National Tequila Day that will cover everything about this beloved elixir from its making to its many flavors and different varieties.
“The magical history,legacy and taste of tequila can also be discovered in the comfort of guests’ very own suite,with in-room tequila tastings that are available upon request,” states Rosewood Hotels in a press release. “For those who wish to simply enjoy the spirit,a bottle of Milagro Select Barrel Reserve is placed in all suites upon guests’ arrival.”
For more information,visit www.rosewoodhotels.com,or call 888 ROSEWOOD.
The CasaMagna Marriott Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta,which is situated in Jalisco State on Mexico’s Pacific Coast overlooking the magnificent Bay of Banderas,is another excellent place to celebrate National Tequila Day in Mexico. Here,los jimadores - local agave farmers – are busy producing the region’s very own proprietary brand of tequila,which is bottled at a distillery nearby. In addition to more than 100 varieties from other regions of Mexico,five styles are available to sample from the local area,including joven (young),blanco (white),reposado (rested),anejo (aged),and extra anejo (yes,you guessed it – extra aged).
Each has its own distinct flavor notes,some more light and elegant,while others exhibit hints of caramel or smooth overtones of vanilla,chocolate or almond. Audrey Formisano,the resort’s on-sight sommelier,was the first woman tequilier in Puerto Vallarta to be certified by the Tequila Regulating Council. Conveniently,considering National Tequila Day falls on a Thursday this year,Formisano hosts weekly tastings at 5 p.m. Thursday (and Friday for that matter) at La Cava,the resort’s private dining room and tequila vault.
For more information,contact CasaMagna Marriott Resort & Spa at 52-322-226-000,or toll free at 888-236-2427.
Share your favorite brand of tequila – and why – with readers in the comments section below today!