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HomeLuxury TravelJose Cuervo: Tequila and A lot Extra

Jose Cuervo: Tequila and A lot Extra

By Brian Armstead



Previous to Pursuitist’s tour to Guadalajara and Tequila, Mexico, I solely thought Agave crops had been used to distill my favourite liquor, tequila.

So when legendary Tequila maker Jose Cuervo invited Pursuitist to journey to Mexico to discover the model, the tradition of Mexico, and study the influence the agave plant has had on Mexican historical past and lives of the people who find themselves concerned in its manufacturing, we had been all in.

First, a quick historical past of the agave plant:

For a whole lot of years, historical Aztec tribes used the robust fibrous tissue in Agave leaves to make ropes, brushes, sandals, nets, sleeping mats, and different gadgets. In lots of species of the plant, the leaves could be roasted and eaten. They’re fairly tasty!

And as we realized later in our journey, the sap of roasted or pressure-cooked agave hearts (piñas) could be fermented and distilled, with completely different species of the Agave plant getting used to make several types of mezcal liquor, with blue agave being the one species used for premium tequila.

Let’s additionally have a look at a quick historical past of our host, Jose Cuervo:

Jose Cuervo is the world’s oldest tequila model and has been making the spirit for over 250 years with the identical expertise, craftsmanship and recipes which were handed down via generations. Nonetheless household owned, the model first began manufacturing in 1758 and has been made in central Mexico ever since. At present, the Jose Cuervo assortment of manufacturers are the #1 promoting tequilas on the earth.

By 1880, the Cuervo household had begun individually bottling tequila for business distribution. Cuervo was the primary distiller to bottle tequila, at a time when different distillers had been nonetheless utilizing barrels. Tequila was often called “mezcal de tequila” till 1893, when tequila makers and the Mexican authorities dropped “mezcal” from the identify.

Tequila first made important inroads into america in the course of the Prohibition period, when it was smuggled from Mexico into southwestern US states. Tequila made additional advances within the US throughout World Struggle II, when many US distilleries switched to war-related manufacturing and there have been restrictions on European liquor imports. Then, within the Eighties, extra American vacationers started visiting Mexico, discovering tequila. In response to the Distilled Spirits Council of america, the US demand for tequila has risen through the years, with the fastest-growing section being premium blue agave spirits, which is the place Jose Cuervo’s loyal customers benefit from the wide selection of their blue agave choices.

Take for instance by Jose Cuervo’s Tradicional. It’s the unique tequila recipe by Jose Cuervo and is greatest often called the primary spirit distilled from 100% blue agave. The journey of Tradicional begins within the agave fields on the base of the Volcán de Tequila. After seven years of maturation, the agave crops are harvested in small batches and their piñas are despatched to the La Rojeña distillery positioned in Tequila, Mexico. There, the piñas they’re roasted, floor and smashed. The ensuing extract is positioned into fermentation tanks. Lastly, it’s distilled and aged in toasted oak barrels.

Let’s Go!

Our journey began in Guadalajara, Mexico, a quick aircraft trip from Dallas, Texas. Guadalajara is the capital Jalisco state and is a part of the Mesa del Central, a excessive plateau that crosses the States of Jalisco, Durango and Zacatecas. Based in 1531, right now Guadalajara is a global heart of enterprise, finance, arts and tradition. The town is dwelling to quite a few landmarks, together with Guadalajara Cathedral, the Teatro Degollado, the Templo Expiatorio and the Saun Jan de Dios Market — the most important indoor market in Latin America.

Guadalajara can also be an necessary cultural heart in Mexico and is dwelling to many Mexican cultural traditions together with mariachi, tequila and birria (conventional Mexican soup).

Whereas there, we stayed on the luxe Casa Habita resort, positioned in Lafayette, Guadalajara’s trendiest neighborhood. Lafayette is understood for artwork, design, and culinary delights. Casa Habita facilities embrace a swimming pool with a pool bar, bikes accessible for visitor use, and an in-house restaurant and spa.

After time to loosen up by the pool, we had been off to dinner at Hueso, an award-winning restaurant led by famend chef Alfonso Cadena.

Hueso is ready in a refurbished Forties constructing, and its whitewashed partitions are lined with a set of over 10,000 animal bones and plant fossils mounted on numerous layers of wooden. The distinctive aesthetics of the restaurant usually are not its solely draw, the menu is continually evolving and boasts glorious and modern dishes, ready with recent native elements.

There, we met Sonia de la Espínola, Director of the Beckmann Basis, Mundo Cuervo’s nonprofit arm, to hitch us at dinner and lead a grasp Jose Cuervo tequila tasting. Espínola, a grasp tequila skilled, additionally offered insights into the Cuervo household legacy in addition to the model’s dedication to the land and folks of Tequila and Mexico. Mundo Cuervo’s Beckmann Basis began 15 years in the past with a mission to protect the cultural heritage of the ladies of Jalisco.

Since solely the piña of the agave plant is used to make tequila, the Beckmann Basis discovered a option to make the most of extra of the plant and provide native ladies extra of a chance to create and produce gadgets from the plant and receives a commission for his or her work.

For instance, workshops for aspiring ladies entrepreneurs train them the best way to use agave bagasse (agave fiber) and recycled tequila bottles for artisanal crafts. The workshops have had a serious influence on the lives of the ladies. Says Espínola, “The ladies don’t solely discover ways to make the merchandise, however the best way to promote, incorporate their companies, create enterprise plans, logos and way more.”

Demonstrating their help for Tequila’s bold ladies, many accommodations together with Resort Photo voltaic de las Animas, the place we later stayed in Tequila metropolis, proudly show agave paper notepads and journals within the bedrooms for visitors’ use, a dedication to the native merchandise of the area.

Earlier than dinner, Espínola guided us via a Jose Cuervo tequila tasting, utilizing numerous spices and fruits between varieties so we may clearly and cleanly the variations between: Conventional Plata, Conventional Reposado, Conventional Añejo and Conventional Cristalino.


About Plata: Tradicional Silver is 100% blue agave silver tequila. When bottled, a particular course of is used to preserve its taste and end at freezing temperatures. Which means it may possibly, and may, be stored chilled within the freezer and served as a crisp, easy, frozen shot.

About Reposado: Cuervo’s Tradicional Reposado is 100% blue agave rested tequila. It has been aged in oak barrels for at least two months, giving it the graceful and delicate complexity that aficionados search.

About Añejo: Cuervo’s Tradicional Añejo is aged in charred American oak after which completed in single malt Irish whiskey barrels for a wealthy, advanced taste and easy end.

About Cristalino: Cuervo’s Cristalino is a Reposado dominant tequila that gives smoothness and clear look, all whereas sustaining a wealthy, layered style because of the advanced ageing course of. This expression is Cuervo’s newest Tradicional providing.

An excellent dinner adopted with native pork and fish specialties, and naturally, rounds of Jose Cuervo.

Let’s Hit the Rails!

The subsequent morning we convened on the native Guajajara prepare station for an epic trip on the Jose Cuervo Specific. Sure, the Jose Cuervo Specific! The prepare is an area fixture, transporting bands of vacationers (and life-style writers!) from Guadalajara to Tequila, Mexico, town the place Jose Cuervo is distilled.


The 2-hour journey from Guadalajara to Tequila travels via the Rio Grande Canyon, which offers sweeping views of bluish agave fields.

Onboard, we danced to DJ music, ate nice meals, and naturally, there was loads of Jose Cuervo to go round. What enjoyable! The picturesque panorama was breathtaking, as mountain ranges and plush fields stuffed with Agave crops had been omnipresent.


After we arrived in Tequila, we had been met by an area Mariachi band. Nice music!

Una Lección de un Jimador

We then traveled to one among Jose Cuervo’s agave fields, the place we realized how the plant is grown and harvested.

There, we had a Jimador (agave harvester) present how the agave crops are trimmed with machetes for max development and output, and the way the bottom of the plant, referred to as the piña, is harvested utilizing a coa de jima (a sharp-blade instrument with a protracted picket deal with) after which transported to Jose Cuervo’s La Rojeña distillery in Tequila. I then was in a position to harvest one, preserving in thoughts the ultra-sharp blade’s proximity to my toes!

After the Jima demonstration, we traveled to Tequila’s metropolis heart, the place the city sq. is encircled by the native church, outlets and tequila bars. Celebration wagons with music blasting and tequila pictures for the partygoers are in all places, and the sensation within the city it doesn’t matter what time of day or evening is one among security and good vibes.

Whereas in Tequila, we stayed on the Resort De Las Animas, which is ready alongside the church of Santiago Apostol. The resort shouldn’t be removed from the dormant (final eruption was greater than 200,000 years in the past) Volcán de Tequila, a part of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains and is completely positioned for all sights and excursions within the space, the so-called Pueblo Magico (magical city).

The resort design is predicated on a Creole colonial home and is typical of Mexican structure from the seventeenth and 18th centuries. There are 93 rooms within the resort, and the rooftop pool and bar offers breathtaking views of the church and metropolis sq., and surrounding volcanic mountains. It’s a five-star property with lovely rooms, a great deal of visitor facilities, and a really courteous {and professional} workers.

After exploring our resort, hora de almorzar! We traveled to the Hacienda El Centanario, a Jose Cuervo-owned property which serves Tequila metropolis and surrounding communities as a first-class occasion and conference heart, boasting over 75,000 sq. ft of occasion house distributed inside gardens, patios, terraces with fountains, and inside occasion house. Marriage ceremony, assembly, get together and conference house is obtainable for teams from 10-1500 individuals.

Our lunch at Anexo Chucho Reyes on the Hacienda El Centanario property was catered utilizing native elements, with conventional Mexican fare and Jose Cuervo margaritas.

Akamba Pageant!

Afternoon noticed me enjoyable on the resort pool to prepare for the night’s huge occasion, the Akamba Pageant.

Akamba is a two-day pageant that celebrates the agave plant and what’s has finished for Mexico, Jalisco state, town of Tequila, ladies, and native residents and companies. The pageant can also be a celebration of the music, artwork and the wealthy heritage of the area.

See Additionally

The music on the Akamba Pageant was nice, and highlighted by fireplace dancers who lit the evening sky. As anticipated, our VIP lounge space provided particular cocktails all made with Jose Cuervo. The pageant was an all-out get together, with the final bands closing at 6 am!



Agave Properties


Later that morning, we headed to an unexpectedly touching ceremony, dubbed “The Home That Tequila Made.” On the dwelling website, we reunited with Sonia de la Espinola, who confirmed us one of many many philanthropic actions of Jose Cuervo.

The “Home That Tequila Made” is a continuation of Jose Cuervo’s efforts as a part of The Agave Challenge, an initiative began in 2019 to spearhead the corporate’s dedication to agave and create a round economic system by repurposing supplies that consequence from the tequila manufacturing course of to finally make the method of manufacturing tequila extra sustainable.

We visited a near-complete dwelling constructed by reusing, repurposing and recycling supplies and merchandise that come from the tequila manufacturing course of, together with: bottles, agave bagasse and discarded barrels. The home may even repurpose sources from the land of Tequila, together with soil, clay and rocks from Tequila’s volcano, together with obsidian, a black, glass-like volcanic rock.

We met a pair and their younger son who will quickly transfer into the house. The daddy is a Jimador with Jose Cuervo, and he and his spouse each spoke passionately in regards to the influence their first dwelling would have on their lives. Listening to them communicate was a touching second, and reinforces the truth that irrespective of the place you’re on earth, most of us share the identical dream of dwelling a cheerful, wholesome life whereas with the ability to present for those you’re keen on. Nicely finished Jose Cuervo!

Wiping away these tears on the dwelling website burned a bunch of energy, so subsequent we headed to Salón Tradicional for lunch on the Hacienda El Centenario.

Our lunch was ready by ladies cooks and chef Fabian Delgado. It was an excellent meal, once more utilizing native elements and recipes.

How Jose Cuervo is Distilled


Our post-lunch agenda included a tour of the La Rojeña Distillery, the oldest lively distillery in Latin America, the place Jose Cuervo is produced. There, we noticed small hills of piñas bulbs prepared for tequila manufacturing and we realized extra about Jose Cuervo’s significance on this essential landmark distillery. Our go to to the distillery included a tour of the beneath floor space the place uncommon, tremendous invaluable classic Jose Cuervo blends are saved. And sure, we acquired the possibility to pattern one.

¡Disfruta mucho!

Earlier than dinner, we toured the Juan Beckmann Gallardo Cultural Heart. Juan Beckmann Vidal is the principal proprietor and chairman of Jose Cuervo, and the middle that bears his identify provides a wealthy archeological, historic and cultural content material associated to the historical past of tequila and Mexico. 1000’s of uncommon finds that outline the area are had been on show. It’s a “should go to” in case you are fortunate sufficient to spend time within the Tequila area.

After a spherical of Cuervo cocktails on the Resort Photo voltaic de Las Ánimas we headed to the Tienda de Raya, one of many many halls positioned on the Hacienda el Centenario property.

Tienda de Raya boasts the most important bar counter in Latin America, and the bar’s character is enhanced by a bunch of native and regional objets d’artwork and mementos. The historic bars collected collectively right here every protect their unique character whereas combining into a singular murals.

Non secular Closing

After dinner, we participated within the Akamba Closing Ceremony “Agave Expertise & Consciousness.”

The outside ceremony on the grounds of the Hacienda el Centenario began with a coronary heart opening cacao agave drink ceremony and meditation guided by The Gipsy Wolf, who carried out and shared an instrumental session below a partial lunar eclipse.

The sound journey ended with deep meditation as we laid on our backs on mats created from agave leaves.

The expertise was religious and cleaning, and we left the ceremony with power and a brand new discovered appreciation for the less complicated issues in life.
What a journey! Thanks Jose Cuervo for not solely educating us in regards to the historical past and manufacturing of a superior spirit, but in addition in opening our eyes to the lives of these in Mexico who work laborious to embrace the constructive affect the agave plant has delivered to the historical past and every day experiences of the area.

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