"Tequila is a subtle flame that passes through walls and soars above tile roofs to allay despair"
This has to be one of the most sought after Cabo experiences and one we definitely recommend for your next vacation, while you relax in the perfect setting of your Cabo vacation villa, overlooking the ocean, wind and waves kick up spray and salty air soothes your soul.
You will need all of your senses for this Tequila Tasting Experience in Los Cabos as you will be immersed in the history, aromas and flavors of this extraordinary spirit. We will guide you through this sensory experience as we provide the perfect scents and pairings for each type of Tequila and talk about everything you need to know next time you sip Tequila in Los Cabos.
Tequila has its origin in Jalisco and can only be distilled and fermented from the Agave Tequilana Weber Azul in the regions of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Jalisco. The Agave Weber Azul only blooms once and dies right after.
Theres a few other endemic drinks that come from Agave, like Aguamiel, which is the sap and it is believed to have medicinal and therapeutic qualities. Sap, after fermentation becomes Pulque, also considered beer and it was a drink used in religious ceremonies by ancient cultures. After Pulque comes Mezcal, which unlike Tequila, can be made from 14 different Agave plants. One single plant can produce 1,000 litters over a 6 month period.
Agave plants thrives in volcanic soil rich in basalt and iron above 1,500 meters (3,900 ft) above sea level. The two main regions are Los Altos and El Valle, (Highlands and Lowlands). Los altos has mostly red clay soil also called or said to be feminine, softer, rounder, fruity and floral, where Tequila from El Valle (Lowlands) tends to be forward in flavor with earthy, peppery, herbal notes.
How It Is Made
Lets start by saying Tequila name is controlled and designated to specific regions and has to come from an authorized producer regulated by NOM (Official Mexican Standard)
Jima - Cutting the agave with a COA (long, round-ended knife on a long wooden handle) leaving the core ready to transport to ovens. This is one of the most admired and respected steps in the process.
Cooking - The core is cooked in brick ovens to obtain sugars and make them available for fermentation, it can take up to 50 hours.
Extraction - The Agave is squeezed to separate Gabazo (fibers) from honey, called Mosto, then the honey is transported to stainless steel Ajibes (tubs) for fermentation. Modern rollers or a more traditional stone (Tahona) is used.
Fermentation - Mosto is transformed in alcohol sometimes using small amounts of yeast. It takes around 200 hours depending on the weather, temperature and pH.
Distillation - Once Mosto is magically transformed into alcohol, it goes to Alambiques made of Copper to separate usable from unusable alcohols, this process gives Tequila its signature profile.
Rectification - The first two minutes of distillation are discarded and are very harmful, it is referred to as Cabeza. It starts at 90% alcohol and as time passes by it evaporates to the desired amount, sometimes there are up to 3 distillations.
Categories & Ageing - Depending on the percentage of Agave sugars or added sugars it cn be labeled as 100% Agave, the NOM says it has to be at least 51% Agave sugars in order to be called Tequila. When it is 100% Agave it has to be bottled on site, sometimes can be bottled outside but it has to be authorized by NOM.
Blanco / Plata - Transparent but not necessarily without color, contained up to two months in oak or pine barrels. Herbal, Citrus and Agave flavors mostly found in this type of Tequila.
Joven / Oro - It is a mix of Tequila Blanco and Tequila Reposado.
Reposado - It has to be kept in Oak or Pine barrels at least 2 months but less than a year. Honey, vanilla and muted agave flavors are found in this type of Tequila.
Añejo - Contained at least a year but no more than three years and has to be stored in Oak or Pine barrels with 600 litters maximum.
Cristal - Dobel was the first one to obtain it in 2008. It is filtered to get rid of the dark color and bitterness. It is sometimes considered to be an extra distillation. Kept in American White Oak barrels for 18 months.
Reserva - This is not regulated and normally used to indicate supreme quality of certain añejos.
Extra Añejo - This denomination started in 2006, kept in Oak, Bourbon and Whiskey barrels for 3 years minimum.