What comes to mind when you think of a vacation in Mexico? Usually the three things that top the list are the beach, Mariachi music and Tequila. In the state of Jalisco you get all three in their purest form. In Puerto Vallarta you have a classic sun and beach destination with dozens of luxury resorts.
Guadalajara brings you colonial sites where mariachi originated only an hour away from the town Tequila. No explanation needed there. If you're looking to crystallize the country in one trip, make it to Guadalajara. Jalisco is Mexico.
I've wanted to go here for quite some time and finally made it recently during a conference. I've been a fan of Tequila since before I could legally drink. A stint in college working at a Mexican restaurant with an extensive spirits list taught me so much! Knowledge of what sets a silver apart from reposado and anejo was required before we could even hit the floor. (See kids, you really do learn something useful at every job, no matter how menial it seems at the time.)
While many Americans think of Tequila as a drink best slurped down in one grimaced gulp, the spirit is so much more than that. After seeing the arduous hand crafting that goes into the process you'll never look at it the same...and you'll quit drinking Patron believing you're having the good stuff. After my trip to La Rojena, the Jose Cuervo distillery, I had a new appreciation for the deep cultural significance of the drink to Mexico's identity. (The jimador at left is the 4th generation to harvest the agave.)
Pruning an agave plant
Cuervo is the oldest of several manufacturers that have plowed the fertile grounds of the area for over 250 years. For non-drinkers the story behind the process is fascinating. Listening to the tour guide I got a real sense of pride rather than a canned speech. Of course there is plenty of Tequila to go around afterwards whether you like yours straight up or in a a margarita. Tequila can be reached by a tour from Guadalajara or the express train that operates each weekend. If you're thirsting for an excursion here contact Great Scott Getaways for more information.