Because I love tequila, I decided I needed to go down to tequila country in Mexico to see where and how they make it.
Tequila (the drink) is a type of Mezcal, which is an alcoholic drink distilled from the agave plant. Mezcal is made from more than two dozen varieties of agave, but tequila is made only from the blue agave plant and, according to Mexican law, can be called “tequila” only if it’s made in the area around the town of Tequila in the state of Jalisco (and only a few other states).
Tequila (the town) is about 90 miles west of Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco. Jalisco is on the central Pacific coast of Mexico and stretches from the ocean inland about 200 miles. It’s tropical, all of the state lying south of 23 degrees latitude.
The town itself is a quiet little place, filled with the offices and corporate stores of numerous Tequila distilleries and distributors. You’ll find hawkers selling tours to distilleries and lots of good street food. The bars offer a pretty broad selection of tequilas, as you might expect.
The fields surrounding Tequila and scattered across the state of Jalisco are filled with the soothing blue-green color of the Weber Agave plant, from which tequila is made. Distilleries are located all around Tequila and most offer tours of their facilities.