Tequila: Juice of the Heavens

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Mazatlan, Mexico

Tequila is Mexico’s national drink and one enjoyed by locals.

All over Mazatlan you can see the blue agave plants growing in hopes of harvesting them for this liquid of the heavens.

I know a bit about tequila from my university days living with 4 guys from Mexico.

I discovered most of what we consider to be tequila is actually mezcal and that fine tequila should be had straight.

Me at 22, I look so young.

I also know I like it a bit too much.

Today we toured Los Osuna distillery, which is over 150 years old. I learned that tequila is perfect for the impatient because it doesn’t actually need to be aged at all.

White tequila is young, it is quite plain but smooth. Anejo is old and has a wooden flavour and then resposado is somewhere in the middle.

EASY RECIPE: Chocobananos

We finished with a tasting and I realized that good tequila can be had straight and you don’t need a lemon or salt.

Perhaps I should stop being so cheap with what I buy…

drinking tequila

But the best piece of information came from Ivan with Mazatlan Tourism during dinner at Pedro y Lola.

He said to take the drink in my dominant hand turn my head to that side and drink, there I should be able to taste the alcohol in the drink.

However, if I put the glass in my non-dominant hand and turn my head to that side to drink all I would taste is the flavour of the tequila.

Needless I say I spent most of the night with my head turned to the left.

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Mexico Tourism Board but they did not request that I write a favourable review or stay out dancing until 5am with Raymond from Man on the Lam stopping not once but twice for hot dogs on the street.

Join the Conversation

  1. Chrystal McKay says:

    Oh tequila – it can be so kind; it can be so cruel! Sounds like it treated you well! I’d love to try QUALITY tequila but alas I am cheap!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      None of this stuff tasted like gasoline, I can never go back to the cheap stuff.

  2. On a Tequila tasting in Playa we were asked…

    Q: Do you know why Mexian’s love Jose Cuervo?”

    A: Because it makes the spring breakers take their tops off!

    Don’t drink Cuervo… drink real Tequila… it’s soooo much better!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      That must have been in Cancun!

  3. Extrano Tequila!!!

    No lo tomo tanto porque cuando lo tomo me pongo LOCO y muy umm sensitive (se me olvido como dicirlo en Espanol).

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I love that all your comments are now in Spanish.

  4. I know nothing at all about tequila. 🙂 But your description of the good stuff makes me want to try it. 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You absolutely must try the good stuff soon!

  5. Amber DeGrace says:

    Mmmm, I love a good tequila. We went to a tequila dinner in San Francisco at Tres Agaves and were able to sample their normal tequilas as well as a few reserves. I always enjoyed Patron but this gave me a whole new appreciation for it. I never heard about the turning of one’s head to the left or right. I can’t WAIT to try that out!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      This tour really opened up my eyes about how tequila could be so different, I had no idea there were three different types.

  6. I totally cannot handle tequila. But maybe that’s because I’ve never drunk the good stuff. I’ll have to give it a go sometime when I can get some good stuff… probably when I get round to Mexico!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      If you do get back to Mexico try to go to a tasting or distillery and you will see it makes all the difference.

  7. A Cook Not Mad (Nat) says:

    A quality tequila makes all the difference.

  8. Does that head turn thing really work??? Awesome. I need to try that next time I have a shot of tequila.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I was shocked, it really does work. You must try it.

  9. I genuinely mean this non-sniffily: is tequila supposed to taste of anything in particular? I’ve tried it twice, and each time it was just an overwhelming sucker-punch of alcoholic chemicals. I drink (and love) whisky, and I’ve really started to taste the elements that make a good peaty Scotch – not claiming to be anything of an expert, but I can tell the difference and chase down flavors within each sip. But my sips of tequila just tasted…really raw.

    What am I missing?

    1. Amber DeGrace says:

      If it’s a finely crafted tequila you can taste the agave. I recently had a beautiful moonshine where I actually tasted the corn. Quality ingredients combined with the skilled art of distilling is a beautiful thing.

      1. Ayngelina Author says:

        Completely agree, when you begin to taste the craftmanship you really start to realize why you should pay for quality.

    2. Ayngelina Author says:

      I would say you are probably not drinking great tequila. I have gone to a few scotch tastings before and I think they are very similar. With good tequila you can taste the flavour and warmth but it doesn’t feel like gasoline – the same is very true with scotch.

  10. Honestly, I cannot get into that stuff. It’s way too strong, way too much alcohol for me to handle. A small shot? Maybe. I like smooth wines and even better, something bubbly. But maybe i haven’t tried the good stuff yet? Obviously not.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Bad or cheap tequila can be awful and I once swore off it until I realized you could get much smoother drinks that didn’t taste like fire.

  11. Matthew Karsten says:

    I’ve also been scolded for shooting it, apparently good tequila is sipped from the shot glass.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I asked about it, apparently it is okay to do either, depending on the situation and what kind of tequila you are drinking.

  12. Emily in Chile says:

    I want to try this dominant hand trick! I’ve never heard of that before, but stranger things have been true. Did he mention if this is just for tequila or whether it works for other kinds of alcohol?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It was used in reference to tequila but I would think since it is related to the brain it must work in similar alcohol.

  13. Ava Apollo says:

    I am very interested in trying this good, sipping tequila. Every time I think of trying to knock a shot back I gag a little. I assume this is because I’ve only had Mezcal

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The bottle of Los Osunas in the lead photo wouldn’t make you gag at all, it was really delicious and easy to sip.

  14. EarthDrifter says:

    I used to drink Milagro in the states. It’s super smooth and reasonably priced, definitely must be drunk straight. It’s one of my favorite drinks on the planet. It cannot be compared to something like Cuervo. It’s relatively clean so the hangovers are minimal compared to a cheap tequila.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Tequila is one of those things you definitely need to spend money on, unfortunately most people never learn that lesson.

  15. Tom Stockwell says:

    Oh tequila, it makes me happy! I love this post, but it the golden stuff does always make me wince whenever I drink it. Then again, American friends reliably inform me that the stuff I’m used to is generally considered swill.

    Any tequila brand(s) that you’d recommend as your favourite, Ayngelina?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Well I have to say Los Osuna was really good and easy to sip. It didn’t have that fire that makes you think you are drinking gasolina.

  16. I had some delicious tequila at a friend’s bar in Barra de Navidad. Now I can’t drink the cheap stuff anymore.

  17. I’ve never been a fan of tequila, but then I don’t think I’ve ever had the “good” stuff, so maybe I’ll have to give it another try one of these days! Interesting about the head turning thing.

  18. Leah Travels says:

    The slightest smell of tequila sends me into a drunken, nauseated tailspin. In my case, one bad night does spoil the bunch.

  19. Haha! Great post! Who knew?

  20. Haha, love your disclaimer!

    Speaking as a bartender with a specialty in boutique and high-end spirits, yes, I would like to URGE people to drink the good stuff! Especially with tequila, there is such a difference between good and bad. Don’t discount tequila until you’ve had the best. And no, even Patron is not the best!

  21. I LOVE tequila and am famous for being the first to suggest it on a night out! I definitely have to try that dominant hand trick though – I’m so intrigued to see if it works 🙂

  22. I’ll have to start drinking tequila with my head tilted to the left!! That’s such an interesting tidbit. Mmmm, I miss tequila… it’s not very easy to find a good bottle of it here in Spain because they’re into their wines and rums, but whenever I find myself in an airport…

  23. Mexico has made me fall completely in love with tequila. I´ve learned how to drink that and mezcal properly (by sipping and enjoying the taste) and couldn´t even fathom shotting in like they do back home now. What a waste!

  24. Sally Stretton says:

    Now you are talking my language…Tequila! I too learned more about tequila in Mexico. They even have tequilas that are more on the sweeter side and go down so smooth, its like having an after dinner brandy! Thanks for making me want to do some shots! 🙂


  25. tequila shots are rough, much better to drink tequila based cocktails instead!

  26. I love tequila, I’m always that odd one out saying yes to shots while everyone else is groaning no way. I’m kind of excited to try that dominant hand trick.

  27. In mexico we have a very good tequila, awesome food.
    Like anygelina says loock for the good tequila, if you are a beginner drinking tequila try don julio cristalino 70.

  28. LA FE Hotel and Arts Guadalajara says:

    This is great Ayngelina! After three years living here I’ve learned a lot about tequila. It most certainly should not be drank with lemon and salt. Why would you want to ruin the flavor….of good tequila. I have to say I’ve never hear about turning the head right or left. I’m going to be asking around and trying for myself. btw, if you ever come to guadalajara we’d love to host you!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thank you so much, I adore Mexico and I’ve always wanted to visit Guadalajara as Rease from IndecisiveRease.com speaks so highly of it.

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