Tasting Tequila in Mexico: Around the World in 80 Drinks

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Let’s play a game, shall we? It’s a fill-in-the-blanks kind of activity, where the rules of kindergarten (a place where all answers are good answers, as long as you try) DO NOT apply. In this game, there is only one correct answer. And if you guess right, you’ll be able to go about your day, basking in the self-satisfaction of being correct. Ready?

When I say “Mexico,” you say: (fill-in-the-blank)!

Expedia recently asked this very question during an #expediachat on the Twitter, and I was surprised to see a lot of people — people I respect and whose blogs I love — coming up with entirely incorrect answers! Like Captain and Clark, a vlogging duo whose awesome Maverick project is dreamy and amazing, but who seem to have no idea about the VERY BEST PART of Mexico.


Seriously...where's the tequila?
Before the Taco lobby comes after me, I should state that I do enjoy a good taco. With a margarita on a sunny beach. So MAYBE this is a reasonable answer…


Tacos? TACOS, for gods sake? While they did redeem themselves somewhat by acknowledging the amazingness of the margarita (Even though margaritas are most likely an American invention), it’s not the answer I’m looking for. Other well-meaning tweeps came up with answers like mole, which is a reasonable, but entirely incorrect, answer. It’s true, mole is delicious. And tacos have a delightful saltiness to them, which makes my inner pony (that’s a thing, right?) do a happy little dressage.

But do you know what else is salty? Salt. On the rim of your tequila shooter. And do you know what makes those margaritas so magical, people? It’s the tequila. The answer is tequila!


Geoff enjoys the magic that is tequila
Geoff enjoys the magic that is tequila


Which is why we thought it important, when in Mexico, that we take it upon ourselves to explore this important part of Mexican culture. And what we learned was this: just as Don Draper likes to come home at the end of the day and pour a Canadian Club — neat — MEXICAN Don Draper (whom we will call Don Julio) likes to come home after a long day and pour himself a tequila: straight up, sippin’ tequila.


Mexican man salt shaker
Here he is: Mexican Don Draper. What? That’s a salt shaker, you say? Well what could be better than a Salty Mexican Don Draper? Nothing. That’s what. Photo credit: es74273 via Flickr


We were staying right in the tourist heart of Puerto Vallarta, and decided to take advantage of our surroundings by wandering down to the marina for a D.I.Y. tequila experience. We pulled up two barstools at a place called Chappy’s, which seems to be a favorite of the retired expat gentleman who live in Puerto Vallarta for half of the year, many of whom seem to do so on their boats in the marina (which I find to be awesome, and makes me want to sail around the world, but more on that next time). Luckily for us, Chappy’s has excellent bar tenders, and Chuy (Chuy is a common nickname for Jesus), who was working that day, was happy to answer our questions.


Chuy / Jesus hooks us up with our Tequila fix


We spent some time strategizing about how best to proceed — it’s important to be scientific, after all — and decided to order three 2oz shooters — cheap-as-dirt, medium, and holy-crap-are-you-kidding-me — to compare.


They don’t LOOK like pure evil, which is strange, because at least one of them tasted like hell…fiery!


Unsurprisingly, the cheapest tequila tasted as such; it was less than $4 Canadian for a two ounce shot, hadn’t been aged, and wasn’t 100% agave. As I feel my writing abilities couldn’t possibly describe my feelings about what I can only call utter swill, I’m going to let Ralph Wiggum describe how it felt to drink the cheap stuff.



Thankfully, things improved from there. The second shot was smoother, with less burn and bite. What surprised me, however, was the expensive stuff. I’ve never been a tequila drinker, always cringing and finding an excuse to avoid it during those ill-concieved moments when someone yells, “SHOOTERS!” But the most expensive tequila we tried — the Don Julio 1942, which cost about $12 Canadian for two ounces — was delicious. I actually ENJOYED it, which is a word I never expected I’d use about tequila. No burn, hardly any smell, and a delicate oak flavour from the aging process. Geoff made a little video about our tequila-ing, which you can ooh and ahh at below:



Now it’s time to share YOUR tequila stories in the comments, and don’t be shy. The messier the better…I promise we won’t judge!







4 thoughts on “Tasting Tequila in Mexico: Around the World in 80 Drinks”

  1. Those shot glasses look enormous! I’m seriously impressed if you managed to finish the whole glass of the first one. I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever had cheap tequila – the stuff you drink as fast as you can when you’re out with friends and on a mission to get drunk. I’m always confused by how cheap tequila tastes so very bad, but margaritas made with cheap tequila go down so easily. I think I’d probably spring for the good stuff if I was in Mexico, though.

  2. Tom @ Waegook Tom

    I think I’m a little bit tipsy after reading this post. I can have tequila if it’s hidden inside a cocktail, but if it’s in shot form, that leads to making bad decisions. Like doing stronger shots. I usually can’t remember what happens after that.

  3. Pingback: An Italian Cafe: Around the World in 80 Drinks-WanderTooth Travel Blog

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