Atotonelco el Alto

MexicoPosted by Espen Sun, December 26, 2010 06:10:59

Our first plan was to drive south along the Pacific coast before turning east and then drive back up north to Mexico City. Unfortunately for us and the drug dealers, the authorities in the state of Michoacàn declared war on the drug dealers earlier this year. So after talking to several locals, which recommended us not to go further south, we turned around and started looking for a nice place to celebrate Christmas.

In Maruata we heard some rumors about a beach a few kilometers to the north that used to be full of turtles at this time of the year. So we pulled of the road and drove down to the beach to have a look...

From the coast we aimed for the town of Atotonilco el Alto where we wanted to check out the local tequila production. We've seen lots and lots of blue agave fields along the roads, so it was definitely time to try to get to know a little bit more about Mexico's "national drink".

The first challenge when you come to a new place is to find a place to stay for a night or two. We asked around in town, and at one place, Franc (from the Swiss, orange VW) was told that another Swiss guy was running a restaurant and guesthouse just outside town. Excellent! After some searching and dead-ends, we finally found Charlie's Gourmet Restaurant in Santa Elena. We sent the Swiss couple in first, of course, and we ended up staying at Charlie's place for two nights. And it really was a gourmet place!

And of course, Charlie knew the local tequila distilleries, so we ended up on a guided tour and tastings at 7 Leguas. This distillery is using both traditional and modern techniques to make tequila, and the tequilas they sell are a combination of these.

Cooked agave is crushed to get out the juice

The juice and the crushed agave is put into these big tanks for fermentation.

And a pic from the more modern part of the distillery. 7 Leguas produces about 1000 liters of tequila per day.

At the end of the tour and the tasting, the owner of the distillery showed up to say hello. We had a really nice time, and their Extra Añejo is by far the best tequila I've ever tasted! We also had to promise to tell our countrymen back in Europe that shot'ing tequila (which is the "normal" idea of how to drink tequila in Norway) is NOT how you should drink GOOD tequila!

Cheers! (Or skål, as we would say in Norwegian)


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