Where to try tequila in Puerto Vallarta

If there’s one Mexican export you’re likely familiar with, it is tequila. If you’ve visited Mexico (or even if you haven’t), you’ve probably tasted the country’s most famous indigenous beverage.

But if you’re headed to Mexico this fall — more specifically, to Puerto Vallarta in the state of Jalisco, which is the birthplace of tequila — the destination is promoting new ways to become more familiar with the regional delicacy, and even learn a few things along the way.

Related: New go-to eats in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, located on the coast of Jalisco, is not far from many of the hundreds of small-batch distilleries that produce tequila throughout the state. Besides tequila, Jalisco is also known for the production of raicilla, another agave spirit that has been passed down for generations. In 2019, the spirit was officially recognized with designation of origin status.

Here are a few ways to make the most out of your margarita or raicilla cocktail when visiting Puerto Vallarta this fall.

Get out to El Tuito

Roughly two hours south of Puerto Vallarta, in the hills of Cabo Corrientes near the stunning Costalegre, is the tranquil village called El Tuito. While heading out to the remote, wild and rugged beaches of southern Jalisco, it is worth stopping in El Tuito for a taste of local raicilla. Travelers can visit raicilla producers for personalized tasting sessions, along with sampling homemade panela cheese and traditional pastries.

Puerto Vallarta Walking Tours is offering a Raicilla in El Tuito excursion in the fall, led by professional photographer Sandra Cesca. The small-group tour is roughly six hours and includes a visit to Mi Pretexto, a 20-year-old raicilla distillery and farm to see how the spirit is produced as well as a stop at a family-run panaderia for homemade empanadas. Tours begin at $70 and include lunch at a restaurant.

Taste tequila in Puerto Vallarta

Of course, you don’t have to go far from the beach in order to get some great tequila (or raicilla or mezcal). Vallarta Tequila Tastings serves up sommelier-style, personalized tequila tastings across the city, from the privacy of guests’ casas or rented villas. The tastings include a range of gourmet experiences, including the Spirits of Mexico sampling, which includes a walk-through of the production of agave-based spirits. There is also the Tequila Food Pairing, which pairs four artisanal tequilas with Mexican cuisine, and the Tequila Chocolate Pairing, which pairs the earthy beverage with sweet, handcrafted chocolate. 

This tour runs up to two hours and the price ranges from $58 to $108 per person.

Visit a raicilla plantation

Beginning in 2022, Hacienda El Divisadero will welcome guests for epicurean experiences, starting with a breakfast of handmade tortillas, cheeses and fruit before hopping on horseback and riding with a charro to a river for a refreshing dip. The experience includes a visit to the on-site raicilla distillery for a tasting. 

Transfers are provided back to Puerto Vallarta, or guests can stay in a rustic cabin and be the first to see the production of raicilla on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

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