How to Properly Drink Tequila with Viva Mexico

This past July, I flew into Guadalajara, Mexico, rented a car, & met my friend Karena in her hometown of Arandas ~ about a two-hour drive.  I didn’t realize it at the time: but Arandas is the motherland of tequila.  While the town of Tequila is much more famous (with the tourist-favorite “Tequila Train”), Arandas is more of a local’s place, with far fewer tourists.  We were lucky enough to be invited to take a tour at Viva Mexico, which is a brand of tequila that can only be found in Mexico.  Here, I learned exactly “How to Properly Drink Tequila,” which is what I’ll be sharing with you in this post!

How to Properly Drink Tequila with Viva Mexico, 15 Photos to Inspire Your Trip to Guadalajara, Mexico, Girl Who Travels the World

In this post, we’re going to learn to drink tequila like the Mexicans do, thanks to Viva Mexico!

How to Get to Guadalajara & Arandas

Guadalajara is extremely easy to reach.  It has Mexico’s second-largest city: Guadalajara International Airport, which is is huge, offering flights all over Mexico ~ plus to many U.S. & Canadian cities.  To reach Arandas, the easiest thing to do is to rent a car, & make the easy two-hour journey via toll roads.

Guadalajara

Tequila

Guadalajara International Airport

Arandas

How to Properly Drink Tequila

All you need to know are three easy steps, for properly drinking tequila.  Here they are:

  1. First, & most important: on your first sip, DON’T SMELL the tequila!!!  This is the most important step, & there’s a scientific reason for it: when you smell the tequila first, it sends a signal to your brain that you’ll be drinking alcohol ~ & it actually SHUTS DOWN certain taste buds on your tongue!  This blew me away; I had NO idea that occurred.  But it helps explain why, when people have had a bad experience with tequila (i.e. throwing up), the mere smell of it sends them into a panic.  Your body is smart!  Hold your breath & don’t smell the tequila before that first sip.
  2. Next, while holding your breath, take a sip of the tequila (DON’T use a lime ~ that’s a very American thing to do)!  Keep the tequila in your mouth & swish it around a bit, so that it saturates your taste buds.  Swallow the tequila after about 7-10 seconds of swishing. 
  3. Now, your brain & your taste buds are PRIMED ~ & you can actually start enjoying your tequila tasting!  You’ll now be better able to appreciate the different flavors & attributes of each tequila.
    15 Photos to Inspire Your Trip to Guadalajara, Mexico, Girl Who Travels the World

    Agave fields in Arandas, Mexico are what created our tastings at Viva Mexico.

Interesting Things I Learned…

I learned some rather amazing things while touring the Viva Mexico distillery, some of which I’ll share with you here:  

  • Blanco (silver) tequila isn’t aged at all; it’s bottled immediately after distillation.  Reposado, or “rested” tequila, is aged in oak barrels between 2-12 months, which gives it a slightly darker color.  Anejo (aged) tequilas are held in oak barrels for 1-3 years.
  • Better tequila makers take their time during both the extraction AND distillation processes, & can remove up to 50% of what they collect, which may include pesticides & other unwanted residue from the agave.  Cheaper tequilas don’t do this, because it takes time & money ~ which helps explains why you get a nasty hangover from them!
  • Here’s the most fascinating thing I learned: during the fermentation process (which can take between 2-12 days), when the sugars are being converted into alcohol, Viva Mexico plays classical music in their warehouse, ALL DAY LONG!!  Isn’t that wild!?  Our guide said they tried playing hard rock ~ but it left more sugar in the mixture, negatively affecting the final product.  They found that classical music produces the best-tasting tequila.  AMAZING!!! 
  • One final thing on tequila & hangovers: cheaper tequila brands only ferment for 2-3 days (Viva Mexico ferments for at least 7 days).  To speed up the process, they use a chemical additive, which can make your hangover worse.  Also, because they ferment for less time, more sugar stays in, which creates a worse hangover.

Bottom Line = Don’t drink cheap tequila!!  Spend a little more & save yourself the hangover.

How to Properly Drink Tequila with Viva Mexico, Girl Who Travels the World

Arandas’ main cathedral, which is a slightly pink color, should NOT be missed.

How to Properly Drink Tequila with Viva Mexico

 I hope you’ve enjoyed learning “How to Properly Drink Tequila” with my friends at Viva Mexico!  Our favorite tequila was hands-down their reposado; it had just enough flavor & character without being overpowering.  Cazadores is another famous tequila brand in Arandas, & make this town a great off-the-beaten path destination.  

Guadalajara also needs at least 2-3 days because it’s such a fabulous city!

xoxo Noelia 

Read Next: 15 Photos to Inspire Your Trip to Guadalajara!

Discover more from Girl Who Travels the World

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading