Of all the holidays we look forward to throughout the year, Tequila Day might be the best — or at least the best excuse to drink. Whether tequila is your drink of choice, or you avoid it due to the bad memories it conjures, National Tequila Day is the day to let bygones be bygones and embrace the agave spirit. From touring tequila distilleries to taking a train through Mexico’s famous Tequila town, the birthplace of tequila, there is no shortage of ways to celebrate the holiday. Here are five of our favorite experiences for tequila lovers on Tequila Day — and if you missed out this year, remember that every day can be Tequila Day if you just believe.
1. Stay in a tequila barrel hotel
It’s always fun to get an inside look at the distilling process, but this might be more “inside” than you had in mind. Just outside Mexico’s Tequila town, a 45-minute drive from Guadalajara, you’ll find hotel rooms designed to look like tequila barrels. The barrels of the Matices Hotel de Barricas are located next to the La Cofradia tequila factory. The interior of the barrel-shaped rooms are (unsurprisingly) tequila-themed, with a view of the mountains and agave plants right outside your window.
2. Visit Tequila, Mexico
The town of Tequila, Mexico is famous for being the birthplace of tequila. In fact, you can’t actually legally call it tequila unless it comes from either this town or the state of Jalisco (and a few other very small areas). It sits at the foot of the Rio Grande and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006 due to its bounty of agave crops, old ranches, and iconic distilleries. Here, tequila isn’t just a drink of choice, but integral to the local culture and identity of the town’s 40,000 residents. In addition to distilleries, the town also has tons of tequila shops and colorful hotels that cater to tequila enthusiasts.
3. Tour tequila distilleries
There are countless tequila distilleries in Mexico, but many are remote and difficult to visit. One of the most accessible tours that’s also one of the most fun and comprehensive is at the Casa Sauza distillery in Tequila, Mexico. Visitors will be able to plant their own agave, see Sauza’s antique bottles collection, partake in a fresh agave juice and blanco tequila tasting, and enjoy a Mexican barbecue. When it comes to sheer volume and range of distillery activities, it’s tough to beat Casa Sauza.
4. Ride the Tequila Train
All good trips are as much about the journey as they are about the destination, and traveling to Mexico’s famed Tequila town is no exception. Board the Jose Cuervo Express in Guadalajara en route to Tequila, Mexico, for a step back in time. The vintage black and gold train treats first-class guests to tequila tastings, complete with a spread of candied agave, coffee beans, shreds of oak barrel, and lime rinds. A master tequilier will explain everything you need to know about tequila on your journey, including how to test for tequila quality, and how to savor tequila the right way — take in a breath, hold it, take a sip, swallow, then breathe out. By the time you reach Tequila town, you might forget that the train itself wasn’t the main event.
5. Indulge in an all-inclusive tequila weekend
If you would prefer a more all-inclusive, luxury-style experience, the Four Seasons Punta Mita on Mexico’s Pacific Coast offers a comprehensive range of activities for tequila lovers. The Four Seasons Punta Mita has a vast collection of tequila, exceeding 200 varieties, including an extensive selection of mescal. For $150, guests can take advantage of the resort’s tequila tasting and blending program, where you’ll be able to create your own personal blend with the guidance of the resort’s concierge. The resort also offers cooking classes where traditional Mexican dishes are paired with the optimal tequila complement, as well as tours of nearby distilleries near Punta Mita and Puerto Vallarta.