Category Archives: Mexico

Tequila Patrón—the Spirits

I always feel bad for characters that are misunderstood.  I mean, the Bumble in “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” wasn’t a bad dude … he just had a toothache.  That said, I thought I knew all about Tequila Patrón … a big company that makes a great product.  I drank it, I mixed cocktails with it, I enjoyed it … I left it at that.  After being invited to see Hacienda Patrón at the end of 2016, I have a much deeper appreciation not only for the tequila, but the craft behind it and the company that makes it.

I was invited by Patrón to take a few days to explore Jalisco and tour the distillery, and I’d be an idiot not to go, right?  Right.  I went (with some shiny, noisy AF) bells on—I was fucking stoked.  After my immersive experience, I learned some remarkable things that took me from a consumer to a loyalist.

First I’ll say this, Patrón not only produces their own spirits, but they do it expertly.  For those of you claiming that Patrón is “fake” … go suck a piña.  Yes, when the company was founded 1989, they produced their spirits in a facility they didn’t own, but they did so while adhering to their strict standards and following their exacting recipe.  In 2002 they opened The Hacienda and have been producing their own product since.  And yes, the company was started by a beauty product mogul, but he knows enough to have hired people that know the industry.

**UPDATE: Patrón Spirits was sold to Bacardi in January 2018.**

QUALITY.  To ensure perfection in every bottle, everything is done on-site with one exception.  Every one of their products is distilled with great oversight by the best in the business.  Many distilleries in Jalisco will produce multiple brands under one roof (there are 1700+ brands of “tequila”, but only 140 distilleries), but NOM 1492 only produces Patrón.

CONTROL.  The distiller behind the spirit, Francisco Alcaraz, has been the artisan who has helped the brand maintain the integrity of the product while meeting the ever-growing demand.  He has a really difficult job (I’m only kind of kidding) … he tastes every single batch of product before it’s bottled to ensure consistency and quality.  If he’s out?  It takes four expert tasters to take his place.

They don’t stop there.  Patrón claims that at least 60 hands will touch the product before it leaves The Hacienda.  That’s 60 hands checking every step of the process and ensuring that every step of their painstaking process is followed to the letter–from distillation to packaging.

INGREDIENTS.  The only part of the aforementioned process that doesn’t happen on The Hacienda’s property is the growing of the agave itself. Since it takes more than seven years to hit the sweet spot (pun intended) for the maturity of the agave piñas used in distillation, they decided that, instead of trying to own every step, they’d simply ensure they had the very best ingredients possible.  That meant reserving (and paying for) “first dips” on the best Blue Weber Agave from carefully selected fields in the Highlands of Jalisco.  Only the best.  Since Patrón only produces 100% blue weber agave tequilas, they obviously need quite a bit.  (Other brands that don’t call it “mixto”, which only had to be 51% agave)

No flavors, dyes, etc added to any tequilas

PROCESS. After harvesting, the agave is taken to the Hacienda where jimadores remove the leaves the old fashioned way (with a coa) to get to the heart of the agave, the piña.  The piña is then baked in their ovens for 79 hours for the perfect sweetness.  From there, the agave is either taken to a tahona or the roller mill–the tahona is a two-ton volcanic rock that painstakingly crushes the agave to remove the juices.  Patrón’s core line utilizes tahona and roller mill (more modern and efficient) distillates and blends them (55%/45%, respectively) to create the flavor we all know so well.

Why the mix?  Agave macerated using the tahona tends to be slightly sweeter since it allows more of the agave’s fibers themselves to lend flavor, giving the spirit more complexity.  (There are only four other tequila distilleries making tequila with a tahona, none of which operate the wheel daily.)  After tasting distillates from each production method, I love the flavors of the tahona-produced tequila. Lucky for me, Patrón’s newer line, Roca Patrón, is 100% tahona-produced.

INNOVATION. You may have seen a few new Patrón bottles popping up at your local bars–Roca, Piedra, Bordeos, Sherry Cask, XO, Citrónage, Platinum, Patrón en Lalique, etc.  The beauty of that is that they’re never done exploring new ways to make an incredible product even better.

Stay tuned for more about Patrón in upcoming posts!

The Cape Hotel (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico)

Cabo is the perfect getaway for Texans. Less than a few hours away, it offers adventure, views, and some of the best hospitality around. While Cabo was once associated with partying and spring break mayhem, there’s a more proper side to it. Since the Corridor, the 18-mile highway connecting Cabo San Lucas and San Juan del Cabo, was completed, quite a few resorts have popped up and are setting the standard for luxury.

I was delighted to spend a few days at one of Los Cabos’s beautiful hotels, The Cape in Cabo San Lucas. The hotel celebrated its second anniversary in serious style in July 2017 with parties each night featuring famous guest chefs and bartenders from across the country.

The hotel itself is extraordinary—a fortress of luxury that seemingly rises from the desert when approaching. Designed by Mexico City architect Javier Sanchez, it’s “relaxed 1960s Southern California-meets-Baja aesthetic at this luxury boutique hotel.”

The hotel’s layout is linear, so every room has an complete ocean view that can be taken in on a private balcony complete with a hanging daybed. The daybed is also a perfect place to sip the bottle of private label gold tequila left in each room upon check-in. If you’d rather stay inside the room, guests can take in a different kind of view  (wink wink) in select rooms with a glass shower and copper bathtub.

 

Venture out of your room (if you can tear yourself away from the comfort of your private space) to enjoy their pools, cabanas, or spa, all of which offer a unique chance for relaxation. Both of the two pools—one infinity and the other saltwater—overlook the ocean with stunning views of El Arco, or Land’s End, that separate the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez. And, because I am who I am, you know I spend most of my time in the infinity pool that offered a swim-up bar. (My morning commute was exhausting … I had to paddle all the way across the pool to get to the bar.)

Currents Spa is more than just a spa, it’s a respite nestled in a natural rock formation offering “hot and cold plunge pools, a steam room, sauna and an intimate couples treatment room with rain showers and private pool.“ If you prefer sunlight while enjoying your massage, opt for a massage in an ocean-view cabana.

 

While no (wo)man can live on spa treatments and tequila alone (though some would argue otherwise), The Cape houses unmatched bar and restaurant options powered by renowned chef Enrique Olvera. Manta, the jewel of their restaurants, offers exquisite seafood while paying homage to Mexican, Peruvian, and Japanese cuisines. The meal I enjoyed at Manta was possibly one of the best I’ve had in years with surprising twists on traditional dishes. Just like every other spot in the hotel, the view from the restaurant is absolutely breathtaking.

Their casual dining options are as delightful as Manta’s. Enjoy breakfast on their terrace with a buffet of fresh options or order snacks by the pool. Just don’t miss the chance to get a coconut to tote along for a morning walk on the beach … and maybe add a little nip of that tequila in your room.

Enjoy cocktails before dinner at Manta or take in the views in The Glass Box lounge (pictured above) while enjoying craft cocktails, or venture up to the sixth floor to enjoy the only rooftop lounge in Cabo with some beats and bubbles. Their rooftop club is the only one of its kind in Cabo and offers fantastic live music, fantastic cocktails, and an incredible view. Even better, when it’s quiet enough, you can still hear the sounds of the ocean, reminding you that you’re in paradise.

 

With flights to Cabo on Southwest starting at just $179 RT and their fantastic special offers (like getting your third night FREE), it’s a perfect getaway. However you slice it, The Cape is Cabo at its best.


The Cape, a Thompson Hotel
thompsonhotels.com
Carretera Transpeninsular Km 5 Misiones del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S. 23455
+52-624-163-0000