Cabo is all about tequila. Traveling to Los Cabos without indulging in a bit of tequila is like skimming through Christmas without a lighted tree or carolling moment. It just isn’t Christmas and those missed tequila shots or salty margarita sips would mean it’s just not Mexico.
If you are traveling to Los Cabos, make it festive and bright with some authentic Cabo tequila cocktails, whether sipped at a bistro by the sea or on your private patio paradise in your luxury villa on the Sea of Cortez or resort balcony watching the sun set into the Pacific.
Tequila whether sipped in Los Cabos or Cancun or Mataztlan could be considered the national drink of Mexico. It has a very strong and specific taste that other drinks do not have – smokey and clean with hints of various regions where the originating agave is grown.
Los Cabos Tequila or Mezcal?
To be factual, there are only five Mexican states that are legally allowed to produce Tequila and call it by that name: Jalisco and parts of Guanajuanto, Tamaulipas, Michoacan and Nayarit. Otherwise, similar to Champagne in France, versus sparkling wine everywhere else, the smooth spirits that come from distilled agave is called mezcal.
Today’s popular cocktails may have originated in the 1500s from “pulque,” a drink made by local Aztec populations made from the juice of magwe, a type of agave. Tequila it is all about the agave – the blue agave or Agave Azul specifically, that are grown in abundance in the Tequila states. And while 125 species of agave can be found throughout various regions of Mexico but only the “Weber Blue” can be used to make genuine Tequila. These agave plants love the silicate-rich, red volcanic soils in these regions where some 300 million plants are harvested there every year.
Tequila requires a minimum of 51% Blue Agave, and current legislation allows for the rest to contain a neutral spirit made from cane sugar juice. Bottles containing 100% Blue Agave must be labelled that way while those made with less than 100% are called ‘mixto’.
In 1600 Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, a Spanish nobleman, founded the First Tequila Factory in Jalisco and quickly became known as the Father of Tequila. And while popular locally, most of it was exported to Europe.
Today, there are five types of tequila:
• Blanco (White unseasoned). Bottled immediately or within a month after production.
• Jovenuoro (Gold). Avocado tequila or Blanco tequila mix with madurado tequila. It is obtained by adding caramel, which gives color, taste and aroma to the aged drink.
• Reposado aged from 2 to 11 months in white oak barrels.
• Añejo. Aged during the year in oak barrels no more than 600 liters.
• Extraañejo (Extra Anejo). Aged for 3 years in oak barrels.
Best Bars in Cabo for Tequila
In Cabo San Lucas, find some friendly bars on the main street in the Marina that skirts the port to Cape Finistera, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Pay attention to the cozy family bar Karlitos Cantina located on Cabo Marina – Boardwalk. You can also find great Tequila in Cabo in the sports bar, Golden Legends or enjoy delicious Mexican food and tequila at Caboys Bar and Grill.
Cabo Tequila Tasting
If you`re looking for something more than a few shots in a bar, a good option for you would be to book a Cabo Tequila Tour. In Los Cabos you can immerse in tequila and mezcal moments with Viator, with time well spent exploring San Josa del Cabo.
Brands to consider for best enjoying tequila in Cabo include such known names as Jose Cuervo, 1800 Tequila, Sauza, and Patrón. And there are other brands that make the mark as well: Ocho, Casamigos, Hornitos. El Jimador, Don Julio, Olmeca Altos, Cabo Wabo, Pepe Lopez and Herradura.
Top tequila cocktails to order:
• Margarita / Frozen margarita
• Tequila Sunrise
• Tequila Paloma
• Tequila Martini
• Tequila Slammer
Mixing some holiday cheer from your living room villa bar? Here are some outstanding tequila mixes to try as the tamales and slow cooked chicken posole flow. For best results, use 1800 Cristalino, 1800 Reposado and/or1800 Añejo.
Pair with Pozole Rojo (A Rich Soup Made With Hominy)
• 1.5 oz 1800 Cristalino
• 1 oz lime juice
• .5 oz orange liqueur
• .5 oz agave syrup
• Rosemary sprig
• Lime wedge
Directions: Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass rimmed with salt. Garnish with rosemary sprig and lime wedge.
Oaxaca Hot Chocolate
Pair with Marranitos (Mexican Gingerbread Pigs)
• 1.5 oz 1800 Reposado
• .25 oz Agavero Original
• 6 oz Mexican hot chocolate
• Dark chocolate, nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne for garnish
Directions: Add ingredients to a glass coffee mug and stir to combine. Garnish with pinches of dark chocolate, nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne to taste.
Pair with Mexican Buñuelos (Fried Dough With Cinnamon Sugar)
• 1.5 oz 1800 Añejo
• 2 oz apple cider
• 2 oz boiling water
• .25 oz honey
• Cinnamon sticks
• Lemon wedge
Directions: Add ingredients to a footed glass coffee mug and stir to combine. Garnish with two lemon wheels and two cinnamon sticks. See our Palmilla vacation rentals with chefs here.