Everything you Need to Know When Sampling Tequila in Los Cabos
Nothing says ‘luxury in Mexico” quite like laying on a chaise lounge overlooking the azure blue sea, taking in the sun’s rays with a perfectly shaken margarita in your hand.
That margarita is more than a drink, it’s an experience, taking you to a warm sandy beach with every sip. If you’re already planning on jet-setting to Los Cabos to indulge in an opulent vacation, what better way to spend an evening, or afternoon, than tasting the spirits that encapsulate the region?
A Taste of History
Tequila has a long history in North America — it was the first distilled spirit to be produced on the continent, and has been made in Mexico since the early 1500s. Though it is readily available throughout the country, most tequila producers are located in the namesake town of Tequila, in Jalisco State, about 65 kilometers north-west of Guadalajara.
According to legend, the spirit was discovered when a blue agave, the plant from which tequila is made, was struck by lightning before being blessed by the goddess of agave, Mayahuel.
As coveted as the spirit itself, tequila bottles have become a collector’s item and a sign of prestige among connoisseurs. Bottles are often hand-crafted and can be made of hand-blown glass, crystal, ceramic, or in the case of the $3,500,000 Ley .925 Ley Diamant (the most expensive tequila bottle in the world) two kilos of platinum, and 4,100 white diamonds.
Off the Shelf
Tequila is made from the sap produced by the blue agave plant, which is fermented and distilled for roughly nine years before being used. There are five categories of tequila, each varying by color and age.
Blanco (silver, white) — This is the purest form of the spirit. Un-aged, it will appear clear, and taste of the true, intense flavors of the agave plant.
Joven (gold) — These tequilas are typically a mix, where colorants and flavorings have been added (often with caramel). This is the most common form of tequila used in bars for shots and mixed drinks.Reposado (rested) — This tequila has been aged in oak barrels or a storage tank for anywhere between two and 11 months. The color takes a golden hue, and a woodsy flavor develops.
Añejo (aged) — Tequila earns the title of añejo after aging for at least one year, in barrels with a strict limit of 600 liters. The spirit deepens to an amber hue, becoming smoother and richer in taste.
Extra añejo (extra aged) — This classifications only appeared in 2006, and entails the same details as Añejo Tequila, but has been aged for over three years. It develops a much darker color, with a flavor so rich it must be diluted with distilled water, making it extremely smooth. Keep in mind, tequila is meant to be sipped; if you need a lime and some salt, you should try a different bottle.
Get in the Spirit
With tequila the non-official official drink of Mexico, tasting opportunities are bountiful. For a truly immersive experience, the Tequila & Ceviche Bar at Las Ventanas offers an unparalleled selection of Mexican tequilas, including some of the most expensive the country has to offer. Consult the bar’s “tequila masters,” who will help you determine a tequila to perfectly match your preferences. You can also indulge in a one-on-one blind tasting.
If a craving for tequila strikes while walking the streets of San Jose del Cabo, head to Habanero’s Gastro Grill & Tequila Bar. Not only is the food authentically delicious, but they hold an extensive tequila collection. Their knowledge earned them an expertise award from the Mexican Tequila Regulatory Agency. Just make sure you have driver booked to take you back to your villa.If you’re looking to tour the tequila making process and visit a blue agave field, you’re going to have to head to the mainland to the state of Jalisco. The Jose Cuervo Express train departs weekly from Guadalajara takes you through the town of Tequila, and tours their distillery. Children stay occupied playing games and exploring the trail while those of age enjoy the many samples given along the way.
Food Festivals – Get a Taste of Los Cabos
There are so many wonderful things about Los Cabos. The sun, beaches, and lush green landscapes come to mind. But what’s the one thing everyone who visits Los Cabos falls in love with?
The food! Mexico has one of the tastiest cuisines in the world. If you’ve never been to Mexico, you can’t really know what authentic Mexican food is like. You’ve got to experience it first-hand! Mexican cuisine is considered an ancient one, with techniques and recipes developed over thousands of years. Add in the fact that ingredients and tastes change by region, and you’ve got pretty diverse menus. What’s the best way to experience all the varieties of Mexican flavours? A food festival! An event like this in Los Cabos is the perfect playground for foodies to sample specialties from all over Mexico. You’ll be able to taste traditional and contemporary offerings, often in a perfect fusion, made by chefs from all over the country. Since there’s so much going on in Los Cabos, we’ve found the best of the best food festivals for you. Read on to find out what’s cooking in Los Cabos!
Sabor a Cabo International Food & Wine Festival
The Sabor a Cabo Festival is the region’s largest culinary festival. It was started in 2005 by a group of local chefs who wanted the celebrate the unique restaurant scene found in Los Cabos. They also wanted to support and give back to their communities by committing contributions to local social initiatives and charities. Since its inauguration, proceeds from ticket sales have gone to the Cuerpo de Bomberos de Cabo San Lucas (volunteer firefighters), the Los Cabos Red Cross and the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. The festival is held every year in late November and early December across many different venues, which rotate from year to year. The festival actually consists of several events, and spans just over a week. The main night that kicks off the festival is called the Sabor a Cabo Magno Event. This night is often held on a luxury golf course or some other stunning seaside site. This is a fun event where you’ll try foods and drinks from over 60 restaurants and 40 wineries. There are mixologists there too, so don’t forget to sip some mezcal and tequila.
You’ll be mingling with friends, foodies, and culinarians while you dig in to some gourmet dishes as the sun sets on the ocean. In addition to amazing food, there’s great entertainment. Past musical guests included Grammy winner Lila Downs, the all-time best-selling Latin American rock band Man¡, and R&B legends Earth, Wind & Fire. You’ll also be treated to live cooking demonstrations with international chefs. Perhaps the most exciting element of the evening, aside from the good eats, is the Chef Con Sabor A Cabo. In this competition, attendees will be able to vote in various categories such as best red wine, best sweet dish, and others. In another exciting competition, 10 spots are available for restaurants to enter with an international chef they have invited. In this live cooking competition, they must prepare a gourmet dish to blow all the others out of the water. The action is shown on big screens so you can watch the meticulous detail and care each chef puts into their craft. The dishes will then be judged by the Sabor a Cabo by American Express Committee. Only one can win the prize!
The big night doesn’t put an end to the festival, however. Next comes the Sabor a Cabo Gastronomic Week, where participating restaurants all over Cabo prepare exclusive meals and dining experiences for festival attendees. Over 60 restaurants participate, so this is your chance to try the best of what Los Cabos has to offer. There are also smaller events happening all around town. These aren’t the same every year, so be sure to check the program, but in the past we’ve seen some really cool mini-festivals. Attendees loved Oktoberfest and Los Cabos BeerFest! The most popular of all mini-fests is the Cabo a Sabor Rural Festival, usually held at the end of the Gastronomic week. Its attendees travel to a nearby rural area to get a real taste of traditional Mexican cooking. Participating restaurants, usually around 20, prepare dishes made with organic fruits, vegetables, herbs and other locally sourced ingredients. To make it even more authentic, restaurants must produce their own eggs and honey for the dishes they make. This amazing farm-to-table event will show you just how mouthwatering farm to table cuisine can be. Ready to go? You can get tickets at the Cabo A Sabor website. Seats start at $325 USD and proceeds go to charity so you’ll be enjoying gourmet Mexican cuisine while supporting local initiatives.
Other Los Cabos Festivals
Sabores de Baja Festival in Miraflores
The small town of Miraflores is mostly known as the main organic farming community in the Los Cabos area. The best restaurants get their produce from here, so what better than a food festival right at the source? They also celebrate pitahayas, the favourite local fruit of the Miraflores indigenous community. This young festival usually happens in April. The focus here is traditional cuisine and organic farming. It’s small and less glitzy than some of the bigger festivals, but that’s exactly why it’s so charming. This colorful festival offers an authentic experience that will stay in your heart long after you leave. You can get tickets and more information here.
Gastrovino Baja Food & Wine Festival
This festival is the second largest in Los Cabos. Since 2012, the event has been held in the town of Todos Santos, which holds the title of Pueblo Magico (Magic Village). This moniker was given to around 100 small and overlooked towns across Mexico by the Tourism Board to let tourists know where something really special can be found. There are colorful flags, hidden artisanal shops and quaint cobblestone roads that give Todos Santos a magical feel. It’s the perfect place for a food festival. This weekend-long event was created by the owner of a local wine and olive oil shop. Indulge in local wines, imported cheese, and authentic Mexican dishes. The main event happens in the town square on Sunday, where guests can enjoy live music and a silent auction to benefit local programs for children. Visit the Gastrovino Baja Food & Wine Festival site for tickets and more information about this exciting program.
You won’t run out of things to try at any of these festivals, but we’ve got a few suggestions for mouthwatering meals you should keep an eye out for. You simply can’t leave before trying these dishes. And while you’re checking out the different tables and chefs at the festivals, make sure to sample what these top 10 restaurants in Los Cabos have to offer. If you’re craving the flavours of Mexico, Los Cabos is the place to be. You won’t find food like this anywhere else, and you can stay in the lap of luxury in your own private villa. All the amenities and pampering you expect from a resort will be available exclusively to you. And for those days you won’t be festival hopping, many of our rentals have a private chef so you can enjoy gourmet dining in your own. Book with us today for the perfect holiday home!
7 Places to Have a Thanksgiving Dinner in Los Cabos
Along with Christmas, Thanksgiving is the most awaited holiday in North America. The core idea of this four-day break is to celebrate warmth, relationships and family ties. And as families choose to prioritize experiences over possessions in this time of year, traveling on Thanksgiving is becoming more common. This opens up new and exciting opportunities for those who love to travel. Consider Los Cabos, a tropical paradise with sun, sand and warmth, and with more activities to do as a family than you can imagine.
And for those of you might still crave the sweet nostalgia of a traditional Thanksgiving family dinner, even during a trip to Los Cabos, we can help. Here are 7 Los Cabos restaurants that you can choose for a Thanksgiving dinner in 2019.
Fresh From the Farm Los Cabos Restaurants
If you prefer your turkey and pumpkin organic, here are some unique culinary experiences that can serve as the perfect family dinner destination.
Spread over 25 acres, Flora Farms is the favourite of countless travellers. This organic farm specialises in nature therapy and offers other family activities such as farm spa and cooking, as well as painting classes. At night, you can lay back and enjoy their special Thanksgiving dinner made from humanely raised turkeys and chemical-free ingredients.
If you care about the environment, but also like your wines, Acre could be the perfect Thanksgiving dinner option for your family. The award-winning bar and farm-fresh pumpkin pies, combined with Acre’s proven service for large groups, make it a great alternative to Flora farms. Also, if you’d prefer a vegan Thanksgiving, Acre offers highly recommended options free of animal products.
After an action-packed day of touring at Los Cabos, a relaxing Thanksgiving dinner downtown can literally be the recipe to happiness. Don Sanches offers all the goodness of farm-to-table concept and the sophistication of fusion cuisine with the convenience of their downtown location.
Turkey with a view
For the obsessed-with-scenery travellers, the Marina area and the Cortez Sea offer some scenic Thanksgiving dinner options.
There’s a very good reason celebrity chef Guy Fieri featured Solomon’s Landing while visiting Los Cabos. The turkey dinner here is highly recommended, with hundreds of positive user reviews. The marina location adds a great view to the dining experience, also serving – needless to say – as a cozy setting to share Thanksgiving stories.
Café des Artistes
If you prefer a gourmet Thanksgiving experience along with a great view of the sea of Cortez, Café des Artistes is the place to be! This unique destination is the brainchild of Chef Thierry Blouet, renowned for creating a visually pleasing, designer cuisine. The café is designed to be an intimate seating, so advanced booking is highly recommended!
Unconventional Thanksgiving Dinner Experiences
If you are a lover of the unconventional and authentic travel experiences, these are must-see Thanksgiving options for you.
Meaning both “bull” in Spanish and “tuna belly” in Japanese, this artful blend of Latin American and Asian cuisine is sure to make a memorable, if unconventional, Thanksgiving. The restaurant Toro is well known for its patio with a whale fountain and an unforgettable ocean view.
Bajo La Luna
Bajo La Luna is where locals go for authentic Mexican cuisine. So, if you are interested in trying local flavors for Thanksgiving, this is the place to be. The moonlit patio is the perfect setting for long conversations, and known to be family-friendly. Bajo La Luna can also be an interesting twist to Thanksgiving with their stone (or “piedra) soup, a seafood delight traditionally prepared by the men in the family to celebrate the women and kids. It’s the recipe that reflects the true spirit of Thanksgiving, in a unique Mexican flavor.
A must-try for Thanksgiving 2019 weekend
If you are planning to spend your holiday in Los Cabos in 2019 Thanksgiving weekend, you are in for a special treat. Sabor, the biggest food festival of Los Cabos, is scheduled for the Thanksgiving weekend this year. It’s the perfect opportunity to try some of the best food in the city, from 60 participating restaurants.
Nothing says ‘family’ like traveling together to an unexplored paradise. If you want to take a dip in the crystal blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, indulge in Margaritas, or simply relish in the flavors of Latin America, Los Cabos can be a dream destination. Need a trip itenary for Thanksgiving? Check out our blog or ask our trip experts today!
The Pirate History of Cabo
Cabo’s history is full of conquests and adventures, with a lasting legacy that goes back thousands of years. Because of its location, Cabo has always been an important landmark on the Pacific trade route. It’s interesting to note that the pirate history of Mexico itself may have begun with the first conquest by Hernán Cortés. An ambitious navigator and seasoned conquistador, Cortés set course for the Aztec empire or today’s Mexico by disobeying his immediate superior, the governor of Cuba. In other words, Cortés and his men went on a pirate inquisition which was later legitimised by the crown.
English and Dutch Privateers
After the fall of the Aztecs in the 16th century, Los Cabos became an important navigational landmark for the naval fleets. The ports in Cabo soon became a hub, brimming with exotic materials, such as silk, pearls and spices to be exchanged for Mexican silver, from Luzon in the Philippines to Acapulco. The unique topography of the peninsula, such as the arc of Los Cabos, referred by the locals as ‘el arco’, became a widely known sea mark – not only for trading ships, but also for pirates. Earliest known ‘pirates’ may have been English and Dutch privateers, who followed the example of Francis Drake, the first known privateer to cross the Magellan’s Strait to reach the Cabo bay. Today, you can only marvel and imagine what the busy Marina would have looked like back in the day. There’s a piece of history in every corner of Los Cabos.
Cavendish’s Lost Treasure of Los Cabos
As trade increased in the late 16th century, more English privateers flocked to Los Cabos, adding new chapters in the pirate legacy of Los Cabos. The most noteworthy pirate loot in the history of Los Cabos has to be the siege of Santa Anna, by Thomas Cavendish. The English privateer was infamous amongst Spanish trade ships and is widely reputed to be the first man to deliberately circumnavigate the Earth. His exploits eventually earned him the knighthood and enormous wealth, a large part of which can be traced to the sinking of Santa Anna in Los Cabos.
Santa Anna was a gigantic galeon by mid-16th century standards. At 600 ton, it was loaded with a cargo so massive that it had no space left for cannons, making it an easy target for Cavendish and his merry band of pirates. Cavendish eventually divided the cargo between the two English ships, only one of which returned to England. The other ship named ‘Content’ never made it back, and has led to the rise of rumours about untold riches waiting at the depth of the sea of Cortez. While the veracity of Content’s myth is dubious, shipwreck scuba diving is a must-do activity on your trip to Los Cabos. There are many tours that operate in and around Cabo, and offer a fun experience for the entire family. Needless to say, the remote possibility of finding a long lost treasure can always make it worth your time.
End of Piracy and Modern Day Attractions of Cabo
Piracy continued unimpeded for centuries until navies of European nations began to consider pirates as a serious threat to the sovereign. After the end of the Mexican war, the American navy had become strong enough to eliminate any pirates, and most of them either fled the continent or went underground. By the 19th century, steam-propulsion ships became the norm, ending the classic age of pirates in Cabo and the Caribbean.
Today, the coves and caves around the coast of Cabo, that once provided a cover for pirates, are popular tourist destinations. You can see some of them if you choose to cruise around the cost. Some of the structures and lasting legacy of this era is still within your reach. For example, the famous arch of Los Cabos is just minutes away from the Marina, making for a great outdoor location. While the arch may have indeed been part of the pirate era, it predates known history, and even the Sea of Cortés, by a wide margin. Today, this unique location has been converted into a whale-watching and snorkelling destination.
If you prefer to go on a different kind of an adventure, the Buccaneer Queen is another modern day pirate experience, right at the Marina. This authentic pirate-style ship has everything you need to set off on a conquest, including a bar, glass bottom tours, and a sunset cruise. The cruise on the coast of Cabo is the closest you can come to reliving a bygone era.
The Aztecs, Spanish and later on the English and Dutch privateers have all left an imprint on Cabo, creating a potent mix of culture and adventure. From natural landmarks, to pirate-themed restaurants, and cruises, Cabo has everything for both thrill-seekers and history buffs. The best part? Los Cabos has perfect weather all year around for sightseeing, or for water sports. If you are planning a trip in the near future, here’s what you need to know about the most exclusive stay options in Los Cabos. For travel itineraries and bookings, feel free to get in touch with us today!
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