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Spirits of Mexico

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A quick guide to the difference between the three cousin spirits of Mexico: Tequila, mezcal, and raicilla.

The Differences of Tequila, Mezcal & Raicilla

While Tequila is perhaps the most famous Mexican distilled spirit, it has two close cousins – mezcal and raicilla – that you should sample during your Puerto Vallarta vacation. Here is a quick learner’s guide to the differences between each spirit.

Tequila

The most well-known, this spirit is made exclusively with the Blue Agave plant and to be called Tequila, it must be produced in our own state of Jalisco, in the Tequila region – much like how true Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France. Tequila comes in 5 distinct categories according to the amount of time it has been aged in oak barrels:

  1. Blanco or Silver Tequila (unaged)
  2. Joven or Gold Tequila (unaged)
  3. Reposado Tequila (aged two months and up to a year)
  4. Añejo Tequila (aged at least one year)
  5. Extra Añejo Tequila (aged at least three years)

Mezcal

Like Tequila, mezcal is also an agave-based spirit but can be distilled using a variety of up to thirty different agave plants and it is produced in several areas including Jalisco, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Puebla and Zacatecas. Like Tequila, a Joven, mezcal has been unaged and a reposado mezcal will have been aged in oak barrels for two months to a year. However, some upscale mezcals can be aged for many years, giving the spirit a richer, deeper smoky flavor.

Raicilla

Like Tequila, raicilla is also a product of Jalisco but is distilled from two varieties of agave plants: Lechuguilla and Maximiliana. Raicilla was a bootleg liquor for generations in Jalisco, only becoming legal for sale in the 2000s, but with a sweeter and fruitier taste than mezcal, it has become increasingly popular with mixologists around the world.

The expert bartenders at Pinnacle Resorts can give you a personalized experience with all these spirits of Mexico and show you the proper techniques to drink them neat or create the perfect cocktail for your tastes. Be sure to visit Chictini by Pinnacle, Signature Lounge, or Residences Sky Bar during your next vacation in Puerto Vallarta.

Click here for more Puerto Vallarta luxury vacation tips from Pinnacle Resorts.

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Photo by Francisco Galarza on Unsplash

Sergio Bustamente: The Surreal Side of Mexican Art

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Sergio Bustamente is one of Mexico’s most famed surrealist artists, whose sculptural pieces and jewelry collections are sent from his main gallery in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco – about a 4.5-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta, in Guadalajara – to buyers around the world.

Orphaned as a child in the city of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Bustamente was raised by his grandfather, a Chinese immigrant named Jose Chong, who became a lifelong inspiration in his work. When he was nine years old, he moved to Guadalajara, where motivated by his love of painting and the different ways that spaces can intersect, he began to pursue a degree in architecture. But soon, he realized that fine art was where his passion lay and was only 17 when he presented his first public exhibition. He then moved to Amsterdam to continue his profession as an artist, honing his craft there for two years before returning to Mexico.

Bronze sculpture work is the medium for which Sergio Bustamente is most well-known. His most famous piece, En Busca de la Razón (In Search of Reason) is located on the Malecon, the iconic oceanfront walkway in Puerto Vallarta that is lined with public art. In Search of Reason was unveiled in 1999 and is one of the most photographed sculptures on the Puerto Vallarta Malecon. The sculpture is a large bronze ladder that is approximately 30 feet high – and wide and sturdy enough that visitors can climb it for photographs – and depicts two small children climbing up while their mother beseeches them to come down safely.

Sergio Bustamente has said simply that the piece is meant to be a comment on “liberty”, but like all his work, the interpretation is always that of the viewer’s imagination. Talk to your Pinnacle Resorts Concierge for more information about this famous sculpture and for other Puerto Vallarta cultural suggestions.

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