When we think about Sayulita, Mexico, we tend to think about the beach, the sun, the vibrant colors, the laid-back and idyllic style of paradise living, and maybe one other thing in particular: tequila! I mean, how can we be in Mexico and not explore all of the wonderful varieties and flavors of Mexico’s infamous native liquor?
Agave Liquors in Sayulita helps us to explore exactly that! Agave Liquors, which opened in October of 2017, is a liquor store and tasting service that specializes in artisan liquors that come from Mexico’s native agave plant and thus are pure, 100% agave liquors. The store itself reflects the warm culture of Sayulita; it is full of bright colors and all the traditional Mexican imagery you would see on the Sayulita streets. Even the bottles have interesting shapes and some look like pieces of art with hand painted designs, or images of Mexican folklore and myth.
Because Agave Liquors specializes in selling predominantly liquors made from agave plants, they mostly carry a variety of high-end, locally sourced tequilas, mezcals, and raicillas. Each vary in price, flavor, quality level, and taste, but are all unique and made in small, local distilleries. At Agave Liquors, there is something for everyone’s price range and taste here in Sayulita. Additionally, Agave Liquors also sells rum, vodka, whiskey, and wine for those wanting something different.
One of the coolest services that Agave Liquors provides to the community of Sayulita is their tequila and mezcal tastings! These tastings can be done at Agave Liquors with no appointment needed! Furthermore, private tastings can be arranged in the store, or at a private location, (at one’s home for example). The tastings can also be appointed for a special occasion, party, or other fun event in Sayulita.
While at Agave Liquors, I did a tasting with some friends, and it was just as much a learning experience as it was fun and enjoyable. I did not have an appointment, and the staff was incredibly welcoming, prompt, and professional in setting up our tasting. Daniel, the host, was extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the store’s products and the process in which the tequilas and mezcals are made. While doing the tasting, he explained in detail what each type of liquor was, how it was distilled or crafted, the reason for its color, and the difference in colors and ages with different liquors. For example, I had no idea that mezcal was cooked for long periods of time in underground ovens using wood; I learned that this is what gives most mezcals their distinct and strong smoky flavor. On the other hand, tequila has a shorter cooking process and is aged in barrels, so the longer the tequila stays in the barrel, the darker the color becomes, and usually the more smooth the flavor. Thus, the darker colored tequilas indicate a difference in how long the tequila was aged. For example, an Añejo is aged in barrels for one year, and an Extra añejo ages for more than three years. In addition to teaching our group all about the background of the liquors we were sampling, Daniel was patient and kind in answering any questions we had, and even allowed us to select which bottles or types of liquors we wanted to taste. (I’m not going to lie—some of them we wanted to try simply because of how cool the bottles looked!)
All in all, our tasting at Agave Liquors lasted about thirty minutes. The pours were generous and served in classy stemmed glasses in order to allow guests to sip and take their time when tasting to really get the most out of the flavor. Our tasting included one mezcal, (because for our group mezcal was not a preferred flavor). However, Daniel was sure to cater the tasting to our group’s needs and taste preferences. After the mezcal, we our tasting included a variety of different tequilas: a silver tequila, a reposado, and a few darker, woody colored tequilas. With each tequila we tasted, Daniel explained the reason for the tequila’s color, the process in which it was distilled, where it was made, and what exactly causes its unique flavor. By the end of our tasting we wound up trying about five different tequilas, and it was interesting to try to perfect our palate in deciding what type each person liked best.
The tasting at Agave Liquors was so much fun, not only because we got to sip on some high-end tequila, but because we got to learn about all of the differences between the various types and brands. I even had a change of heart during my tasting—I used to think that silver tequilas were my favorite and would steer clear of the darker ones; however, after doing the tasting, I realized how much more I favored the darker colored tequilas for their smooth, woody flavor.
Agave Liquors’ tequila & mezcal tasting was a great experience, and it would be an entertaining activity for anyone to do—whether you’re by yourself exploring and wanting to try something new, or you’re with a group and want something fun to do during the day, or if you’re celebrating something special. The tasting is just as fun for those who know nothing about tequila (like me prior to this experience), as it is for the tequila expert! Finally, doing a tasting really helps if you are trying to decide on what particular type of tequila to buy, because you get to sample first to ensure you will get the most enjoyment out of the product you choose.
Agave Liquors, located in the plaza next to FarmaPlus and La Katrina Restaurant, is open every day of the week from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and has tastings whenever you’d like—no appointment needed. If you would like to arrange a private tasting or a tasting at an alternate location or event, please arrange for your preferred day and time directly at Agave Liquors. Come to Agave Liquors today to discover your preferred tequila or mezcal, and choose your favorite bottle to take home as a fun way to remember the distinct flavor of Sayulita, Mexico.
Written by: Aanya Sheikh-Taheri