A toast to tequila! (Photo:Thinkstock)
If you still think of tequila in terms of margaritas or shots with lime and salt, you’re living in the past. Tequila is hot, and we don’t just say that because it’s distilled in Mexico. Americans buy 13 million cases of tequila each year, and its popularity continues to grow.
The spirit’s popularity is growing by leaps and bounds across every demographic, says John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of the high-end tequila maker Patron. The company’s new Roca Patron, an ultra-premium brand that costs upwards of $70 per bottle, launched this week.
Related: 10 Best Tequilas
Resorts know a good thing when they see it, especially Mexican resorts, and they’ve added tequila tastings, seminars, classes and dinner pairings to their activities.
Here’s a look at several places where you might want to celebrate National Tequila Day, July 24.
Nothing completes the scenery at Four Seasons better than the sight of a tasty margarita (Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons)
Four Seasons Resort — Punta Mita, Mexico
Stake out a spot on one of two private beaches, snorkel in sparkling, clear water or drift along on the current of the lazy river at this 400-acre beachfront Four Seasons resort in Punta Mita, a village north of Puerto Vallarta. Guests call it paradise and love the service and facilities.
Tequila tasting is an art at the Four Seasons (Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons)
Another Four Seasons perk: Tequila Barista Alfredo Sanchez, who shares his knowledge during free tequila tastings and lectures. Tourists looking for more info can embark on the Ultimate Tequila Tour, which will whisk them — and three of their closest friends— away via helicopter to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Jose Cuervo distillery in Tequila, Mexico.
Guests at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess enjoy a shot of agave goodness (Photo: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess)
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess — Scottsdale, Arizona
The bright green cottonwoods and sun-washed stone at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess are reminiscent of Mexico. But the resort manages to bring a cool vibe to the desert outside Phoenix despite soaring summer temperatures with a wave pool, dive-in movies and techno pool parties. It also has brought higher education— in the form of a tequila university— to the region, thanks to its “Tequila Goddess” Abeer Besharieh of the hotel’s La Hacienda Restaurant. Choose from 240 tequilas or try Besharieh’s favorites: three tequilas that make up the colorfully named Snake Bite Flight.
Rosewood Mayakoba has found the one thing that beats finding a chocolate on your pillow (Photo: TripAdvisor)
Rosewood Mayakoba — Riviera Maya, Mexico
The luxurious resort Rosewood Mayakoba welcomes guests to the green jungles and white sand beaches of Riviera Maya. Stroll along winding trails that lead through 1,600-acres of beach and jungle, all connected by a network of lily-filled lagoons and canals that lead from the lobby to the beach. The Mayakoba’s spacious rooms push the boundaries of luxury, offering round-the-clock butler service, a roof-top deck, outdoor garden shower, plunge pool and boat dock. Guests can schedule in-room tequila tastings, or they can venture outside the resort for a trip to the Tequila Herradura Sensory Museum to learn about the craft of tequila distilling.
A great tequila sipping spot at Los Alamandas (Photos: Courtesy of Los Alamandas)
Los Alamandas — Costalegre Coast, Mexico
Los Alamandas, a secluded boutique resort between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, has only 17 suites on its 1,500-acre grounds. Despite its off-the-beaten-track location, Los Alamandas manages to stock 120 kinds of tequilas. Fans of the spirit can try the three-night Tequila Package, which offers tequila immersion, with lessons from a tequilero. The package starts at $1,100 for two.
CasaMagna makes its own tequila (Photos: CasaMagna Marriott/Facebook)
CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa — Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
This upbeat, classy resort has a stately look but manages to be lively and casual. The sweeping grounds offer a large infinity pool and interesting indigenous plants. Surprisingly, the plants are agave, which is distilled to create tequila. CasaMagna Marriott is one of the few resorts in the world to grow agave onsite and make its own brand of tequila. Guests can learn more about the spirit with the hotel’s tequila tastings, part of the Secretos del Tequila, a tequila appreciation experience. Tastings involve an informational session led by Audrey Formisano, the resort’s tequila sommelier. Another plus for CasaMagna: Rates start at $97 per night, making CasaMagna the least expensive hotel in our survey.
A luxurious tequila tasting at Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa (Photos: Courtesy of Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa )
Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa — San Diego, California
Many guests check into this high-end San Diego resort seeking privacy. Some want to take advantage of its top-rated tennis program. Others just want to relax within its 40-acre garden-filled grounds. Rancho Valencia, which underwent a $30 million update in 2012, is known for its Spanish-style casitas, impeccable service and secluded environment. It’s also known for its Pony Room, an equestrian-themed bar, which recently rolled out a new tequila program it calls “The All-Agave Project.” The program includes tequila tastings, a large tequila cocktail menu, more than 150 types of tequila and seminars with tequila experts such as Guillermo Sauza, fifth-generation descendant of the famous tequila-producing Sauza family.
Margaritas served up by the tequila experts at Dos Caminos in Fort Lauderdale (Photo: TripAdvisor)
Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel — Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The sandy beaches of Fort Lauderdale are far from the agave fields of Mexico, but that doesn’t mean tequila is any less appreciated here. Those looking for a spot to celebrate National Tequila Day will find 150 types of tequila to choose from at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, where the Dos Caminos Restaurant celebrates the Mexican Revolution year-round with Day of the Dead décor and contemporary Mexican food. On July 24, Dos Caminos will offer half-price tequila flights with an emphasis on flights of Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and “El Rey” — Extra Añejo tequilas that will be served with a Sangrita chaser and limes dipped in Ancho Chile salt. All Dos Caminos bartenders are certified tequila experts.
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende is fluent in the language of Tequila (Photo: Rosewood San Miguel de Allende/Facebook)
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende — Guanajuato, Mexico
The rich colonial charm of San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is reflected in Rosewood’s boutique hotel here. The luxurious 67-room hotel, which opened in 2011 in this mountain village near Mexico City, offers arts workshops and language classes. It also offers special tequila courses, which help guests learn about the history of tequila, the distillation process, the different types of tequilas and the best ways to drink it.