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Tequila Happy Room
Erin K. Sullivan

You get there by way of a rickety dirt road, leaving a cloud of dust behind. This is authentic Mexico. Poverty is all around but these are some of the happiest and most carefree people I have ever seen. Of course that could be because I am at the Cava Antiqua tequila tasting room in Jalisco, Mexico. Cava Antiqua makes some of the best tequila around, and it is not available in the US.

Agave plantAgave plantsWhen you first arrive you are encouraged to order food and then make your way over to the tasting room. On the way across the courtyard are a few agave plants where the guide will stop to teach you the different parts of the plant and its many uses. Who knew that most of the agave plant is not only edible but used in everything from nails to clothing! Agave does not typically grow in this area and these plants are mainly just for show. The real agave fields are about 3 hours north.



Tequila Happy RoomTequila tastingsThe tequila tasting room, or “Tequila Happy Room” as the sign clearly states, seems to be straight out of a movie. It is old and run down with a dirt floor but all of this just adds to the old Mexican charm and romance of the place. Tequila tasting is surprisingly similar to wine tasting. You take in a strong whiff, slug it back, and swish it around to get the full spectrum of flavors. The mischievous guide encourages you to swallow, though if you value your balance you probably want to spit. We tasted about seven different tequilas, from a basic blanco to the wonderfully aged anejo, to even a coffee flavored one. Tequila is surprising a good base for different flavors to be added and I must say tasting cherry flavored tequila was a first.

After our group has been sufficiently “warmed,” we make our way back outside to wooden picnic tables where our previously ordered food awaits us. It has been a good day. Though I am slightly disappointed that we didn’t get to see the actual agave fields, this was the perfect introduction to true Mexican tequila. I am ready for my next adventure . . .



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