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40 Hours in Cabo San Lucas

❖ 5:00 p.m. TEQUILA! (Please drink responsibly!)

Tequila & Mezcal Tasting with Nestor Jones, Head Mixologist of Grand

 

On the tasting menu:

  • Siete Leguas Tequila Blanco
  • Tequila Ley 925 Reposado
  • Patrón Añejo
  • Casa Dragones Blanco
  • Mezcales de Leyenda Durango

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking when you hear tequila: shot glasses lined up on a bar with limes and salt readying you for a night you’ll soon forget (because of the blackout). After an hour with Nestor Jones, you will definitely have a different perspective.

As I quickly learned, tequila is a complex, gentle, and sophisticated spirit that’s intended to be sipped and not power shot. If you consider yourself to be a tequila drinker (beyond doing indiscriminate shots at holiday parties), then there two simple truths that you need to know:

  1. Never, ever drink a tequila that doesn’t have “100 Percent Blue Agave,” “100 Percent Agave,” “100 Percent Agave Azul,” on the label.

  2. There are three principal selections: blanco (unaged), reposado (aged at least 60 days in oak), and añejo (aged from one to three years in oak).

 

So why 100 percent agave, you ask?

Here’s why.

Mixto, aka, non-100 percent agave tequila, are fermented with up to 49 percent non-agave sugars, with most producers using cheap cane sugar. When you drink mixto tequila, you’re basically consuming half-tequila, half-other junk. To make matters worse, in order to make mixtos taste and look like 100 percent agave tequila, these producers add ingredients like oak and almond extracts, caramel coloring, sugar syrup, and glycerin. And yes, they are still allowed to call it “tequila.” This, my friends, is how hangovers happen.

Fun Fact: You will never actually see the word “mixto” anywhere on the tequila bottle—it just won’t say that it’s 100 percent agave. Buyer beware.

 

❖ 6:00 p.m. DINNER WITH FRIDA

Famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is an inspiration to so many including Grand Velas’s Frida restaurant. I remember an interview with Kirk Varnedoe, chief curator of the Museum of Modern Art, who reflected on the impact of Frida: “She clicks with today’s sensibilities—her creation of a personal alternative world carry a voltage. Her constant remaking of her identity and her construction of a theater of the self are exactly what preoccupy contemporary artists.”

That identity altering artistry is reflected in the tastes of the culinary specialties that delight at Frida—think traditional with a contemporary twist. I asked what the most special thing on the menu is and I was quickly told it is the Conejo Al Molé. Here the molé consists of “black aztec rabbit ribs, over rice puréed with criollo ajo macho garlic, in a mole poblano bowl.” Those menu words lay flat when juxtaposed to the real deal and the superb gastronomy presentation. When the meal comes out, your server pours the hot molé sauce over a chocolate structure with the rabbit encased inside. It melts in front of you revealing a thick tasty dish where bitter meets sweet and sweet meets spicy.

 

❖ Saturday – DAY OF CREATION

I didn’t leave my suite. There was no need. I lounged on my terrace puffing on my Cohiba (purchased at the vast boutique gift shop) while working on my screenplay, and devouring the delectable shrimp cocktails via in-suite dining. The sounds of the ocean created this environment I haven’t felt before, or since.

❖ 3:00 p.m. MORE FROGGER

I Frogger across the highway to pickup my blown glass art.

 

 

 

 

 

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