Love (and) Tequila

12 Nov

I had never appreciated Tequila in my life until I tried the real one in Mexico. I can assure you that it is totally different from the one you may have tried in Europe or in other parts of the world.

As a new Tequila fan, I tried to gather as much information about this new discovery.

I found out that this beverage is among the biggest Mexican prides, and that it is produced mostly in its homonymous town Tequila and in some other places in the Jalisco state, processed from “Jimadores”, name for experts people who harvest it.

Tequila is distilled from the blue agave, a plant that was already popular among the indigenous for its healing properties, especially to cure wounds. And there might be something true in this theory: nowadays Mexicans believe it that Tequila is really efficient against flu.
I hope I will be able to test this belief and share it with you later on.
I wouldn’t mind having to turn into a real Mexican by using whatever excuse to have a shot of this fabulous drink in a “caballito“, a dedicated small glass for tequila.

I found this new discovering quite interesting, and even more interesting is the fact that with alcohol, as well as in life it is nice to find out that our tastes change at all times, or better everything changes, like “my philosophy” says: panta rei.

I tried Tequila with the classic salt and lemon, with fresca – a mexican soda- and I also tried it with chile, upon suggestion of Pablo or Daniel, one of our neighbours.
And frankly it was really good, until I decided to bite the chile which was not really a good idea.

Tequila is widely used also as a cocktail called “Paloma“: tequila, soda, grapefruit and lime juice and some salt on the glass.
I am sure it will be my favorite drink from now on, it is super fresh and tasty.

I loved it in every variant but I am sure this taste will remind me from now on of a cold, “Antarctic” flavor. I had it during three nights in a row starting from my birthday, living a dejavu every night and never getting to sleep with the dark.

I would have never imagined my birthday weekend like that in Ihuatzio, a town where there is anything but dogs, frogs and few “cabanas” and the closest sign of civilization is at 20 minutes away. Life is a continuous surprise!

Later that day me, Zitaima, Elizabeth, Daniela and Luis headed to Janitzio, an island situated in the lake of Patscuaro, a magical and emblematic place where big celebrations happen for the day of the dead.

Janitzio was full of tourists but mostly Mexican, we actually barely saw any Europeans apart from a group of Catalan guys on the boat. But i enjoyed the fact to be in an authentic Mexican spot.

We drove to the embarcadero, the pier, and hop on a boat that took about 30 minutes to get to the island.

It was quite dark and cold but it was nice to see the bow of the boat getting closer and closer and see thousands pf little lights spread on the island shining incessantly. The only unpleasant fact were the very dirty and stinky waters.

From the launch you could see a huge statue of Jose Maria Morelos, situated on the top of the hill, representing one of the most important Mexican patriots having been fundamental for the independence from the Spanish.

Once arrived to the island of Janitzio, we saw flowers everywhere and you could immediately perceive a smell of burnt meat and corn, as well as listening to traditional music and loud voices.

Celebrations were about to end but you could still live that magical atmosphere. Of course we visited the famous cemetery, a must see during the popular holiday of the day of the dead.

There were many puestecitos – stalls in spanish – with drinks and food, there was even the “agua loca”, a very sweet punch made with sugarcane, mezcal or tequila mixed with “aguas frescas” (normally agua de Jamaica – hibiscus tea – or horchata – a tradtitional drink made of almonds, sesame seeds, rice and barley).
I looked fascinated at all of those typical products but my attention was on female vendors, not only for their magnificent folcloristic clothes but above all for their long black hair-braids linked one to the other with laces.

After the deserved refreshment we came up to the top of the island and we layed there for a little while.
We sat on the stairs underneath the Morelos´statue and on the way down to the pier me and Elizabeth enjoyed a ride on a swing while having a quick chat far from the crowd. We agreed on the fact that swings make you feel free and young in such a simple way and that it would be a great anti stress having one at home.

The stairs were definetely better downhill, but it was funny to bump into some of the many begging kids of the island.
” Un pesito por una tortilla” – literally one peso (coin) for a tortilla, was the one i most remember but when one of them decided to turn to Zitaima and say: “Doña” – which in spanish means “lady” we all started to laugh.
Luis made fun of that to that advising the kid that it would be more succesful if he direct to a young lady calling her señorita instead.

I am glad that that he didn’t call me “lady” just on the day I was turning 31; I don’t really mind my age but I realized one those days that I was the oldest of the whole group.
We gave some pesos to the kids and took one of the last boats to the mainland.

We first had a wine at home and then went to say hi to the neighbours.

That night also my gipsy doll Dora the explorer found a nice company at Ihuatsio; we called it Juan Gonzales ( a more mexican name impossible) : a traditional mexican male doll, a tall and thin guy with not even a shadow of moustaches (how stereotyped we all are sometimes, we would imagine a typical mexican as a chubby, small and with moustaches mariachi).

Juan first offered a Tequila( what else otherwise?) to Dora, then they started to “placticar”, lighted a cigarette and my little innocent doll ended up spending the night with him. Pablo even found a red drape for them so they could get their intimacy.

This story might sound childish but the picture I have on my mind is hilarious. And the one I have in my i-phone, even more.

While Juan and Dora were “placticando” and enjoying, we all danced on every surface of the house, on the Jacuzzis, on the chairs, and with a wide range of cool music. If there is something we were not missing at all that night, it was good music.

If there is an official music playlist for that holiday in Patzcuaro, it would be the one below, enjoy it!

  • El guincho: Bombay
  • Feist: My moon my man
  • Matias Aguado: Minimal
  • Lykke li: I follow rivers
  • Asaf Avidan & the Mojos: One day
  • Two door cinema club: Something good can work
  • Bag raiders: Shooting Stars
  • M83: Midnight city
  • Nicolas Jaar: El bandido
  • Xx: crystalized remix
  • The temper trap: sweet disposition
  • Empire of the sun: we are the people
  • Soda stereo: Cuando pase el temblor
  • La Union: Lobo hombre en Paris
  • M.i.a.: Paper Planes

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