My foray into tequila appreciation began on a train with 400 drunken Rabbit Gods and ended with a headache as throbbing as a Mexican hat dance.
And that was just the first day.
It’s 8.30am when we board the luxurious Jose Cuervo Express in Guadalajara for the two-hour journey to Tequila in the western state of Jalisco, the birthplace of the namesake spirit. I’ve dressed up for the occasion, wearing an off-the-shoulder top and a pair of tapered black pants, perfect for this journey back in time through Mexico’s heartland.
“Would you like your margarita frozen or over ice?” asks waiter Fernandez, as I step on board.
Long relegated as the drink of wild nights and dreadful mornings I’m on the tequila trail for two reasons – to learn about the spirit’s history and to use it as a conduit for connecting more deeply with a culture that can be hard to break into.
The taste for tequila began with the Aztecs, who had long produced a fermented drink made from the sap of the agave plant known as pulque. According to Aztec mythology, the 400 Drunken Rabbit Gods were the love bunnies of Mayahuel the Goddess of Alcohol and Patecatl the God of Medicine.