Puerto Vallarta to host first Raicilla Festival

With the aim of promoting the work of the Raicilla producers in the region, on Sunday, August 1, the first Raicilla Festival will be held at the Vallarta Botanical Garden.

At this event, the public will be able to taste and learn more about this artisanal distillate that obtained the Jalisco Denomination of Origin in 2019.

Taking one of the most beautiful natural oases in North America as the stage, the festival will have among its activities: exhibitions and special tastings of the various producers of this agave distillate, in a 100% family atmosphere that hopes to offer the greatest fun for attendees and participants.

Funds raised will be used for the initiative in support of Conservation and Environmental Education in the municipality of Cabo Corrientes.

During the event, the public will learn about the production of this spirit drink that dates from the 16th century, as well as the raw material used for its creation, from the hand of experts from the municipality of Cabo Corrientes, one of the main producing areas in the Jalisco state.

About Raicilla

The artisan extraction of the raicilla, which takes 30 days in total, is divided into five stages and conserves the same procedure since its inception in the 16th century:

Jima: It is done by hand with the help of axes and machetes to extract; It is the process of cutting the leaves and roots of the agave, until exposing the pineapple or the head.

Baking: In a reverse conical oven with brick walls and underground, which takes 10 hours to heat up, the agave is baked in the heat of deadwood and volcanic stones. Cooking takes 72 hours.

Majado: The agave heads or “pineapples” are placed in wooden canoes, and the pounding is carried out with wooden mallets (crushed).

Fermentation: The previously mashed agave heads are deposited in the fermentation piles. This process takes 16 days and in hot weather, it can take 12 days.

Distillation: Two distillations are carried out. The first, which takes two days, in an Arab-style alembic used since colonial times. The second distillation is carried out in an Asian-influenced alembic (Filipino alembic), used for four centuries with the variety of using copper pots instead of clay as was done in ancient times. This distillation takes a full day.

The raicilla is one of the drinks that best defines the traditions and the essence of this region; And what better than the Vallarta Botanical Garden, the perfect place to hold this festival, a natural space that recently ranked fourth in the contest for the 10 Best Botanical Gardens in North America (2021), carried out by USA Today.

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