When you hear Mexico, you think tequila! What if I told you there is a Tequila Herradura Express! This train takes you from Guadalajara to Casa Herradura where the distillery has been producing tequila for over 145 years. This is a full day with lots of fun, tequila, interesting tour & tasting and oh yeah, more tequila! This is what you can expect from a day on the Tequila Herradura Express….
Tequila Herradura Express – Buy your ticket online
There are three different travel options on this train. There is the Tequila Herradura Express premium car, first class and the club car option. The premium class offers a very simple service. I would advise you to either go for the first class or club car option as you get way more value for your money! The last two have the same service only the club car has a lounge area with bar where you can watch the mixologists in action! It’s important to make sure you book this train a couple weeks ahead as it only goes once a week and due to its popularity, tickets sell fast.
Tequila Herradura Express – check in!
First of all, make sure you have a good breakfast! You don’t want to rock up with an empty stomach today. Check in is at 10.00 o’clock at the Guadalajara Train station. When entering the train, you are welcomed by the staff who will make your day! While waiting for the train to start his journey you are offered coffee, tea and a snack. Get cosy and sit back to enjoy the ride. I will share my experience from the Tequila Herradura Express Club Car which I don’t regret booking!
Tequila Herradura Express – let the fun begin
As soon as the train hits the road (or rail) it’s time for the fun to begin! I love how comfortable the club car is. There is a whole lounge area, an area with high tables to sit at and of course … the bar. Guess where I was sitting? I just love to sit at the bar and see the mixologists performing art.
During the 1,5-hour train ride I got to taste some very special tequila cocktails! Think tequila blanco, Greek yoghurt, cucumber and pepper. I promise you this one was delightful! I was also a big fan of the cocktail with agave juice, crema de coco, tequila blanco and orange. While sipping awesome cocktails and watching the agave fields passing by I realised; this is heaven.
Tequila Herradura Express – Casa Herradura
Arriving in Amatitán was a bit disappointing. I had so much fun on the train… but the fun was only about to start. After a short bus ride from the train station you arrive at Casa Herradura which still produces hand crafted tequila. A knowledgeable guide explained and showed the way tequila is made. It starts with a jimador. A jimador is a person who harvests the blue agave (ready after 7 to 10 years) and cuts of the sharp leaves using a special sharp knife; coa. Yes, this is all done by hand and believe me this is hard work! Only the piñas (roots) are used to make tequila. You will see an actual jimador in action, so cool!
Afterwards the piñas go inside massive steam ovens for a slow cook to make sure that complex carbohydrates become fermentable sugars. I tasted a piece coming from the oven, super tasty!
Once done, the piñas are crushed to get the juice out for fermentation. The fermentation is done in huge stainless steel tanks with wild yeast. This can take up to 7 – 12 days. Distillation is done afterwards. This will define the alcohol percentage. Herradura distils twice to get the perfect tequila. Finally, it’s time for the aging process in barrels! Tequila blanco is aged for 45 days, the reposado spends up to 11 months in the barrel and the añejo more or less two years. The finest of the finest is the extra aged and this tequila will spend about 4 years in the barrel. Super interesting!
Tequila Herradura Express – tasting time
Seeing how tequila is made, made me thirsty! In the old facilities of Herradura is the tasting room set up. Quite cool to know, back in the day horses were used in the tequila making process. I tasted the tequila Silver/Blanco, Reposado, Ultra Añejo and Extra Añejo. My favorite by far, Ultra Añejo! This is an old tequila but the colour is made crystal clear. The aromas of the agave, wood, citrus and vanilla is just perfect! This is a tequila I can sip all night long.
Tequila Herradura Express – time for lunch!
Just when you get a little tipsy, lunch is served! I got super excited when I looked at the menu. The food is prepared with tequila!
The starter consisted of shrimp/fish ceviche with mango macerated with Tequila Herradura Plata and Black Yucatan Sauce. It was delicious! I also loved my beef with tamarind, agave syrup and Tequila Herradura Ultra with rustic garlic pure and sweet corn with butter. Yummmm!
Real Mexican Mariachi’s where performing during lunch and the tequila kept flowing!
Tequila Herradura Express – time for more Tequila!
All the fun must end at some point, but not yet! The train ride back was amazing! Everyone is in a happy (tipsy) mood and the bar is playing some good music that makes you want to dance. Tequila cocktails are flowing the whole ride back. After tasting the pure tequila, I was just very happy to sip the different tequila’s! In summary, I arrived back in Guadalajara with a very big smile on my face, such a great day!
Did you know Mexico has also a great wine region? Read all about it in the travelguide to Mexican wine heaven. Salud!!