The Good Life

Tequila's Golden Age

Old-time methods capture the essence of Mexico’s national spirit
By Gordon Mott | From Kurt Russell, July/August 2019
Tequila's Golden Age
Photo/Corey Arnold
Pouring a tempting glass of Gran Patrón, a Tequila made from 100 percent blue agave, at the Patrón distillery in Jalisco, Mexico.
La Reposada, a chocolate-brown mule, is pulling a two-ton volcanic stone wheel in a circle around a 20-foot-wide pit brimming with a dark, fibrous mass of agave hearts that gurgles with each pass. Bees are swarming around the 20-foot-high chamber of the Siete Leguas Centenario distillery on a hot May morning in Atotonilco El Alto, beckoned by the sweetness of the cooked agave. Two huge stone ovens sit open on one side of the cream-colored stucco walled room where more hearts, known as piñas, sit awaiting their fate of being crushed under the weight of the stone. They were steamed for 72 hours, and after a full day of exuding their heat, they have finally cooled, and are …
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