Next Stop, Agave
It isn't just air conditioning that makes the Tequila Herradura Express so cool
If you’re interested in tequila and want to visit its home—the Mexican state of Jalisco, the only place where tequila is legally allowed to be made—you’ve got to do it right, aboard the Tequila Herradura Express, a luxury train dedicated solely to bringing you to La Hacienda San José del Refugio at Casa Herradura, one of the last tequila-making haciendas in the world.
Departing from Mexico’s second largest city, Guadalajara, the Herradura Express started in April 2017 and will run on weekends and certain holidays through the end of the year. You’ll be treated to stunning views of the Jalisco countryside as you enjoy entertainment, food, and tequila during the course of the ninety-minute train ride to Amatitán.
Regardless of which level of luxury you choose, it’s easy to forget that you’re on a train. The décor feels more like a chic, city apartment than a locomotive. There’s not a lot that tops sipping a Paloma—an iconic Mexican cocktail made with grapefruit soda, preferred over Margaritas by the local population—while rolling past the fields of blue weber agave that grow in the shadow of the Sierra Madre Mountains.
The train is just the start of the luxury experience, though. Once you arrive in Amatitán, you get to experience what makes tequila, tequila—Casa Herradura has been making the spirit for almost one hundred and fifty years.
Herradura offers five different expressions of their tequila, ranging from their Silver, which is aged for just forty-five days, to their Seleccíon Suprema, the brand’s extra añejo (extra aged) spirit, which is aged for forty-nine months. In addition, they produce a Coleccíon de la Casa special release once per year. Their most recent is a reposado tequila aged for eleven months and finished in port wine casks.
Before learning what it takes to harvest and process the blue weber agave (the only variety of agave allowed in the production of tequila), you’re treated to more luxury, enjoying VIP food and beverages while watching traditional folk ballet and live mariachi music, which was originally developed in Jalisco. You’ll also walk through citrus groves to learn about the open-air fermentation process used to impart specific flavors to their tequilas.
Herradura, it’s safe to say, knows how to do it right. Not only do you get to try some delicious spirits, but you also get a holistic view of everything that makes the Jalisco region unique and special.
If you’ve not been to Jalisco before, there’s really only one way to do it right the first time. Move over, Amtrak; it’s time for the Tequila Herradura Express.