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The Place: Jalisco, Mexico
The Poison: We're not talking your average bite-on-a-lime, tear-off-your-clothes tequila (not that there's anything wrong with that). Reposado is distilled from 100-percent blue-agave plant, then aged in oak barrels for six months—making it more mellow than the fiery young silver, but with more bite than the longer-aged añejo.
The Buzz: A trip to the interior highlands makes a great addition to a Puerto Vallarta sojourn. After all, Jalisco is one of the only places where tequila can legally be produced—like the Champagne region of France. Plus, the area is gorgeous: The red clay soil sets off endless rows of pineapple-like blue-agave plants that stretch to the horizon. It's also worth stopping in for a few hours in Tepatitlan, where you'll find old-world Mexico, complete with a traditional zócalo and a striking cathedral.
Down the Hatch: The Jalisco highlands are an hour from the city of Guadalajara. While many distilleries are open for tours, including Jose Cuervo's massive operation near the town of Tequila, better to opt for a smaller one with big personality. Head to the town of Tepatitlan, the home of Milagro. Here they chop up huge, ten-year-old agave plants and slow-cook them in clay ovens before they're fermented, distilled, and aged in oak barrels.
Sleep It Off: You can stay in Puerto Vallarta—about a 2 hour drive away—but Guadalajara makes for the best base. The ideal place to stay is the all-suite Quinta Real Hotel, 20 minutes from downtown. Modeled after a 19th-century hacienda with pink stone walls, it has 75 guest rooms with antique furnishings, modern artwork, and marble baths (many with Jacuzzis). Even better, the bartenders are tequila savants who can guide you through their prodigious selection of silvers, reposados, and anejos.
Drink at Home: Track down a bottle of Milagro Reposado, $35.
Tel: 52 55 5292 4626
Quinta Real Hotel
Tel: 52 33 3669 0600
Doubles from $350