Did you know a tequila paradise is only a 2-hour flight from Los Angeles? We were lucky to discover it. As we boarded the plane at LAX for a spontaneous, weekend trip into the heart of Tequila country, we had no idea on what to expect. El Cristiano, one of the world's top tequila brands, graciously invited LA Today to join them for an experiential adventure to celebrate one of their latest sensations: Clase Reposado XR—the first-ever Extra Reposado tequila. They called this adventure "El Cristiano life," and once we landed in Jalisco, our tequila-soaked expedition began.
Watch some highlights of the El Cristiano experience on our Instagram.
Travel Highlights from Jalisco
Upon first step onto Mexican soil, the golden warmth of Guadalajara welcomes you not just with its radiant sun, but the VIP team offering you El Cristiano tequila. "Yes, please." The taste is rich and welcoming – a prelude to an extraordinary journey that lay ahead.
El Cristiano Life
We headed into the heart of the city, elevating to the top of the JW Marriot hotel, an exclusive rooftop party beckoned. As the elevator doors parted, we were greeted by a sight straight out of a glamorous movie scene: the sparkling city lights of Guadalajara painted a breathtaking backdrop. Beauty and elegance moving to the rhythmic beats echoing through the party, and fresh made margaritas with sizzling al pastor tacos became the evening's finest companions. Amidst this festivities, El Cristiano made another grand announcement - a sneak peak at their Mezcal; we got to taste it and it was the absolute, perfect drink to end the night.
With memories of the night's glitz and glam still fresh in our mind, the morning sun greeted us at the Marriot's exquisite rooftop pool. After a refreshing dip and breakfast alongside fellow media sensations and influencers, we set out in posh vans straight into the heart of Jalisco.
El Cristiano's distillery was an oasis of tradition amidst the the intoxicating aroma of pure tequila. Being able to drink unadulterated tequila on tap, straight from the source, was an exlusive opportunity we couldn't pass up. The celebratory lunch that followed was an enlightening one, where tales of El Cristiano's passionate history were poured out just as generously as the drinks.
Next, our journey led to the expansive agave fields – a sea of blue, stretching endlessly, but be careful; Agave is sharp. We had a chance to sample raw agave – its surprising sweetness and interesting texture made for a unique tasting. The factory, where the inspection and bottling process takes place, displayed a combination of precision and tradition, a true testament to the craftsmanship behind each bottle of El Cristiano.
But it isn't just about the tequila. El Cristiano's heart beat for the community. Their commitment to giving back, evident in their support for local orphanages and underprivileged children, was a touching chapter in this journey. We visited the orphanage to help give back by handing out gifts and supporting the donations. Tears were shed amongst the group as many of the orphans received their first pair of shoes.
Our adventure culminated in the iconic city of Tequila. Yes, it exists. The city, with its rich architecture and vibrant culture, felt like stepping back in time. This final day was a fiesta - traditional dancers, a mariachi band, and exciting performances.
In essence, this wasn’t just a trip. It was a journey through time, taste, and tradition, all curated by the exceptional, El Cristiano. We had to head back to Los Angeles but we are sure the tequila is still flowing, waiting for our return.
The Special Ingredient Isn't What You Think
El Cristiano's Clase Reposado XR is aged for 11 precious months in ex-bourbon American and ex-red wine French oak barrels, this blend introduces an explosion of flavors, both complex and sweet. Yet, the real enchantment is the handpicked 100% Blue Weber Agave from Jalisco's highlands, matured for no less than five years and distilled using time-honored copper still pots.
Addition by Subtraction
Karan Khanna, one of the Founders of El Cristiano, said "Through our proprietary distillation and aging processes, our tequila has a delicious and pure taste without sacrificing the quality of the ingredients."
But, it isn't merely about the craft. It's the brand's unwavering ethos of preserving the agave's true essence, untouched by additives, that sets them apart. And the world has taken note. Within a brief span, Reposado XR has already garnered major industry accolades including the PR%F Awards 2022 for both the Double Blind Tasting Competition and the Unmasked Total Package Competition as well as the 2022 TAG GLOBAL Spirits Awards, marking its indelible stamp on the global stage.
The LA Tequila Hype is Real
After spending time understanding the birthplace of tequila and the heart and soul that goes into making each bottle of El Cristiano, it became evident why LA's elite venues, private member-only clubs, and esteemed hotels and restaurants have embraced it.
Tequila’s popularity has been steadily on the rise globally, but in the U.S., it's been nothing short of a tidal wave. LA in particular saw the annual revenue from tequila sales grow by impressive double digits in 2022.
And the presence of high-profile endorsements only intensifies the limelight on tequila with brands like 818 Tequila, championed by none other than Kendall Jenner, and Casamigos Tequila, the brainchild of George Clooney and Rande Gerber.
Yet, amidst this star-studded clamor, it's the purity, craftsmanship, and dedication to tradition that truly distinguish brands like El Cristiano. As the world continues its love affair with tequila, brands rooted in authenticity and commitment to quality will always find themselves at the forefront of this industry. What tastes great will always rise to the top.
Searching for the Best Tequila in LA
El Cristiano's new XR is not just any tequila. As the first-ever Extra Aged Reposado, this carefully crafted spirit that is matured in ex-bourbon American and ex-red wine French oak barrels and aged for 11 months, results in a symphony of complexity and sweetness. The tequila sunrise you have in LA might never taste the same after sipping this heavenly blend.
If you love tequila and are looking for the very best tequila in Los Angeles then give El Cristiano a try. And, if you find yourself sipping this golden liquid under the LA sky, remember, there's a paradise just two hours away where this nectar is born. 🥃
For more information on El Cristiano and where to purchase XR, visit www.el-cristiano.com
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