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Hacienda’s Tequila Collection Ranks High

Ghosts and spirits: Alamos in a glass

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We return from the streets of Alamos, Sonora, feet-weary but not ready to put to bed the spirits that have taken hold of our bodies. Throats dry, we reach for a drink. A bottle  of tequila mysteriously lands in our hands.

With the wild celebrations of the Festival Cultural Alfonso Ortiz Tirado still ringing in our ears, we twist open  the bottle of Murmullo Anejo, a surprise gift from host and Hacienda de los Santos owner Jim Swickard.

Forget the lime and salt; this tequila is best drunk  straight, to be sipped, according to Jim, who also teaches tequila appreciation  classes. So, amidst shared snifters, we savor each drop, exchanging stories that  this smooth elixir, and intoxicating town, somehow extract from us. And in  between raised glasses, we listen to the almost hushed souls of Alamos, sidling  past in the gentle breeze, in the rustle of the leaves.

We are told the following evening, that tequila is not  a nighttime drink, that traditionally, it is drunk during the earlier hours of  the day. But what we discover is that perhaps there is no right or wrong way to  consume Mexico’s most well known beverage. Perhaps it is simply a drink to be shared  and savored amongst friends, anytime, anywhere.

Although being in Sonora does have its advantages.

“Sometimes the tequila outside of Mexico is different  to what’s on the label,” says Jim, whose collection of over 400 bottles of  tequila ranks as one of the country’s largest. And contrary to popular belief,  there is no worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle.

It is not until the end of our journey that we are  told of Bacanora, an even stronger, pre-colonial agave-derived liquor unique to  the state of Sonora. But that’s okay. Sitting by the warmth of a fire, on this  cool Sonoran night, we promise ourselves, and the ghosts, that we’ll be back


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