As soon as I got up, pulled back the curtains and stepped onto the balcony I knew it was going to be a wonderful day.
One of my very favorite excursions in Cozumel was called Salsa, Salsa and Margaritas. We spent a great afternoon learning to make various salsas including a delicious dessert salsa, two flavors of margaritas and, learning to salsa dance. Great, great fun!
Today we are scheduled to go on the Tequila Experience by Jose Cuervo. We were not sure what to expect on this excursion, but really, how bad could it be if there was tequila in the offing?
Our excursion did not leave until 1pm so Randy and I spent a little time walking around the port area visiting several shops, looking in at Senor Frogs, and taking a few photos. The experience was to take place at Discover Mexico and was only a ten minute drive from the port.
We were greeted by our tequilier Roy and led to an area planted with blue agave plants. He explained the importance of the plant in the production of tequila. We then entered a room set up for our presentation. I had to take a second look when we entered the room. I thought I was entering a room set up for a wine tasting presentation.
Three wine glasses one each with a tasting of white tequila and two with tequilas a little darker. There was also a small plate to be used by each couple to cleanse their palate with a cracker, coffee beans to enhance the aromas of the tequila and a lime peel.
Roy was professional, knowledgeable and had a wonderful sense of humor all of which kept everyone’s attention throughout the presentation. He taught us how to smell the tequilas from the bottom of the tipped glass, the center of the glass and above the tipped glass. It was amazing how each level you could detect a distinct aroma.
The white rests for 15 days in stainless steel tanks and is ready to bottle. The second glass was what he called, “Rested” and is left for at least 2 months in wooden tanks or barrels. The third glass had what Roy called, “Aged” and is left for at least 1 year in contact with American or French Oak barrels.
Who knew that there were so many variations of tequila. What I am accustomed to is Jose Cuervo Gold to make margaritas. We learned that there is a long list of variations of tequilas including one that he compared to cognac to be sipped slowly. At the end of our presentation we were presented with a certificate as a Tequila Aficionada for, “Having successfully completed the tequila seminar at Discover Mexico Park”. I will hang that next to my Budweiser certificate.
After our presentation we were led into a gift shop where many of our group purchased bottles of tequila. The purchases were in bags with names attached and then led to the building called Discover Mexico. The little building had a wonderful video presentation about Mexico, it’s people, traditions, Mayan ruins and popular tourist destinations.
Roy took us to see a very unusual entertainment in the park. Five men, dressed in very colorful costumes, climbed to the top of a pole and then spiraled by their feet back down to the ground. It was quite impressive. While watching the men fall back to earth I noticed one of the miniatures of Mayan ruins that dot the park.
We then moved on to a small museum that was filled with artworks by known and unknown artists. They were all varied and beautiful. We especially liked a small sculpture of a hummingbird with brilliant colors. What made this experience wonderful was Roy’s enthusiasm and obvious love for his country and its history.
Next we were led to an area outside the museum for a photo opportunity that reminded me a little of being in Tijuana. At the end of our walk was a woman holding the reins of a burro and a gentleman holding a very large snake.
Our next stop was a small area with tables, chairs and a small bar where we were treated to a frozen strawberry margarita. Now the unique thing about this margarita is that instead of dipping the glass rims in just salt they were dipped in a mixture of salt and chili powder. The combination of sweet and sour was just wonderful and refreshing.
No, we were not done yet. Our next stop was our taco buffet. Oh my, this was so delicious. The soft corn tacos were freshly made as we stood in line. I filled mine with seasoned shredded pork and black beans. There were also seasoned potatoes and rice. The meal was absolutely delicious.
Before we left, the group returned to the gift shop and, after a little tasting, purchased a bottle of Santa Clara Rompope. This is an eggnog-like tequila drink made with eggs, milk and vanilla that is used widely in Mexico especially during the holidays. It is yummy.
We returned to the ship just in time to ready for the evening. We met with our new friends in the Diamond Lounge and shared stories of our day. We decided not to attend a show this evening instead stopping for an after dinner drink and retiring to our cabin.
As I prepared to turn down the lights, I knew I would have pleasant dreams about our day in Cozumel. Tomorrow we will have a relaxing day at sea.