Ada Sailing Blog

All About Ada, Bruna and the Crew

The History of Mezcal

mezcal descMezcal, the rustic and smokier cousin of tequila, is derived from the Nahuatl word “mexcalli.” It means “boiled agave,” and while tequila is made from blue agave, mezcal can be made from one of 150 agave species native to Mexico. Think of it this way: tequila is mezcal, but mezcal isn’t tequila. Plus, mezcal must be made with 100 percent agave, which is different from its cousin tequila.

History of Mezcal
When the Spanish first arrived in Mexico in the sixteenth century, they were introduced to agave. This plant was considered by the indigenous people to be sacred and inhabited by the goddess Mayahuel.

The plant was used to fashion many products, including clothing and shoes, paper, tools, and construction materials. The indigenous people also used its sap to make pulque, a milky, alcoholic beverage that was used in religious rituals.

The Spanish were intrigued by pulque and realized that by cooking the agave, they got a much sweeter juice. They then fermented it, and called the resulting spirit “Mezcal wine.” The Spanish applied their knowledge of distillation and mezcal was born.

Mezcal Production
Mezcal was traditionally produced in small-scale, craft mezcal distilleries known as palenques. Raw materials from local estates were used, and agave farmers — respectfully known as Maestro Mezcaleros — often waited years for their plants to reach maturity.

During the production process, the hearts of agave plants, known as piñas, were cooked in the ground. The resulting agave was then crushed, mixed with water and set aside to ferment. This process gave the spirit its well-loved, smokey flavor.

Only estate owners and villagers consumed mezcal, until the popularity of the drink grew. While tequila production went industrial in the early 1900s, mezcal production remained rather low-key in comparison. Local distilleries kept production small, categorizing it as a craft beverage.

Today, the tradition of making mezcal continues. It is made in eight Mexican states, including Oaxaca which is the nation’s leading producer.

Buying Mezcal
mezcal drinksConsidered a craft spirit, you can expect to pay more for mezcal than for tequila. Prices can range from $45 to $300 per bottle, depending on the producers. By Mexican law, mezcal varies from 40 to 55 percent alcohol.

When deciding what brand of mezcal to buy, look for a label that lists the agaves used. Espadín offers the heartiest flavor, while Barril, Cirial, Largo, Madrecuixe, Tobaziche, Tripón, Verde, Tobalá are also highly-regarded agaves. The label should also tell you the type of pot that was used to distill the mezcal: a copper pot gives a smooth spirit, while a clay pot gives a more earthy flavor.

 

How to Drink Mezcal
mezcal displaySome would say that you should “kiss mezcal,” as the spirit is best for sipping. It’s not meant to be shot like tequila.

We recommend drinking mezcal straight, much like you would cognac or scotch. Some of our guests prefer to have their mezcal chilled, so they can sip it like they would whiskey. You can also enjoy mezcal in the Oaxacan style, which is served in a wine glass at room temperature and enhanced with a fresh orange slice and pinch of salt. Lime slices work well, too.

Salud!
We invite you to join us on an Ada Sailing tour, so that together we can celebrate your adventure with a glass (or two) of our favorite mezcal from Oaxaca! Contact us today to learn more

Tips for Relaxation

Ada Sailing Shares its Top 10 Tips for Relaxation 

There’s no time like to present to put a bookmark in your busy life and take up the art of relaxation. It does a body good to relax, decompress and reset your emotional and physical well-being. In fact, relaxing on a regular basis comes with essential benefits for a well-balanced lifestyle.  

  • Lowers blood pressure and the chance of stroke or heart-related conditions
  • Decreases mood swings and irritability
  • Reduces the risk of depression
  • Quickens mental recall

Keep your mind, body and spirit free from harmful stress with these Top 10 Tips for maximum relaxation:

  • Take a nap or devise a bedtime ritual
  • Watch a movie
  • Read a book
  • Go for a walk or bike ride on a sunny day
  • Lighten the load by ridding your surroundings of clutter
  • Take a hot bath
  • Cook up your favorite meal
  • Keep a journal
  • Help a loved one with a hands-on project
  • Talk with a trusted friend, colleague or professional

              These Top 10 Tips are just a start. There’s so much more you can do including taking time off. Studies show that carving out time for a well-deserved holiday can make all the difference to your health and life perspective. Plus, getting out of your “regularly scheduled program” will help you decompress and put a little fun back in your life.

              Naturally, we are partial to holidays spent in Puerto Vallarta. The sun, surf and sand make for a perfect relaxation setting. The warm Mexican sun, soft sand, endless gourmet delights, and welcoming culture can make all the difference.

              In fact, there are a number of things you can do to relax in Puerto Vallarta. Sure, there are massages and spa from any of Puerto Vallarta’s many spas and health facilities, but there are also a number of other ways to relax while on holiday. Below are some of our Top 10 Tips:

  • Get Lost on the Malecon – If losing yourself in the crowd is relaxing for you, then we highly recommend this urban hotspot. The Malecon is a boardwalk that offers quaint shops, a wide range of restaurants, clubs and bars, street performances, sandcastles, colorful buildings, a string of bronze sculptures, even dancing to live entertainment on Sunday afternoons.
  • Head for the Skies – Head for the beach (particularly Los Muertos Beach in Zona Romantica) and catch the breeze as you soar over the glistening Banderas Bay. Parasailing is both exhilarating and relaxing, if you don’t mind high altitudes and endless smiles!
  • Tour It Up – Lose yourself in one of Puerto Vallarta’s many tours: food, museums, art galleries, zoo, botanical gardens, tequila and whale watching.
  • Snorkel or Scuba Dive in an Underwater Wonderland – If you like to explore, then you’ll love the snorkeling or scuba diving options at Los Arcos or Las Marietas.
  • Fore! – Golf can be one of the best ways to relax. Try your skills on one of Puerto Vallarta's 7 world-class golf courses.
  • Shop ‘Til You Drop – If “retail therapy” is your cup of tea, then Puerto Vallarta has you covered with a wide range of shopping options. From strolling through El Centro Mercado Municipal’s flea market to catching the latest trends in our elegant Liverpool Mall, you’ll find a wealth of must-buy treasures.
  • Hit the Road – Nothing says freedom more than renting a car and hitting the road. A northern journey along the Banderas Bay coastline will take you to Bucerias, La Cruz and Sayulita while a southern journey will take you to Conchas Chinas, Boca de Tomatlan and Mismaloya. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, take to the waters in a panga (water taxi) to the beach hideaway of Yelapa. Dine, shop and relax on the yellow sand as you soak up the laid-back vibe. Perfect for a day-trip or weekend getaway.
  • Catch the Big One – The Banderas Bay is perfect for deep sea fishing. Rent a boat and have its crew take you out to catch everything from Yellow Fin Tuna to Dorado (Mahi Mahi).
  • Get Involved – Many travelers enjoy the relaxation of voluntourism. Give of your time, talents and energies to help others like the IFC Cleft Palate program, the SPCA de PV and the Vallarta Navy League.
  • Jump in the Water – If the crash of ocean waves and smell of salty air instantly relaxes you, then consider one of our unforgettable sailing adventures. Our crew will treat you to unforgettable first-class service as you enjoy the sights and sounds of the Banderas Bay.

For a full list of sailing, snorkeling and whale watching options, contact Ada Sailing today. We’ll be happy to help you leave the stress behind with our special take on relaxation!