Tequila’s origins may firmly be in Mexico, but this is a drink which is enjoyed in parties the world over. In fact did you know that some 325 million liters of tequila left Mexican shores last year, headed for over 100 countries? As we can clearly see, the world knows that a tequila party is the best kind of party! It is fascinating to see how different cities adopt Mexico’s best tequila brands, each with its own unique take. With this in mind, let’s look at the cities which you should look to visit for tequila shooters, cocktails, food pairing and of course, a great night out.
Durban, South Africa
Durban is a culturally rich South African city with an exciting art scene and an affluent population which loves to party. It is the range of influences here which attracts so many and the city has become known across South Africa for its high quality cocktail bars and party spots. Amongst the Durbanites and tourists it is the tequila cocktail bars which fill up quickest. Spots such as Cabrito in Green Point and La Rosa Mexican Grille in Weltevreden Park are immensely popular — not to mention margarita paradise Tilting Heads. The range of tequila brands is broad here, offering both classic tequilas and more recent flavors like the delicious Olmeca tequila. Durban has certainly embraced the culture of this Mexican spirit.
Drink your tequila – Juan y Appleseed, blending tequila with apple and licorice-infused tarragon
Pair your tequila with – Bunny chow, crusty bread filled with curried meat, a Durban delicacy
Turkey is a nation of pure diversity, straddling Asia, Europe and Africa and housing centuries of important trade routes and global influence. It stands to reason therefore that Mexico would have its say on how the nation parties. The capital, Istanbul, offers the best nightlife here and is certainly the right place for a tequila party. Here you can expect classy cocktail bars, secret speakeasies, late night EDM events and plenty of tequila no matter where you choose to go. An Istanbul night out is low cost, safe and truly unique to Turkish culture. Check out Cecconi’s, Le Fumoir and Flamme for great cocktails, lively music and of course, a variety of tequila options.
Drink your tequila – In a Caipirinha, switching rum for tequila reposado
Pair your tequila with – Turkish style lamb kebabs (kuzu tandir) with mint sauce
Puerto Vallarta – Jalisco, Mexico
Jalisco is the Mecca of tequila production and that is why a pilgrimage here will certainly be worthwhile. With 26 tequila brands based here, including the highly regarded Olmeca tequila, you can most definitely show your tastebuds a good time. Not only will you experience the best tequila in the world here, the scenery will also blow your mind. During your time in Jalisco, the beaches of coastal Puerta Vallarta are where you should be for the party scene. The nightlife here mixes traditional cantinas with chic cocktail bars, offering something for all kinds of tequila tourists.
Drink your tequila – Straight, just as nature intended
Pair your tequila with – Fresh fish tacos, served with coriander and drizzled in lime juice
Miami – Florida, USA
Miami is undoubtedly one of the greatest party destinations on the planet, and one of the most common reasons for tourism in the city. Given the heavy latino presence in Miami, it should come as no surprise that tequila is also big business here. The city offers tequila themed party nights, tequila tasting experiences and a large selection of exciting cocktail bars. Here in Miami the DJs spin, the mixologists shake and the tourists dive into true tequila party heaven.
Drink your tequila – In a freshly made margarita on Ocean Drive
Pair your tequila with – Chicharron in salsa verde
London – England
London may have a reputation for pubs, pints and pies, but the English capital also knows how to party, especially with tequila. Here you can hit clubs like Fabric and Heaven for electronica and shots, partying until the sun comes up. Looking for a little more class? Check out London’s speakeasy scene with hidden bars with contemporary takes on classic tequila cocktails.
Drink your tequila – Mixed in a classic tequila sunrise at one of the capital’s top cocktail bars
Pair your tequila with – Succulent pork belly slices
Copenhagen – Denmark
Despite not having a strong reputation as a party city, Copenhagen has embraced Mexican tequila brands in a big way. This has shifted the culture and the city’s nightlife entirely. In the last decade there has been an eruption of cocktail bars opening their doors. The city’s mixologists even compete to create the wildest and tastiest tequila cocktails, designed to set the party off.
Bars such as The Barking Dog, Helium, El Nacional and Madam Chu’s cannot be missed if a tequila party is what you are looking for.
Drink your tequila – In a Tahona fizz cocktail which blends rhubarb, lime and silver tequila
Pair your tequila with – Smørrebrød, an open faced, rye bread sandwich filled with roast beef
Medellin – Colombia
Medellin is a must for anyone looking to party in South America. Whilst Colombia indulges much more in local ‘fire water ‘ aguardiente, tequila certainly has its place in the party scene here. What you’ll find in this Colombian city are beautiful residents who just love to turn up the heat when they hit the streets. For the perfect night head to a salsa spot like El Tíbiri and load up on tequila slammers to find the confidence to hit the dancefloor with a local. Be prepared to let all your cares drift away as you party in the City of Eternal Spring.
Drink your tequila – Tequila Sour, reposado with orange and lime juice, sugar and egg whites
Pair your tequila with – An arepa rumbera, maize flatbread loaded with pulled beef and avocado
Shanghai – China
Some suggest that Hong Kong has the best nightlife in China, but if it’s a tequila party you need, Shanghai is the spot for you. China took longer than most nations to embrace the spirit, and Shanghai has certainly led the way. A night in Shanghai can be raw and ready or high end chic, and you’ll find that tequila features heavily no matter which you choose. From luxurious cocktail bars blending their own tequila cocktails, to clubs like Zapatas with bar-top dancing and free tequila shooters on the hour. Some call this the ‘Paris of the East’ but with tequila’s impact it looks a lot more like the ‘Jalisco of the Orient’.
Drink your tequila – Chinese Chili Mary, a fiery and fresh take on the Vodka classic
Pair your tequila with – Steamed Shanghai crab, a sweet seafood option to match with tequila
Awesome destinations with great parties and where tequila is always flowing.