Culture / Travel

The Best Tequila Bar in the World

Step Inside the Spirit Queen’s Stunning Mexican Wonder

BY // 02.27.17

For those of us who live and breathe the artist-laden Colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, we have a new place to taste.

The petite and altogether charming Casa Dragones Tasting Room in the heart of town packs plenty of design punch, along with the premium, silky-smooth tequila itself, produced 350 miles away in Jalisco.

The story behind Casa Dragones has garnered significant attention, not just for its top-tier tequila, but for the enigmatic female force who is the soul of the brand, co-founder and CEO Bertha González Nieves.

She’s the first-ever female tequila master distiller in a male-dominated industry, who in just eight years has made Casa Dragones one of the world’s most highly prized fine spirits, ringing up at $75 and $285 a bottle. During the debut of the Tasting Room, her eyes are wide with pride.

“Passion is the fuel that drives you to focus,” she says. “When you have passion, it’s so strong and powerful it takes over. In our case, the journey of craftsmanship is what drives us forward.”

The diminutive new Tasting Room, designed by New York firm Meyer Davis, seats six, and its shape takes inspiration from the Casa Dragones tequila bottle.

Mexico City designer Gloria Cortina had 4,000 obsidian tiles — a stone prevalent in volcano-rich Mexico and in the agave fields where Casa Dragones is produced — hand cut and polished by Mexican craftsmen, to line the walls and barrel-vault ceiling.

The rest of the details, from the concrete floor tiles sourced in San Miguel to light fixtures designed by Mexican artisans, all play into Nieves’ homage to Mexican craftsmanship.

“You find work all over our country that you no longer find, really, anywhere in the world,” Nieves says.

Despite the Tasting Room’s surreal beauty, the star is Casa Dragones, available for sipping in two variations: aged Joven and good-for-mixing Blanco. Mixologists (Jim Meehan of PDT, Dave Arnold of Booker and Dax, and Rael Petit of Mulberry Project) conduct short-term residencies, and the room can be reserved for private tastings.

“I’m able to translate the craft behind the process of producing our tequila and create a place for people to enjoy one glass or one cocktail,” Nieves says. “That’s what I’m proud of.”

Reservations and information, concierge@casadragones.com.

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