This week we were in Jalisco, Mexico to do a photoshoot with new tequila brand - El Rayo. We stayed in downtown Guadalajara which was great - with great galleries and places to get food/drinks just walking distance from our Air BnB. (Check out Gamma Gallery, Vietnam Bar, Pigs Pearls, Ponte Trucha Negro and Caligaris).
First thing we did was go out to visit the distillery where they are making the spirit. It is great space with beautiful old copper stills. Compared to distilleries we work with for mezcal, this is a big set-up, built to handle making product for several brands within the strict boundaries of tequila certification. As visitors we had to wear hair nets and all images were vetted before we left the site.
The next day we visited the site where they harvest the agave for making their tequila. We were getting stills for their social media and drone footage for future campaigns. The field we were shooting in was vast, with so much agave it looked like a rolling turquoise sea. It was a fun day, with a chance to get product shots, portraits of the team as well as the dramatic Jalisco landscape.
That evening we attended the premier of "Setting the Bar" at the Guadalajara Film Festival. This is our friends' work about heritage cacao in Peru, with a focus on how this plant can help reduce deforestation in the Amazon. The film explores the intersection of food culture and sustainability. The event was followed by an incredible meal showcasing cacao in a five course tasting menu - sweet and savoury.
Despite our hangovers we completed the trip by visiting some hotspots in Guadalajara to get product shots. Highlights were the colourful area of Tlaquepaque and Casa Clavijero built by Barragan, Mexico's most influential architect.
Our final spot on the trip was Tequila Town. Despite taking the name of the worlds favourite slamming spirit, there is a lovely atmosphere here and it is a great place to walk around. The guys from El Rey wanted to open their first official bottle at the oldest bar in town, the famous La Capilla. It's not what you would necessarily expect to be voted as one of the 'Worlds Best Bars', but once you have sunk a few of their signature cocktails (tequila, coke and fresh lime), you can understand the pilgrimage.
We drove back to Guadalajara as the sun was setting. The agave fields looked stunning in this magical light and we decided to stop and share some of the tequila with a jimador and his son who were working there. It was the perfect conclusion to our trip.