There will be live music, ballet folklorico, food stands, and the Miss Expo Tequila Tijuana 2012 beauty pageant to entertain all the borrachos in attendance. I've been a regular attendee at one of Mexico's largest tequila expos since 2007, and I've seen it grow in size while simultaneously dipping in quality. When US tourists stopped coming–beginning with the 2009 Expo–the event began to cater more to Tijuanenses. That meant more cheap tequila and entertainment; It became less of a destination for tequila aficionados, but more of a Tijuana block party. But for that price, I couldn't just stay away from this shot fest, and I've gathered a few tips for making the most out this event. Here are five tips from a Expo Tequila Tijuana veteran to tilt the caballito in your favor.
There is an inverse correlation between the quality of the tequila to the hotness of the edecan, and the number of edecanes. It's a classic tale of beauty (edecan), and the beast (poorly made, mass-produced tequila). If there are two or more really attractive edecanes dressed too sexy for a tasting event, then you probably should pass on this unknown bottle of horse piss. One gorgeous edecan? Perhaps a small sip just to know the house–I find just as much value knowing the crap as well as the as liquid silver and gold. If the girl is cute, but just wearing jeans and a regular shirt you're safe in trying this tequila–she might be a family member helping out, she's not a full-blown edecan. Is this science? Well, maybe not, but this has been my experience at most liquor events on both sides of the border.
Volcan de Mi Tierra is one of the finest tequilas in Mexico, and it's under $23 USD for the añejo. I've never experienced a tequila more herbaceous and complex; even a novice can get multiple flavors from its exquisite tequila blanco. After the Expo in 2008 I hit up my favorite tequila shop on Revolucion–Leyva's Liqours–and asked if he could get some. It was only available in Jalisco at the time, so he waited until Expo Tequila 2009 and bought several cases, stashing them in the liquor store–in short time, I purchased the entire haul.