flight of tequila shots with lime and salt on bar with garnishes

Hotel California Tequila: Our Complete Guide

If you’re a fan of authentic tequila that has a fascinating cultural history, then Hotel California Tequila might just be what the doctor ordered. Let’s take a look at what sets this particular tequila apart from the rest. 

Hotel California Tequila: An Introduction

Hotel California Tequila is a line of tequilas that aspires to reflect the spirit of the Hotel California in Todos Santos, and the unique stories and people that surround this historical landmark. Hotel California Tequila features three main blends of liquor – Añejo, Blanco, and Reposado – and the tequilas are created to carry the best flavors and be standouts among other tequilas on the market.

Hotel California Tequila is a newcomer to the world of classics and is perceived as an interesting brand and twist on traditional tequila. The unique bottles, high care of production, and memorable name all contribute to an impressive brand that prides itself on producing high-quality tequila to be enjoyed by all.

What Is the Alcohol Content of Hotel California Tequila?

Like many other tequilas, the alcoholic content of Hotel California Tequila is fairly high. You can expect these tequilas to be about 40 percent ABV (alcohol by volume), though this may vary slightly depending on the specific variety of tequila you are utilizing and whether or not you are mixing it into a cocktail or drinking it straight.

What Is the History of Hotel California Tequila?

Hotel California Tequila was established in the early 2000s after Canadian couple John and Debbie Stewart purchased the Hotel California in Todos Santos. The hotel had fallen into disuse after its establishment in 1950 by Chinese immigrant Antonio Wong, who ran the hotel for years until around the 1960s when it closed down.

After purchasing the hotel and renovating it, creating 11 rooms that spoke of the history and culture in Todos Santos, John Stewart began the journey of creating a tequila brand that embraced the original Hotel California and its surroundings. While John passed away before he could see his dream come to fruition, the Hotel California Tequila brand today has achieved that mission and embraces high-quality, flavorful tequila that upholds the culture and traditions of the region. 

Today, Hotel California Tequila is perceived as a popular, distinctive brand of tequila. It offers three main tequila varieties, and care is taken throughout each step of the process to craft this liquor. While this brand hasn’t spread throughout every state, it is becoming increasingly more popular as a new take on a classic liquor that upholds the tradition and culture of tequila from the Todos Santos area.

Where Is Hotel California Tequila From?

Hotel California Tequila was developed in Todos Santos, and it utilizes ingredients from the highlands of Jalisco. Today, the original Hotel California has a partnership with the Agaveros y Tequileros Unidos de Los Altos distillery in Zapotlanejo, Jalisco, and the brand is imported and distributed by Sipping Spirits LLC.

When Was Hotel California Tequila Created?

While there isn’t an exact date for when Hotel California Tequila was created, this brand was conceived in the early 2000s and finalized sometime thereafter. It is a relatively new brand to the world of tequila, but it is quickly making a name for itself with its unique bottles, branding, and exquisitely flavored tequila.

What Types of Hotel California Tequila Are There?

There are three main varieties of Hotel California Tequila – Añejo, Blanco, or Reposado. Unlike other tequila brands, the Hotel California Tequila brand prides itself on a curated selection of high-quality tequilas instead of expanding to create multiple different varieties.

Añejo tequila is aged the longest, and this tequila has a deep gold color that speaks of its significant time aging in barrels. The Blanco tequila is clear, silver, and smooth, and the Reposado tequila has a light gold color that falls in the middle of the other two tequilas.

What Ingredients Are in Hotel California Tequila?

Hotel California Tequila is crafted with 100% Blue Weber Agave that originates in the highlands of Jalisco. The agave used is matured and harvested when it reaches six to eight years old to ensure it has a higher sugar content and creates a smoother, more floral finish when used in tequila. 

Pure water from Jalisco combined with organic yeast from the agave plants in the area are combined with the cooked and raw agave and matured as needed to create these three distinct varieties of tequila.

How Much Does Hotel California Tequila Usually Cost?

The standard price of Hotel California Tequila ranges from $55.00 to $80.00 for a bottle, according to the brand’s website. You can expect to pay around $10 for a shot of this liquor in a restaurant or bar, or between $10 and $15 for a cocktail made with this liquor. 

Keep in mind that the exact pricing for shots and cocktails made with Hotel California Tequila depends on the average prices of these items in your area and the specific pricing structure of the restaurant or bar you are visiting.

What Is the Best Way to Enjoy Hotel California Tequila?

The best way to enjoy Hotel California Tequila is by sipping on this liquor, combining it into a cocktail, or drinking it with a simple mixer.  Topo Chico mineral sparkling mineral water and a squeeze of lime are recommended.

You can substitute Hotel California Tequila into any cocktail recipe that calls for tequila, and it also mixes well with various soda waters or fruit juices. If you prefer to drink your tequila straight, you can pour it into a shot glass or into a lowball glass filled with ice to sip on throughout the night. You could also enjoy your tequila neat at room temperature, but most tequila enthusiasts agree this liquor is best for sipping on once it’s chilled.

Food that pairs well with Hotel California Tequila includes smokey or rich vegetables like charred bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and eggplant. You can enjoy this liquor alongside tacos, steak, chicken, and fish, as it is fairly versatile and lends itself to easily being a before-dinner drink, a during-dinner drink, or as part of a nightcap to sip on once your meal is over. 

How to Choose a Good Hotel California Tequila

Choosing a good Hotel California Tequila is done by figuring out which variety of tequila you most prefer. This brand offers Añejo, Blanco, or Reposado tequilas, all of which come with their own differences and flavor profiles.

The Añejo tequila has been aged the longest, and its flavor will have an intense woodiness as a result of its time being aged in barrels. Blanco tequila has a cool finish and is the youngest variety, and Reposado falls in the middle as it is aged for a minimum of six months. 

After deciding which flavor profile you prefer, you should also consider how you will be drinking your Hotel California Tequila. Intense and bold flavors are better consumed straight or served over the rocks with a mixer like soda water, while sweeter, cool, and lighter flavors blend well into cocktails or other mixed drinks featuring fruit juices and sweet flavors.

Where Can You Find Hotel California Tequila?

Hotel California Tequila is most reliably sold online, with purchasing directly through this brand’s website being the best way to find this liquor. Your local liquor shops or specialty tequila stores may sell this, and this brand may also make an appearance in tequila bars and restaurants that specialize in Mexican cuisine.

What Are Popular Alternatives to Hotel California Tequila?

Hotel California is a popular and unique brand of tequila, but there are a few popular alternatives to this tequila if you can’t get your hands on this brand. Don Julio, Casamigos, and Patrón all offer several varieties of tequilas at a range of price points. These brands are also relatively pervasive, and you should be able to purchase them online, through your local liquor store, or out when enjoying Mexican cuisine or visiting a bar. You can also switch over from tequila entirely and go for something like Meili Vodka. On the other hand, if you want to try something on the darker side we recommend a whiskey like Doc Swinson's Bourbon whiskey.

Hotel California Tequila FAQ

If you still have questions about Hotel California Tequila, learn more about this distinctive tequila brand by reading the answers to the most frequently asked questions about this liquor.

What Does Hotel California Tequila Taste Like?

The exact flavor of Hotel California Tequila depends on if you are tasting the brand’s Añejo, Blanco, or Reposado tequilas. Tasting notes of these tequilas include:

  • Añejo – woodiness, notes of peach and sweet fruit, hints of vanilla and chocolate
  • Blanco – sweetly floral, honey, tropical fruits, cool finish
  • Reposado – cooked agave, wood, hints of vanilla, almond, and cocoa

Hotel California Tequila strives to set itself apart from other tequila brands by cultivating its own yeast from organic agave and rinsing the finished bottles in tequila instead of water – this allows for the best flavors in each tequila variety to shine through and the liquor inside the bottles to be guaranteed as pure as possible.

Is Hotel California Tequila Related to the Eagles’ Song?

Despite its similar name to the Eagles’ popular song, the Hotel California doesn’t have any connection or inspiration tied to this band or its music – it’s simply an honored landmark and part of the history of Todos Santos. The Hotel California was established in 1950, approximately two and a half decades before the Eagles’ album Hotel California was released in 1976.

Where Is the Original Hotel California?

The original Hotel California is located in Todos Santos, along the Baja California Peninsula. This coastal town is located within the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains of Mexico, and it was initially established as a mission by Father Jaime Bravo in 1723. The town has a long, interesting history and boasts unique local culture. 

When Chinese immigrant Antonio Wong moved to the area, he eventually opened the original Hotel California, a 16-room hotel, in 1950. The hotel stayed around until sometime in the 1960s, when it fell into disuse until it was purchased and revitalized in 2001. The Hotel California remains today, and this institution of history and culture within Todos Santos prides itself on the remarkable tequila they help produce to represent the history of the region.

Can I Use Hotel California Tequila in Cocktails?

While any of the Hotel California Tequila varieties may be enjoyed straight, they can also add their unique flavor profile to a cocktail. Margaritas are one of the best ways to enjoy these tequilas, though you can also make Palomas and a number of other interesting drinks using these liquors.  

Get Lost in Hotel California Tequila

shot of tequila with salted rim and lime with a slice cut out

Hotel California Tequila is a distinctive tequila brand that offers three main varieties of tequila. Each variety produced by this brand is carefully cultivated for the best flavor and purity, and the Hotel California Tequila prides itself on creating a product that shows off the culture of the Todos Santos town while offering drinkers a flavorful, balanced, and smooth tequila experience. Drink your Hotel California Tequila straight or mix it into a cocktail for a unique liquor experience you won’t easily forget.

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