The Day of the Dead—Día de Muertos in Spanish- is undeniably one of the biggest holidays in Mexico. It’s a fiesta that starts on November 1st this year and goes through the 2nd and honors the memories of our friends and family who are no longer physically with us but still alive in spirit.
Almost all Mexicans partake in the annual tradition, but perhaps no one does with more style than Clase Azul Spirits, the luxury brand behind an eponymous line of tequilas and mezcals. 2021 is no exception, but it is different.
The company’s limited-edition Dia de Muertos bottles are regarded as collectors’ items and coveted for their craftsmanship by both tequila lovers and teetotalers. This year, Clase Azul is launching a multi-year Día de Muertos series of limited editions called Nuestros Recuerdos or “Our Memories” which will feature one release per year. The series kicks off this year and continues through Fall 2025.
Subsequent editions will be called Aromas (“scents”), Colores (“colors”), Música (“music”), and Recuerdos (“memories”).
The first installment in the Nuestros Recuerdos series is named Sabores or “flavors” and takes its inspiration from the culinary traditions of Dia de Muertos– it debuts today, October 18th, with 5,000 decanters that cost $750 each.
Handmade like all of Clase Azul’s decanters are, this matte black stunner is adorned with a gold-plated metal ornament depicting three Calaveras or decorative skulls and a Pan de Muerto, which symbolizes the food that’s so important to the holiday. The decanter also illustrates the skulls enjoying a feast.
The backstory here is that Mexicans honor the deceased by making displays with their pictures and surrounding their images with Calaveras, their favorite belongings, food and drinks.
Sabores takes its nod from the latter two: the offerings on Dia de Muertos highlight what their loved ones most enjoyed eating and drinking. In addition, they usually include Pan de Muerto, a sweet seasonal bun; tamales, a dish made with steamed corn dough; atoles, a sweet and corn flour-based drink; seasonal fruit, and of course, tequila.
Speaking of tequila, Clase Azul’s Dia de Muertos decanter hold an añejo expression that’s been aged for more than 14 months in American whisky casks previously blended with tequilas aged in American oak casks. It’s toffee-like with hints of orange and smooth, almost caramelly. Yes, it’s delicious.
Created by Clase Azul Master Distiller, Viridiana Tinoco, this is the brand’s first single-estate agave tequila which is where the agave is harvested from a single field- a rarity in the tequila world. In this instance, the blue weber agave came from a mountaintop in Los Altos de Jalisco called the “Cerro de Viboreo.” It’s located among the remnants of an ancient civilization,” says Tinoco.
The mountain is part of a private property and not open to visitors, but Tinoco says that enthusiasts can visit La Trinidad itself, which features other “pueblos magicos,” like Atotonilco, a pilgrimage town with a beautiful 18th-century church and vibrant restaurants serving delicious and inexpensive local specialties.
She also shares her insights in the top places in Mexico to celebrate Dia de Muertos.
In San Pedro Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, near Guadalajara, locals celebrate by dressing up as elegant skeletons. In Mexico City, there’s a huge parade in the historic city center, and in Lake Patzcuaro, in Michoacan, Mexicans prepare the favorite foods of their loved ones who have passed away and sing in the streets. Fishermen also dance and go out in the water at night in boats decorated with candles. “The candles create a magical glow,” says Tinoco.
Then there’s San Miguel de Allende- the center of activity for Dia de Muertos celebrations in the country. The town is decked out with offerings, and locals dress up and attend classes on how to paint their faces. This year, Clase Azul will co-host a dinner party at the Live Aqua Resort to celebrate the holiday.
Tinoco highly recommends a trip to Mexico to witness the festivities firsthand. But even you can’t come, there’s no excuse to not partake in a toast to this culturally significant landmark holiday from home- with Clase Azul’s Sabores, of course.