10 Resorts With Authentic Spirit Tastings

To know a culture is to know its booze. From tasting tequila in the only region in Mexico that makes it to trying the oldest rum on the planet, these workshops are educational and tasty.

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Photo By: Conrad Cartagena

Photo By: Treasure Beach

Photo By: Deanne Revel

Photo By: Hotel Astoria

Photo By: The Balmoral Hotel

Photo By: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Photo By: W Punta de Mita

Photo By: JW Cusco

Photo By: Zemi Beach House

Photo By: AC Hotel Columbus Dublin

Try Colombia's Aguardiente

While many South American countries have a type of aguardiente, Colombian “firewater” is flavored with anise. The Son Y Ron bar at Conrad Cartagena features a tasting with local varieties of the sugarcane-based spirit plus a tapas menu that complements the strong anise flavor.

The Oldest Rum in the World

Treasure Beach, a new Elegant Hotels resort in Barbados, is an adults-only oasis with an emphasis on Bajan culture. The hotel features private art tours, hands-on art classes and a rum tasting with the oldest rum brand in the world: Mount Gay Rum. The tasting starts with a white rum you may be familiar with in beach drinks, but the session graduates to darker, aged rums perfect for sipping. The Mount Gay ambassadors are also happy to share the history of the brand and the island, as well as answer questions about sugar cane and the distillation process.

Learn About Aged Tequila

If you still associate tequila with college drinking and frozen margaritas, you're missing out on a world of flavor. At the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa, guests can sip various tequilas from champagne flutes while learning about the aging process and the agave plant. The resort’s Ceviche and Tequila Bar also features a mixology class that explores the differences between tequila and mezcal.

Gin Around the World

If you love gin, Hotel Astoria is the place for you. The St. Petersburg hotel just launched a new gin experience at the Lichfield Bar where guests can sample gin from all over the world. And if you don’t take it neat, the bar pairs several gin varieties with rare tonics from Europe.

Sip Scotch in Scotland

For the most thorough lesson in Scotch, head to the historic Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. The hotel’s aptly named Scotch bar boasts more than 500 varieties from different regions of Scotland. And each Scotch is paired with a snack such as dark chocolate or smoked almonds.

Rum + Cigar Pairings

Many tastings offer food pairings, but in the Bahamas at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, guests can try more than 40 varieties of local Bahamian and Caribbean rum with locally-rolled cigars. The resort’s T² Cigar Bar features a “Rum Legends” flight and cigar pairing.

Visit the Mezcal Lab

For a thorough 101 in Mexican spirits, head to the W Punta de Mita for the resort’s weekly Mezcal Lab tasting experience. This class is taught by a local expert, who shows guests how to properly sample spirits such as tequila, mezcal and raicilla. The tasting also features house-made sangrita and out-of-the-box garnishes such as Mexican worm salt.

Try Peru's Pisco

You can’t come to Peru without tasting pisco and one of the best ways to sample the country’s national spirit is at the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco. The hotel offers a session in pisco, teaching guests the spirit’s origin, different ways to enjoy it and secrets to mastering Peru's classic cocktail: the Pisco Sour. For a more hands-on lesson, the hotel’s Qespi Bar offers a Pisco Sour mixology class where guests can personalize the iconic drink with macerated varieties of pisco such as passionfruit and ají picante, a hot chili pepper.

Visit the Rhum Room

Rum might be famous for casual beach drinks, but the spirit has a fancy scene, too, with luxury, aged varieties. Anguilla’s Zemi Beach House features rhum flights curated by the resort’s Rhummelier. The hotel’s Rhum Room boasts more than 100 small-batch, single-estate rhums including Clément Cuvée Homère, considered to be the highest-rated vintage rum in the past decade.

Gin Field Trip

You probably don’t think gin when you think of the states, but the U.S. is having a distillery surge with small-batch gin brands popping up across the country. The AC Hotel Columbus Dublin has partnered with local, award-winning Watershed Distillery to create a gin tasting experience for guests. Instead of hosting the session at the hotel, the AC brings guests to the source for a tasting at the distillery followed by a three-course dinner with gin pairings for each course.

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