A bite of Boulder in Sayulita, Me(h)ico
We can never say for sure why things are or how they come to be. Perhaps things are destined, or perhaps it is just luck. As one legend has it, the ancient Aztec goddess of the agave plant Mayahuel discovered the magic of tequila on a strange trip to the land of the mortals. Mayahuel stumbled across a family of 400 rabbits laughing in fits of ecstasy, rolling around in their abundant and prosperous crops and were giddily reproducing like, well, rabbits. As Mayahuel looked upon them in wonder, she noticed that they were harvesting the juice of the agave plant and drinking it. It was the tequila that was bringing the rabbits such joy. She was so excited; she took the liquid back to the gods and goddesses to spread prosperity, love and luck. From then on the 400 rabbits have been preserved in legend as the bringers of infinite luck, and the symbol of the drink of the gods.
We heard this story when we stopped in to visit our Boulder friends, Suerte Tequila and to support their new restaurant, El Conejo in Sayulita Mexico.
We traveled to Mexico in December and in between the velvet surf and mystical beaches, we found time to sit down at El Conejo. They shared with us Aztec legends, food as legendary as their stories, and most importantly, Suerte Tequila. As we walked through the restaurant and tasting room, the team shared these stories as we enjoyed the smokey vanilla flavor of an eight-year, oak barrel, extra aged tequila añejo. We fell into the mystic of the beautiful hand-painted murals on the walls of the restaurant that narrate these legends, the tequila process and Suerte’s lucky rabbit as we enjoyed.
Perhaps, like us, you already know and love the Boulder-based distillery and their small batch Blanco, Reposado and Añejo tequila. Or perhaps there is a new found love and tequila in your future. No matter the status of your loyalty to Suerte, one stop at El Conejo will win over your affection.
We sat down and took the team’s recommendations. We indulged in Suerte cocktails, sesame chicken tacos wrapped in lettuce and served with fresh and light tzatziki, roasted cauliflower in tahini dressing, and to top off the meal, a love child of a traditional Mexican Torta and a Vietnamese Banh Mi. Incredible. El Conejo boasts a menu and cocktail programme inspired by the local cuisines and libations from every corner of the world. From South Asia to Hawaii, each menu item brings in flavors from all of the best surf spots. This is no accident. What brings the Suerte team together is their passion for tequila, as well as their love of surf and the natural environments that come with it.
It is also for this reason that El Conejo boasts an entire in-restaurant water filtration system that eliminates the need to use bottled filtered water and allows the restaurant to completely rid themselves of single-use plastics. For anyone who has traveled to Mexico, you are all too familiar with the precaution of drinking the tap water. For all foreign travelers (read, us Boulderites) it is necessary to drink, wash and prep food using filtered water. The tourist industry in Sayulita does us all a favor by offering filtered water. However, the water comes in plastic, and it’s rarely recycled. As a crew of avid surfers, the team at El Conejo feels the devastating impact of this dependency as they surf by piles of plastic bottles.
We appreciated their environmental efforts, but fortunately, one less battle for El Conejo and the environment is that the true ‘Aqua de Mexico’ (I didn’t make that up… it’s the locals, I swear) does not come in a plastic bottle. It comes in four beautifully designed glass bottles with the Suerte rabbit dancing on the outside. And the bottom line that this legendary liquid has to offer is that hopefully, between surfing the golden beaches of Sayulita and eating world renowned tacos, we can all find room to surrender to a little bit of luck.