Tag Archives: Tequila Interchange Project

Diddy Disses Tequila’s Jimadores….

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Diddy looking conspicuously out of his element.

Diddy looking conspicuously out of his element.

By now, many of you may have already seen both of these distasteful photos on Diddy’s Instagram account for his new venture with Diageo and DeLeón tequila that began in early 2014.

Dressed in his trademark dark suit, Diddy attempts to sacrifice a blue agave piña while at the same time asking for a moment of silence for “Mr. Pat Ron,” a thinly veiled dig against beverage behemoth, Patrón.

Those in the Tequila Community who make their living day after day selling,

Note the look of disdain on the jimador's face.

Note the look of disdain on the jimador’s face.

serving and producing tequila, as well as growing and harvesting agave, have been outraged at the clownish way in which Diddy and Diageo have disrespected and belittled the value of one of the last major pillars left in Tequila Culture–the jimador (agave harvester).

The Plight of the Jimador

In an age where modern technology and cost saving methods like the diffuser have been introduced in the Tequila Industry to replace everything from donkeys to bottlers to label applicators, the one skill that it has not yet been able to replace entirely is the hard labor of the jimador.

Jimador, courtesy of Tequila G4.

Jimador, courtesy of Tequila G4.

Those who have seen these men in action, and those of us who have tried to hack off the pencas (leaves) from a blue agave piña using a razor sharp coa, know that it’s not as easy as it looks.

The following video is courtesy of the Tequila Interchange Project, a non-profit organization and consumer advocacy group for agave distilled spirits made up of key influencers such as bartenders, consultants, teachers, researchers, consumers and tequila aficionados.  It illustrates just how arduous this work is, and the dangers these men face each day for minimal pay.

For Diddy to be allowed to be photographed attempting a jima wearing a suit and spotless shoes was unconscionable.  It makes light of the skill and experience of these journeymen laborers, as well their hardships, in a deplorable and condescending way.

Diddy Commits Commercial Suicide with DeLeón Tequila

If it’s true that Diddy knows what liquor Millennials want to drink as he states in this November 2014 article in Fortune, and wants to “disrupt how [liquor advertising] has been done,” he has already failed miserably.

Claiming that his image won’t be used for DeLeón like it has been attached to his

Jimador lifting piñas.  Courtesy of Tequila G4.

Jimador lifting piñas. Courtesy of Tequila G4.

Ciroc vodka ads (his first successful partnership with Diageo), then he should stick to his word.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), the national trade association for America’s top distillers, and of which Diageo is a long time member, has strict guidelines when it comes to responsible digital marketing communications.

It is obvious that Sean Combs believes he is above adhering to these regulations, and in the process, managed to insult an entire country.

How Diddy Should’ve Done It

Jimador at work.  Courtesy of the Consejo Regulador del Tequila.

Jimador at work. Courtesy of the Consejo Regulador del Tequila.

The self-proclaimed tastemaker has proven to be very successful in everything he touches.  From music and clothing, to spirits and even reality TV, Diddy has left his indelible mark with sophistication and style.  So, when he hooked up with Diageo once more for DeLeón tequila, we expected more from him.

We expected this $700 million dollar mogul to immerse himself in Tequila Culture.  To get to know the process and the people of the new spirit he was embracing, and to bring a fresh look to an otherwise unremarkable brand like DeLeón.

We expected he would slap on some Sean John boots and venture out into the

Sean John Kingswood Moc boot.

Sean John Kingswood Moc boot.

agave fields to absorb its magic.  Who knows?  Maybe he would become inspired to design a whole new line of menswear made from agave fibers that would appeal to all ethnicities, just as he desires to do with DeLeón’s advertising.

How’s that for doubling your ROI and gaining street cred?

We’re NOT Laughing With You

Instead, we get this…

"So, if I wanna be number one, there has to be a number two."

“So, if I wanna be number one, there has to be a number two.”

Perhaps, we expected too much?

[In 2010 there were 6 other brands besides Ciroc that the San Francisco World Spirits Competition bestowed double gold medals to in the vodka category.]

David Suro’s Amazing Tequila 101

little rock, food, podcast, videoSpecial thanks to www.lrfoodcast.com for providing such a great video of David Suro’s presentation and staff training on tequila at Local Lime in Arkansas.  This is one of the best Tequila 101s we’ve seen yet! 

A brilliant businessman, Suro-Piñero has made it his life’s mission to preserve and promote the tequila industry, a surprisingly complex industry that is in danger of losing so much of its heritage. In this presentation, Suro-Piñero details the process of tequila-making, from planting agave plants to the final distillation and aging. He also talks about the challenges facing the tequila industry and what needs to change to keep tequila from wasting away. ~ Little Rock Foodcast

Tequila 101

In this comprehensive video presentation, David Suro-Piñero, owner of Siembra Azul tequila, presents on the history and current state of the tequila industry at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas.  We at Tequila Aficionado highly recommend this video to anyone who enjoys good tequila or wants to learn more about tequila.

Salud!

 

siembra_azulSiembra Azul Tequila

Siembra Azul (Blue Harvest) is a small-batch, artisanal, premium tequila made from 100% of the finest blue agave, grown and produced in the town of Arandas, in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. It is a kosher and double distilled spirit of unparalleled quality.

Siembra Azul is the result of a meticulously monitored production process which is supervised by a carefully assembled team of expert tequila connoisseurs. Leading this team is David Suro-Piñera whose lifelong quest for the highest quality tequila propelled him to create Siembra Azul. Siembra Azul’s trademark, “The Future of Tradition,” is Suro-Piñera’s mission. He travels throughout the U.S. and Europe conducting seminars on the history, traditions, terroir distinctions and varying flavor profiles of tequila for consumers as well as the spirits and hospitality industries. His intent is to create transparency in tequila production and educate the drinking community about tequila so it can finally be accepted as one of the most complex spirits in the world.

Siembra Azul’s portfolio includes a fruity Blanco, a flavorful Reposado, a complex Añejo and profound Extra Añejos.

Find out more about the Siembra Azul Tequilas online here.

 

The Tequila Interchange Project

tequila interchange project, read tequila label, how toThe Tequila Interchange Project (TIP) is a non-profit organization and consumer advocacy group for agave distilled spirits comprised of bartenders, consultants, educators, researchers, consumers and tequila enthusiasts. Our organization advocates the preservation of sustainable, traditional and quality practices in the industries of agave distilled spirits. In light of concerning trends that are currently becoming mainstays in the production of agave distillates, TIP seeks to place a renewed emphasis on the importance of preserving the great heritage of agave distillation in Mexico.

Find out more about the Tequila Interchange Project online here.

 

Local Lime Restaurant

local lime, little rock, arkansas, david suro, siembra azulWelcome to Local Lime. Join us for flavor-packed dishes inspired by  Mexican street fare, Latin American flavors with a hint of  Tex-Mex flare and delicious handcrafted cocktails made with premium tequila, mezcal, and juices. Each menu item served at Local Lime is crafted by our chefs, from scratch, using original recipes and prepared with premium ingredients (sourced locally whenever possible).  Every cocktail at Local Lime is hand crafted with just-squeezed juices, house-made syrups, and premium tequilas and liquors. Whether you’re enjoying a bit of sunshine and a few street-style tacos on our year-round patio, enjoying a night with friends and frozen margaritas in our oversized booths or seated in the middle of the mezmorizing cocktail crafting experience at our bar while dining on a sizzling plate of Pescado Vera Cruz, every seat at Local Lime is great seat – and yours is waiting.

Find out more about Local Lime Restaurant online here.


 

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Women In The Tequila Industry: Cecilia Norman by M.A. “Mike” Morales

We continue our series of Women In The Tequila Industry with Cecilia Norman, Communication Manager for the Tequila Interchange Project, a non-profit organization and consumer advocacy group for tequila.

We asked Ceci and other prominent women leading the charge for change in the Tequila Industry and beyond a short list of questions.  As you’ll read, it hasn’t been all margaritas and roses for any of these tequila boss ladies.

TIP is comprised of bartenders, consultants, educators, academics, consumers and tequila enthusiasts. It advocates the preservation of sustainable, traditional, and quality practices in the tequila industry amid concerning trends currently becoming mainstays in the industry. Through their efforts and increased consumer education, they strive for continued growth in the tequila industry with a renewed emphasis on the importance of preserving tequila’s great heritage.

***

TA:  What are the challenges you face when dealing with the male dominated Tequila Industry?

CN:  It’s like any male dominated industry, you face preconceived notions of what a woman’s role is in society or the industry.

Personally, I’ve never paid much attention to any of it.  If I want to do something I make it happen.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the spirits, film, tequila, robotics, rocket science or pink elephant hunting.  It all comes down to personal effort and the pursuit for good attainable goals.  If I spent any time thinking about other people standing in the way, I wouldn’t do anything.  Instead, I think of what’s best for everyone and myself, then put my mind to getting it done.

TA:  What facets of the Tequila Industry would you like to see change?

CN:  I want to see it become a diverse, fair industry that makes a lot of money for everyone involved and focuses on plant health, worker health, and becoming something that is sustainable for thousands of years. TA:  Do you approve of its brands current marketing strategies?

I believe in brands that market transparently and honestly… and silliness.  Give me all your data, processes, and let me decide if I want to drink your product.  If I don’t, let’s have a conversation about it.

TA:  How would you run things? What would you like to see change?

CN:  I would run things where everything grows.  Of course some brands will do better than others, some will remain local, and some will fail entirely… but developing business to look out for what’s best for everyone will help the industry.  There are too many nuances to keep just dollar signs the main focus.

 
 
Follow Cecilia Norman on Facebook and Twitter @cecinorman.
Follow the Tequila Interchange Project on Facebook, and Twitter @ThinkTequila.
 

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