Like the state it’s named after, Republic Tequila is crafted with passion and determination. Republic Tequila Extra Añejo is the crown jewel in our portfolio of celebrated tequilas. It is carefully distilled from mature blue agave, which is hand picked in the rugged fields of Jalisco, Mexico, where tequila originated. After distillation, Republic Tequila Extra Añejo is patiently aged in one of eight carefully selected charred oak bourbon barrels for over three years. The result is a tequila rich in color, with unparalleled smoothness and a flavor like no other. Each bottle is a salute to the fiercely independent character of the only state in America that was once its own nation. There is none finer. We invite you to come and take it.
Republic Añejo Tequila is aged for 17 months in American White Oak bourbon barrels, resulting in deep hues and perfect balance. Our Añejo’s smooth, oaky mouth-feel exhibits an extremely complex flavor profile that is bold enough to stand alone or be mixed for an exceptional, hearty cocktail.
Republic Reposado Tequila is aged for seven months in American White Oak bourbon barrels. This aging process allows the tequila to take on the complex characteristics of the oak barrels, while still keeping the sweet properties of the agave plant. Reposado starts with a burst of apple and eucalyptus, with a long finish of oak and mint.
Republic Plata Tequila is unaged but allowed to rest three to five days after distillation. Aeration along with the resting period results in an ultra-smooth, clear spirit. With its silky feel, our herbal, spicy, sweet Plata is the ideal tequila for your favorite cocktail.
The Tequila 3 Ring Circus is in Town
Imagine the spotlighted and off kilter Ringmaster who, in a booming Michael Buffer-eske voice announces–
“Ladies and gentlemen, turn your attention to Ring Number One!”
Unless, you’ve been living under a rock since January 2017 (we wouldn’t blame you if you are!), you’ve no doubt heard of POTUS’ proposed 20% import tax on Mexican goods to fund the building of “The Great Border Wall” with Mexico to prevent illegal immigration.
Further, POTUS has promised that Mexico itself would pay for the wall.
Anyone with an iota of understanding of economics knows that this tariff would simply be passed onto consumers by the manufacturers of these goods.
And that includes tequila producers and mezcaleros.
According to this recent article, the collateral damage to other peripheral industries would be devastating.
Moreover, the archaic Three Tier System that was established in the United States after Prohibition, and on which alcohol distribution is based, demands that each level of the tier also pass along this 20% tax.
“Clowns are the pegs on which the circus is hung,” P.T. Barnum
Once POTUS bullied Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in late January 2017 into cancelling his visit to the US if Mexico refused to pay for the 2,000 mile border wall, his strategy backfired.
Each leader took the war to Twitter.
While POTUS berated the Mexican President and screamed about the lopsidedness of the NAFTA agreement, Peña Nieto vehemently argued that Mexico would never pay for such a wall and managed to rally a divided country to his side.
It almost made us nostalgic to watch reruns of Destilando Amor, again.
Meanwhile, under the Big Top, the Center Ring was where everyone clamored to sit near because only the most prestigious routines happened inside.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we direct you to the Center Ring!”
In early February, an interesting thing happened in court. A precedential ruling was handed down in the case Luxco, Inc. v. Consejo Regulador del Tequila, A.C.
The decision allowed the CRT (Tequila’s governing body in Mexico) to register the word TEQUILA as a certification mark and control its use.
Isn’t that the CRT’s job, anyway?
The CRT aggressively protects Tequila like Disney or Levi’s conserve their trademarks.
When you read this article explaining the timeline and judgment of the case, you’re amazed at the depth of Luxco’s arrogance to file the lawsuit in the first place and to completely ignore Tequila’s geographic indication.
Surprising, too, since Luxco imports and distributes El Mayor tequila, and re-bottles Exotico and Juarez tequilas that are certified by the CRT as authentic, all at Destiladora González González (NOM 1143).
Makes you shake your head and wonder what Luxco was thinking.
“Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on Ring Number Two!”
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar has found a way around his alleged Cabo Wabo Tequila non-compete clause, and recruited his friend and fellow rock star, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 to develop–
According to its marketing copy, it’s a blend of 100 percent blue agave and espadín agave to “create a smooth and rich tequila flavor with the sweet and smoky taste of mezcal.”
But, what is it?
It’s not completely tequila, even though the 100% blue agave tequila portion is being distilled at Sammy’s original maquiladora, El Viejito (NOM 1107).
It is still unknown, however, at which palenque the mezcal portion is being distilled, and whether it comes from an industrial producer or not.
One thing for sure, the label will NOT have a NOM number on it.
The Shell Game
As an adult, you realize now that the three ring circus was nothing more than an elaborate con. An enormous shell game dressed up in glittering sequined costumes and face paint to keep you guessing where the action would take place next.
The thrills and chills of trapeze artists, lion tamers, high wire stunts, acrobats, jugglers and clowns performing all at once.
Slight of hand and misdirection at its very best.
A View From the Cheap Seats
Unlike today’s stadiums and auditoriums, there was always a bad seat in the house underneath the Big Top, and chances were, you were sitting in it.
There was always a feeling of missing something–a triple somersault, or dancing stallions, or roaring big cats jumping through flaming hoops.
To keep track of the drama from one ring to another, you craned your neck, unless…
You sat in the cheap seats, high above in the nosebleed section.
“Ladies and gentlemen, back to Ring Number One!”
At first, there was some question as to whether tequila and mezcal would fall under the proposed tariff.
Being the largest consumer of tequila in the world, America’s agave lovers were hoping that their favorite spirits would be spared.
Since 100% de agave tequila, and other agave spirits with an appellation of origin, can only be made in Mexico, it seems that the additional tax is almost a certainty.
We knew the price of tequila was going up, anyway.
We covered this in The Agave Shortage of 2017 is Worse Than We Thought.
Due to an unexpected snowstorm in Arandas in March 2016 that damaged agave crops; subsequent substantial contracts with medium sized maquiladoras (distilleries that produce tequila for various other brands) by transnational corporations tying up enormous quantities of tequila to be bottled under their labels; and aggressive competition for ripe agave by los mieleros (pharmaceutical companies), tequila prices were scaling up.
Whether Mexican spirits are affected by a tariff or not, or due to the scarcity of blue agave, look for prices to increase across the board.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let’s return to Ring Number Two!”
Accusations persist that truckloads of espadin agave, generally used to make mezcal, are still being sent by the truckload from Oaxaca to Jalisco headed for tequila distilleries to fulfill pending orders.
Rather than hide this clandestine fact any longer, Sammy and friends have perhaps decided to take the practice public and spin it into Santo Mezquila.
Also, to conserve wild agave species, as well as to ensure future supplies for his wildly popular mezcal expressions, Doug has planted small plots of agave instead of trying to compete with deeper celebrity pockets.
“To the Center Ring for the Grand Finale!”
While we still scratch our heads about the Luxco court decision, and if, in fact, POTUS does levy a 20% tax on all Mexican imports, including Mexican beer and spirits, here’s a few possible scenarios to consider.
The Human Cannonball
If the above cited article is correct, beer and tequila companies are using NAFTA only 8% of the time, and tequila comes in free for all World Trade Organization (WTO) members, anyway.
The proposed tariff would, in essence, tear up NAFTA, regardless of whether POTUS decides to renegotiate it or not, and fire a message across to Mexico that he’s not kidding around. But…
Mexican President Peña Nieto has an ace up his sleeve.
More Fun than a Barrel of Monkeys
Remember this flash from the past from 2003?
POTUS’ blatant disdain for Mexicans could lead to the CRT and Mexico retaliating by requiring that all tequila shipped in bulk to the United States be bottled in Mexico to insure the quality of the juice.
The consequences of this move, as described in the above cited DISCUS (Distilled Spirits Council of the United States) press release could be cataclysmic, particularly for those bottling plants in the Southern US.
Surely, this tactic would be fully endorsed by former Mexican President, Vicente Fox, who has no love loss with POTUS, and under whose term the ban was originally proposed.
Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys
Enraged, POTUS might completely disregard Appellations of Origin, in general, and not just Mexico’s.
He could allow micro and craft distillers across the country to make American tequila, mezcal, sotol, champagne, Bordeaux, and anything else that is protected by geographic indicators, triggering international incidents.
51-49% cognac, anyone?
Don’t look now. It’s already happening.
Products like Three Wells from Tucson, Arizona, and the controversial Besado
calling itself “tequila” are already capturing the public’s attention, and commanding shelf space.
And, for the second or third time (we’ve lost count), South Africa is throwing its hat in the ring with its version of “tequila.”
Here’s a thought:
Maybe THIS is what Luxco was going for, after all?
This Way to the Egress
The way we see it, the CRT will have its hands full policing impostors on this side of the wall and abroad. But…
As Master Marketer, and P.T. Barnum expert, Joe Vitale says, “people will spend their last dime to be entertained,” and that includes their favorite agave spirits.
By the way, P.T. Barnum never said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Instead, he professed that, “There’s a customer born every minute.”
Be an informed customer.
Demand authenticity and transparency from your favorite agave spirit producer.
Don’t be a sucker.
Texas Restaurant Association Market Place
When the call came from Andres Garcia, Embajador Tequila’s sales manager, to accompany him to the state’s largest tradeshow at the Texas Restaurant Association in Dallas, we jumped at the chance for another road trip.
The Texas Restaurant Association serves, educates and supports the restaurant industry in Texas. Alternating trade shows between Houston and Dallas, this year’s event was held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center next to the luxurious Omni Hotel in the heart of downtown Dallas.
Embajador would be participating in conjunction with ProMexico, a government entity that promotes Mexican companies in order to contribute to its economic and social development and strengthens the country’s image as a strategic global business partner.
Witness the brief ribbon cutting ceremony of the ProMexico section of the Texas Restaurant Association Market Place on June 28, 2015 in Dallas.
Aside from classic travel slogans (“We do things bigger in Texas,” and “It’s like a whole other country”), my only exposure to the city of Dallas was like everybody else’s who didn’t hail from Texas–the beloved Dallas TV show.
Overlooking the sweeping downtown skyline from the window of our room on the 19th floor of the Omni Hotel, you could almost hear the show’s theme song. The Ewing saga kept us glued to the set every Friday night.
The bigness of the city was certainly reflected in the size and scope of the Texas Restaurant Association Market Place.
Inside the section reserved for venders involved with ProMexico, Embajador was awarded a commanding corner booth that Andres decorated with bottles of his tequila.
Resembling a duty free perfume counter at an international airport, Embajador wowed fellow venders and attendees for the two straight days of the Market Place.
Above, Andres Garcia samples Embajador Tequila to attendees at the Texas Restaurant Association Market Place.
Texas Specialty Beverage–carrying an array of products like Tropics Natural Infusions, a 100% natural fruit infusions with a slew of tempting flavors as wild as 4 Berry and Ice Cream. Catering to specialty foodservice for premium cocktails and smoothies, as well as culinary and savory applications, they even concocted a signature margarita using Embajador reposado.
Zodiac Vodka–an American-made craft potato vodka. Produced from farm to bottle using 100% locally sourced ingredients, based in Idaho (of course!).
New Mexico Green Chile Company–a family owned company of brokers and distributors of the state’s prime crop (and a personal favorite of mine!), Hatch green chile, direct to distributors and restaurants throughout Texas.
Every product or service one could think of, from coffee service to professional barbecue grills, was featured in the Market Place. Similar to the Sabor Latino Food Show that we had attended in California earlier this spring, the organizers also provided a separate location for all Texas-based spirits that participated in the event.
It was no surprise to run into Empresario, a merged entity made up of Austin-based liquor companies who aim to give global distillers like Brown-Forman a run for their money. Among the partners are Pepe Z and Republic tequilas.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home
Rather than make the long drive home from Dallas to San Antonio in rush hour traffic, Andres Garcia and I decided to visit one of the city’s favorite places for tacos and tequila–Tacos And Tequila!
Earlier in the day, several members of the chain’s management and ownership had stopped by Embajador’s booth seeking new tequilas and mezcals to add to their already extensive selection. We decided to return the favor and visit the Routh Street location for dinner.
Emphasizing fresh ingredients in all their menu items at Tacos And Tequila, we were treated to tableside guacamole.
Manager Zak Baron explains the chain’s freshness philosophy.
What’s Up With the Rebar?
Tacos and Tequila has a unique way of expanding their bar and displaying even more agave spirits. Zak explains…
The Secret to A Successful Menu
Pinning down the secret to Tacos and Tequilas’ agave forward menu.
Zak and bartender Nadine reveal the one thing you should know about Tacos and Tequila.
Into The Sunset
All in all, a more than worthy trade show in the Texas Restaurant Association Market Place, topped off with a memorable celebratory dinner at Tacos And Tequila–
Dallas really does do things bigger and better!
Tequila Timeline: From Agave to the Worm
For some reason this article Tequila Timeline: From Agave to the Worm was reposted in Fast Company Magazine on Friday, November 20, 2009 from an earlier post on October 15, 2009. (Maybe it was because the editors forgot to add the cute tequila graphics the first time?)
Anyway, most of the timeline is historically accurate, except for this factoid:
“1873: Don Cenobio Sauza exports three barrels to El Paso, Texas, the first tequila in the United States. Today, the U.S. is the No. 1 market for tequila. Mexico is second. Third? Greece.”
Texas’ long history of laying claim to being the home of tequila in the United States can be credited to W. Park Kerr of the El Paso Chile Company fame. Not for anything that he may have said, but for what he did.
Kerr was the first Texas entrepreneur to distill a private label tequila (Tequila Naciónal) in Mexico to his specifications, thus opening the floodgates of recent tequila brands based in Texas such as RiAzúl in Houston, El Grado in Corpus Christi, Republic Tequila in Austin, Buscadores in San Antonio, and Dos Lunas in El Paso, among others.
The Rest of the Story
In his book La historia del tequila, de sus regiones y sus hombres, author Rogelio Luna Zamora recounts:
“‘…con destino a Nuevo Mexico sale una partida de 3 barriles y 6 botijas….’ El punto fronterizo por donde salió fue el Paso del Norte (hoy Ciudad Juárez) en aquel entonces, paso obligado a las mercaderías exportadas por tierra al mercado estadunidense.”
[“‘…with a destination of New Mexico there is a lot of 3 barrels and 6 jugs….’ The border town point of entry was el Paso del Norte (present day Juárez) that in those days was the required land passage for commodities exported into the American marketplace.”]
In 1873, New Mexico was a territory of the United States, but still considered part of Mexico. The final destination of Sauza’s shipment is believed to have been to the oldest capital city, Santa Fe. Being also the terminus of the legendary Santa Fe Trail, the route that opened the Southwest to trading with the Eastern United States, this conclusion only makes sense.
Thirty-nine years later, New Mexico joined the Union. Flash forward to today, and there is only one New Mexican owned brand of tequila (Silvercoin).
Perhaps now is the time for more New Mexico entrepreneurs to step up with tequila labels of their own?
Originally posted November 22, 2009 by TequilaRack.