Black-Owned Tequila Brands for Your Next Spring FiestaMar 24, 2023 02:00PM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
Tequila was first produced in the 16th century, close to the Mexican city of Tequila, where it gets its name. The beverage is made from the blue agave plant, which grows in the red volcanic soil present in the city. This growth is a result of the world’s tequila tastes becoming more refined.
Another reason for tequila’s rising popularity is its reported health benefits. While peer-researched scientific studies have not conclusively proved these claims, many tequila drinkers believe the spirit helps regulate their metabolism and even encourages them to eat fewer calories. Fine tequilas also have a reputation for being the one liquor that doesn’t cause hangovers.
Mexico’s signature spirit can be consumed in many ways: neat, chilled, or in a classic cocktail like a margarita. Check out these 12 Black-owned brands that will show you that tequila, and other agave-based spirits, can be for more than just a good time!
This tequila has its roots in professional basketball. In 2016, NBA legend Michael Jordan had dinner with Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens, Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck and his wife, Emilia Fazzalari. While they may have all been rivals on the court, off the court, they shared a love of tequila that led to the launch of Cincoro. The brand currently offers four expressions—blanco, reposado, añejo and extra añejo. Cincoro Tequila captures the essence of both terroirs, uniquely using 100% Blue Weber Agave harvest from the Highland and Lowland appellations of Jalisco, Mexico.
Nayana Ferguson launched the brand, based in Detroit, with her husband, Don, and co-founder Mike Rowold in 2018. Anteel Tequila is a unique blend of both the Highland and Lowland Agave, which are grown between 6 and 7 years before harvesting to begin the cooking process. All Anteel Tequila expressions are twice distilled, using natural spring water during the process as well as an oxygenation / cold-filtered process to create one of the smoothest tequilas in the world. Ferguson turned her passion for the spirit into profits. Anteel has three expressions in its portfolio, including the world’s only coconut lime blanco tequila.
Owner Asiaa Karriem studied tequilas for many years. She had one tequila that was perfect for drinking straight from the bottle. After many years of experimenting and tasting the best of the best tequilas in the world, she decided to work with master distillers in Jalisco, Mexico, to create a tequila profile that would be so diverse that it would be great neat, chilled, or mixed. Made in Mexico from premier agave plants, Reyalibre delivers a smooth, bold-tasting tequila suitable for royalty while capturing the free energy of the adventurous.
Earl Stevens, better known by his stage name E-40, is an American rapper and a record label owner. He spent years visiting different distillers in Mexico, and he worked with master blenders to find just the right taste profile for his E. Cuarenta (“E40” in Spanish). He selected a small boutique distillery that still uses the old-world process of making tequila alone with modern facilities for quality and product consistency. The company’s tequila expressions are blanco, reposado and añejo.
Michael Jordan isn't the only NBA-associated Black entrepreneur with his own tequila brand. NBA legend LeBron James and his partner, American sports-marketing businessman and media personality Maverick Carter, teamed up with the woman behind Cîroc’s success, D'Angela Dia Simms, to start Lobos 1707. Within the design of every Lobos 1707 bottle are elements that retell the legend - The Osorio coat of arms composed of wolves, the escutcheon animal, and the Agave Wind Rose Compass representing an adventurous spirit and honouring the brand's Spanish and Mexican heritage. A different hue on each bottle evokes the liquid’s origin: Joven’s blue for the Blue Weber agave, Reposado’s rich red Jalisco clay, bronze for Extra Añejo’s blazing sun, a conduit of its ageing, and Mezcal’s black Oaxacan volcanic soil.
Casa De Reyes is a story of Monroe Lipsey, Flex Jackson, and Dekoda Watson got together with the goal to deliver a premium quality tequila and setting the example that friends can turn to brothers and brothers can turn into a vessel set to embark on an unforgettable experience to build a timeless brand. Their goal is to be an example of Black Excellence by delivering a product that brings people together to have elevating conversations that lead to memorable experiences.
Shadow Tequila is prepared in Jalisco Valley by NOM 1439 which is number 22 on the top 114 distilleries list. CEO Teddy Jasper and VP Tiara Jasper partnered with a distillery in Jalisco, Mexico that had a unique terroir with responsibly sourced ingredients. Each batch is 100% customized and rigorously taste tested to ensure the highest quality and consistency.
Ego Tequila is distilled in the heart of Jalisco, Mexico using natural spring water from a local inactive volcano, agave in lowland & highland regions. Ricki Kelly founded Ego Tequila when she was only 24 years old. Kelly named the brand after the positive way that tequila makes you feel. This Texas-based tequila is, like all authentic tequilas, distilled in Mexico. Since its inception, it has grown to become one of the most popular brands in the Southwest. Ego Tequila is proud to partner with a family-owned distiller, that is now the 11th largest export in Mexico, and is the most awarded Tequila distillery in the country.
Brought to you by founder and actor Dwayne Johnson, and made in the Jalisco Highlands, Teremana Tequila has a rich flavor and is a sustainable, socially conscious brand with great taste to boot. Teremana appropriately means “spirit of the earth.” This brand employs a number of environmentally friendly practices, including composting, filtering run-off water, and reducing its carbon footprint. Utilizing 100% brick oven roasting allows Teremana to bring out the bright citrus flavors of their highlands agave. This traditional process takes time, and they roast for three days before shredding our agave to extract the juices for fermentation.
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Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies.
She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.
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