Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with These Latinx-Owned Alcohol Brands
From Ron del Barrilito Rum to Clase Azul Tequila, these are key brands to carry
For Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated annually from September 15 to October 15, BevAlc Insights is highlighting popular Latinx-founded and -owned brands available on Drizly that retailers may wish to consider stocking. Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories and cultures of Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, which are countries and regions that have strong wine and spirits histories.
As Susana Cardona, director of brand experience at Clase Azul Tequila, explains: “From the agave fields of Mexico to the sugar cane plantations in the Caribbean to the South American vineyards, Latinx producers have long contributed to the global spirits industry.”
To support Hispanic brands year round, Eduardo Bacardi, the director of sales and marketing for Ron del Barrilito, suggests that retailers “ask questions and get to know not only the product but also the story and individuals behind the brand.” Bacardi further explains that taking the time to understand a brand’s history can directly impact sales. “Consumers look for an authentic and real story because that translates to an authentic and real product,” he says.
These brands’ history and connection to their Hispanic heritage are just as unique as the products they create.
Clase Azul Tequila
These eye-catching bottles are individually hand-painted and sculpted by some 100 artisans in the Mexican town of Santa Maria Canchesda. Clase Azul was founded and is led by Arturo Lomelí in Guadalajara, Mexico. “Our founder started the company motivated by the purpose of preserving and celebrating the magic of Mexican culture and artistry. Each of our products offers the buyer a piece of our Mexican heritage” says Cardona.
Ron del Barrilito Rum
For almost 140 years, not much has changed about Ron del Barrilito, it is Puerto Rico’s oldest rum still in production. Four generations of the Fernández family have continued to make Ron del Barrilito the same way they did in 1880. From bottle labels or the estate itself, the original character of the brand remains. According to Bacardi: “Our history is rich; the world around us has changed so much but when you step into the hacienda it feels like being transported back in time.”
Rick Martinez began making sangria in his kitchen for friends and family. When they started asking for bottles to take to parties and give as gifts, he realized there was a gap in the market. Bottled sangria didn’t taste as good as homemade, so he spent the next three years figuring out how to make high-quality bottled sangria with real fruit juice and quality wine.
Martinez, president and founder of Señor Sangria, says his entrepreneurial spirit is inspired by his parents who left Cuba and immigrated to the United States, “When I think about them arriving in a new country with nothing and not speaking the language yet finding a way to build a life for our family, that fuels me.”
Iván Saldaña, creator and biologist of Montelobos Mezcal, built the brand with a commitment to sustainability after spending most of his life studying plants. “Dedication to sourcing agave and other raw materials, and conserving an ecological balance by avoiding the depletion of natural resources, are the main ways in which the brand works to minimize impact and maximize progress for the local community,” Saldaña says.
Casa Dragones Tequila
Each bottle of Casa Dragones is hand-signed and numbered, marking the brand’s commitment to making small-batch, high-quality sipping tequila. González Nieves, co-founder and CEO of Casa Dragones, is the first female to hold the Maestra Tequilera and has been named to Forbes Mexico’s Top 50 business women list.
Don Q Rum
Founded in 1934 by the Serrallés family in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the rum was named after Don Quixote, the family’s favorite novel. Since then, the passion for rum making has been passed through six generations of the Serrallés family.
Ramon Bilbao Wines
This Spanish winery, established by Ramón Bilbao in 1929, aims to keep the namesake’s legacy alive as the brand continues to grow. In 2019, the brand was named one of the world’s most admired wine brands by Drinks International.
Banhez Cooperative is owned by 36 families of farmers and mezcaleros in the central valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. Francisco Javier Perez Cruz founded Banhez to challenge the inconsistent work, low wages, and an uncertain future that had been associated with the mezcal industry, in an effort to improve the lives of mezcaleros and their families.