New tequila Packs a Piquant Punch
Submitted by Tequila.net
August 03, 2008
Jalisco company Tequila La Cofradia has found a successful and rapidly growing business opportunity in the form of a unique “chili pepper-cured” tequila called Agave Loco, containing faint lime and salt flavors. The new investment, in partnership with a Chicago wine and spirits distributor, is in step with several other tequileras that hope to boost foreign sales through distinctive liquors.
Agave Loco is sold exclusively in the United States with a retail price of 20 dollars according to La Cofradia’s general director Carlos Hernandez.
Agave Loco doesn’t have the “harsh alcohol burn” of a normal tequila, its makers say.
“The idea came from some Americans that came to Guadalajara and demonstrated their project, and developed it with us,” said Hernandez. The first order of 2,200 cases was exported to the United States last month.
Agave Loco’s website cites the “legend” of a man who finds a jar of chilis in his grandmother’s home, which were pickled in tequila instead of vinegar. The peppers were delicious and so was the leftover tequila, which was found to be smoother than its unspiced derivation. El Torito, a traditional drink from Guerrero, is taken from this idea, consisting of mescal, vinegar, green chili, onion, tomato and cheese. Agave Loco’s chili-curing process is a variation of the technique used to make El Torito.
Chili-curing, claims the company, reduces the “harsh alcohol burn” one experiences with a normal tequila, leaving only the aftertaste of jalapeño and serrano peppers, as well as a little heat.
Agave Loco will be promoted intensely in liquor showcases throughout the United States to establish its position on the market. The spicy drink has been well received so far thanks to successful marketing strategies.
Tequila Patron and Tequila Herradura are also refining their standing in the U.S. market. Hernandez noted that establishing a new brand can turn around a five- to six-million-dollar profit in the first year, but can expect to sell around 100 million dollars of product in the future once the company gains a stronghold. Many U.S. entrepreneurs see already-established tequileras as a reliable business venture and are investing big bucks.
Hernandez also expects to expand La Cofradia’s business in Russia by 400 percent. Plans are also being developed to export tequila in bulk to India.