Oakland's El Rey Launches Fruit- and Flower-Flavored Tequilas
The flavors include pineapple-coconut, strawberry, and hibiscus.
Image courtesy of El Rey
Newly rebranded but still importing time-testedly tasty tequilas distilled amidst the rich Jalisco lowlands of Mt. Cascahuín, family-owned El Rey Tequila — formerly based in Burlingame — is now headquartered in Oakland.
"The economy in the US and Mexico was impacted in 2010, so we pulled back during the recession and redesigned the label with a local design company," explained Oakland-born-and-bred marketing consultant Julian Jauregui.
Also a Bay Area native, El Rey's president Steve Navarro lives in Hayward and has operated East Bay businesses for twenty years; his son Nick Navarro is the company's vice-president and art director.
Along with traditional añejo, reposado, and silver tequilas, El Rey — sold at BevMo and other stores — has launched a line of naturally pineapple-coconut, strawberry, and hibiscus-flavored tequilas.
"At this point, flavored tequilas are relatively uncommon," Jauregui said, "but they're something that larger tequila companies are exploring and experimenting with.
"We've had our sights set on a line of tequila with natural flavor from our inception. Ultimately, our goal was to introduce tequila to a wider audience who prefer fruitier-tasting drinks or think that they don't like tequila due to the the stigma it can tend to have."
The small Cascahuín distillery where the award-winning El Rey tequilas are made was founded in 1904 and is surrounded by the mineral-spiked red soil where agave grows well.
"A lot of people's 'bad' experiences with tequila are usually because they weren't drinking 100 percent blue Weber agave" — that is, the specific cultivar known as Tequilana Weber Azul.
"Ours is the highest quality, and for those who need a softer, fruitier introduction to tequila or just some variety, that's where the flavors come in."