Tepozan Tequila Is One of Jalisco's Best Kept Secrets

by Bill McCool on 06/02/2021 | 3 Minute Read

Tequila is perhaps one of the most misunderstood spirits sitting on your bar cart or taking up valuable real estate at your local watering hole. Long considered that wicked hooch you shoot after sucking on a lime and licking some salt off the back of your hand or that neon mixto juice swirling around in a sticky machine at one of your casual neighborhood chain restaurants, tequila gets a pretty bad wrap. Sure, you can enjoy it in a margarita or any other cocktail, but it’s also a fine sipping spirit that you can enjoy in the same manner you would a beautifully aged bourbon.

But, if you want to do that, it helps to have a pretty damn good tequila. And now, we have Tepozan, one of Mexico’s best-hidden secrets, coming to the US at long last.

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There aren’t many tequilas that are grown and bottled at their source, but Jalisco’s Tepozan does just that, making it a genuine farm-to-glass spirit. Made by master distiller Don Carlos, the brand keeps it clean and traditional, utilizing just water from a volcanic-filtered natural mineral spring, blue agave, and yeast from nearby fruit trees that’s naturally occurring. 

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They also just so happen to have some exceptional branding.

To bottle this handcrafted spirit, they turned to Mexico City design agency Brutal. Taking cues from pre-Hispanic Aztec culture and the country’s postmodernism movement, they use mythical symbols to subtle and grand effect. Early on, the studio landed on a Nahuatl legend, where it was said that if a butterfly landed on your hand, you could make a wish. Once the butterfly leaves you, it will pay a visit to Xochiquetzal, the goddess of joy and flowers, where your wish will get granted.

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Editorial photograph

The bottle features a beautifully illustrated hand with a butterfly about to land in its palm, and on the back label, you’ll find another image of a person about to be greeted by the same winged insect. Copy further embellishes this legend, reading, “The butterfly subtly settled on his finger, and the moved man whispered to her his deepest desire; the one of fulfilling men with happiness to rejoice their hearts. Tepozán tequila is the manifestation of Master Distiller Don Carlos’ greatest wish.”

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The bold and somewhat chunky serif typography used on the bottle takes inspiration from the Mexican modernism movement of the 50s, and the tequila is hand-bottled and labeled, complete with a wax dipping and seal. The three variants come in white (the Blanco), red (Reposado, aged four months in Kentucky white oak bourbon barrels), and black (a 14-month barrel-aged Añejo) labels.

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With Tepozan, Brutal mixes the present with the past for a contemporary brand that’s ripe for discovery, and lucky for us, we just might be able to find a bottle this summer.

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