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Kilinga Bacanora Is A Spirit Distilled To Make Mama Proud

by Rudy Sanchez on 05/19/2022 | 3 Minute Read

Tequila and mezcal fans are familiar with the agave plant, and the succulent also gets used to make the lesser-known Sonoran bacanora. The agave spirit is over 300 years old, but bacanora’s production and distribution were banned in 1915, punishable by hanging, making it an underground outlaw liquor until 1992. 

In 2000, the Sonoran specialty finally received a denomination of origin, defining how and where bacanora gets made, similar to tequila and mezcal. As a result of its long-time outlaw status, bacanora’s reach has remained regional for the most part, while its agave cousins gained popularity nationally and abroad.

Founded in 2018 by Rodrigo Bojorquez Bours, Kilinga is a bacanora brand named after his family’s matriarch as a testament to her passion, joy for life, and uncompromising standards. Bojorquez’s mother also encouraged him to turn his hobby into a full-fledged business, with Kilinga launching in the US, introducing the spirit to American consumers in eye-catching bottles.

Editorial photograph

Kilinga’s visual identity is just as vibrant as the bacanora’s namesake, with branding and creative work by agencies Colangelo and Algoritmo Design. The labels feature a collage of desert flora, such as blooming cacti and agave, interspersed with portions of the female form. Additionally, the label is reminiscent of the untamed beauty of Sonora and features gold foil to complement the sophisticated typography.

“Overall, our goal was to bring Kilinga bacanora to life in the world in its true form and inspire curiosity, passion for the amazing liquids and the unique approach, provenance, and creativity it embodies,” said Cynthia Finkelman, senior vice president of Colangelo. “Our work needed to capture the bit of wildness, beauty, mischief, irrepressible nature, seductiveness, and allure of this undiscovered brand.”

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

The global appeal of Mexican tequila and mezcal creates an opportunity for bacanora, especially in America. Kilinga’s packaging makes an artful introduction to consumers looking for something new yet somewhat familiar, inspiring exploration and discovery. The label design balances the depiction of raw beauty with elegance and refinement while honoring the founder’s mother.

“The spirit of our founder as a young girl infuses our brand. Naughty without malice, edgy without danger. Just the right amount of attitude brings joy and excitement to any occasion,” Finkleman said.

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“Kilinga’s brand identity and packaging reflect untamed beauty, wilderness, and the irrepressible in a collage,” said Karla Cruz, former co-partner, Algoritmo. “It satisfies the need to explore both outward and inward. To be challenged and stimulated, but also to experience awe and pleasure.”

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Silvestre and Blanco varieties of Kilinga bacanora are available now in select stores in California, New Jersey, and New York, with online sales coming soon. Kilinga also plans to release aged Reposado and Añejo this summer.

Images courtesy of Kilinga.

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