By Sacha Delfosse
A new tequila range named after Don José Lopez Portillo, the controversial ex-Mexican president, has been made available locally.
JLP is produced at the Productos Finos De Agave distillery and is available in blanco, reposado and añejo.
The range pays tribute to Portillo, whose ancestry can be traced back to the pioneers of tequila production, and who also helped protect tequila’s heritage whilst president.
The brand has just started being distributed in Australia by The President’s Tequila, owned by Michael Waters, Michael Jones and Sam Adigrati, with the product currently available in Melbourne bars such as Mamasita.
Waters says the company wants to handle its own distribution, grow the number of its on-premise stockists and will be mainly targeting NSW and VIC at the moment.
“It’s really early days; we are just in discussions with a lot of other people. We want to keep distribution in house, and have a real family feel to it. What we are doing means a lot of leg work for us but it means it’s a more intimate brand,” he said.
Part of making the product more appealing has been a complete rebranding of the bottle and changing the brand trademark from Jose Lopez Portillo to JLP.
“We’ve changed from the older looking bottle with square shoulder and wooden corks to a sleeker design with glass stoppers. We’re definitely going for the sleek look, and want to offer a good quality, premium 100 percent agave tequila that’s grown in the volcanic soils of Jalisco, which is approachable to the young market,” Waters said.
“Our main focus is to get the public to appreciate tequila and forget about the hangovers and the firewater they throw down with salt and lemon. We want this to be a premium product that looks sleek and attracts a lot of people so they can enjoy what tequila is supposed to taste like.”
The company hopes to make its mark on the local tequila market by focussing on its competitive pricing, with the cost of a shot averaging between $12-14, as well as promoting its premium quality and brand history.