It’s hard to find a business or a brand that isn’t currently being turned inside out by a wave of young and ambitious entrepreneurs. Add to that, over the past decade, tequila has been quietly rebelling—its image overhauled from slurpy frat boy shots to a high-brow spirit, designed to be proudly displayed on a mantle or bar cart and sipped with ease.
Launched in 2013, by two under-30 British friends Max Davies-Gilbert and Robin Clough, Tequila Enemigo is at the forefront of that regime change. To start, they shattered the myth that tequila can’t be aged with their two award-winning expressions. Tequila Enemigo’s Añejo Cristalino 89 is aged for over a year, while Extra Añejo 00 stays put for at least three. Traditionally, tequila is aged in re-used Bourbon barrels, but Enemigo uses handmade American oak vessels, hewn from white Quercus alba oak that has been air dried for at least 26 months.
It is immediately clear that there is an element of theatre and assurance within the production process. All the water used comes from volcanic springs, infusing each bottle with a smokey mineral richness that can’t be faked. And in keeping with the ethos of many young brands springing to market as of late, sustainability is always front of mind. To this end, Enemigo does not use fossil fuels and recycles any leftover agave to power their ovens.
This attention to detail has been recognized consistently, and since launch the brand has won 55 awards across three continents, including 19 double gold accolades for the spirits themselves.
More recently, they’ve expanded in the United States, first launching in New York City in partnership with Park Avenue Liquor, where they debuted 500 sleek first-edition bottles branded exclusively to the Manhattan outfit.
From there, the Enemigo founders secured a national distribution deal, as well as announcing a series of notable high-gloss partnerships. Among these was an innovative collaboration with California-based Latitude 33 Aviation, one of states’s leading companies for private jet charter, aircraft management, and aircraft sales. “I could not think of a better brand to partner with,” Brian Haffeman, marketing manager for Latitude 33 Aviation observed at the launch. “Like Tequila Enemigo, Latitude 33 Aviation continues to bring the highest quality product to market and lets that do the talking for us.”
On an ongoing basis, Latitude 33 Aviation will offer Tequila Enemigo across its fleet of aircraft and overtime the two brands will be expanding the partnership to include a number of exclusive experiences. This means that beyond sipping tequila from a flute glass in the sky, it will soon be possible to book seriously smart adventures, including a winter snow getaway and tequila experience in Aspen, as well as a trip to the brand’s exclusive distillery in Mexico.
But perhaps the brand’s biggest accomplishment is also its most recent—that Enemigo will be launching nationally in Mexico at the end of this year. It might seem perfunctory, but in reality few top US- and UK-based tequila brands have managed to establish themselves in the very place the spirit originates.