8 Latinx-Owned Spirits to Build Up Your Home Bar, According to Bartenders
Latinx and Hispanic countries produce some of the world’s most popular — and lesser known — spirits (I see you, pulque!). These bottles are filled with more than just flavor; they’re infused with tradition and the dedication of the people behind their craft. When I raise my glass, I know it’s not just a drink in my hand — it’s an entryway to cultural stories and the artisans who pour their heart and soul into every bottle.
But with an oversaturated market, how do you identify the bottles that deserve a spot on your bar cart? I’ve jumped behind the bar with some of our favorite bartenders to uncover their go-to gems among Latinx-owned liquor brands, with a focus on tequila, mezcal, pisco, and rum (number eight got a special shout-out from two separate bartenders). Your corner liquor store might not have some of these on hand, but trust me — they’re worth going out of the way for.
Whether you’re looking to infuse new life into your libations, connect to the cultural aspect behind the craft, or just want to shine at Friendsgiving dinner with your liquor knowledge, these bottles hold more than what meets the eye.
1. Aldez Organic Tequila
“The owners, Manuel and Jennifer Aczualdez, tapped a good friend of mine, Ariel Suarez, to partner with them to launch this brand. What I like about Aldez Tequila is the company’s sustainability practices. It is a certified organic, artisanal tequila bottled by using recycled Coca-Cola glass and sealed with recycled cork. The Aldez Reposado’s bold and rich flavors, derived from an eight-month aging process in reclaimed bourbon casks, make it a great option for savoring on the rocks, but also lends itself beautifully to crafting a classic old-fashioned cocktail. The Aldez Blanco, the brand’s unaged version, has black pepper and citrus notes that make it perfect for a Paloma and other refreshing cocktails.” —Darnell Holguin, founder of The Silver Sun Group, a beverage consultancy, New York City
Buy: Aldez Organic Reposado Tequila, $53.94 for 750 ml at Drizly
2. Mijenta Tequila
“Many high-end tequilas are now owned by celebrities, but Mijenta [owned by Juan Coronado] is out there, competing in the market, and doing sustainable work. In Spain, they’re taking over; it’s nice to see Latin folks doing a great job in Europe because bringing in Latin products that aren’t big brands is tricky. The tequila has a honeysuckle flavor, and the notes are fresh. It’s going to be a little bit off-dry — it’s not vegetable-forward like jalapenos and peppers. With this one, you get more fresh flowers, like eucalyptus. It’s delicious. If I’m going to make a margarita or if I’m going to make something to sip, that’s my go-to tequila at the moment.” —Natasha Bermudez, a bar director at Llama Inn and Llama San in New York City, and Llama Inn Madrid
Buy: Mijenta Blanco Tequila, $39.99 for 750 ml at Drizly
3. G4 Tequila
“G4 Tequila is an exceptional, delicious tequila from the highlands of Jalisco. Because it’s from an area above sea level by many meters, the agave plant is more stressed to absorb nutrients and sustain itself. As it becomes more stressed, the stress that the agave plant experiences gives it more floral aromas and cleaner taste. It’s very different from a lowland tequila. The owner is Felipe Camarena, a fourth-generation tequila maker; That’s why it’s called G4.” —Alex Valencia, co-owner and mixologist at La Contenta Restaurants
Buy: G4 Tequila Blanco, $45.99 for 750 ml at Total Wine & More
4. La Gritona Reposado
“La Gritona Reposado Tequila is a Latinx woman-owned brand. My rep offered it, and I loved it, and it worked in the program I was running at the time. I find it interesting that [Melly Barajas, the master distiller] just focuses on a reposado. It is her choice to put her energy into one expression, and I respect that. La Gritona can be used in cocktails, but is a fine sipping reposado.” —Lynnette Marrero, co-founder of Speed Rack, MasterClass host, and award-winning bartender
Buy: La Gritona Reposado Tequila, $33.99 for 375 ml at Drizly
5. Mezcal Dixeebe
“Dixieebee means health or cheers in Zapotec. The owner is a fifth-generation mezcal producer who puts a lot of effort into making excellent mezcals. These can compete with any top-notch mezcal in the world. They’re 100% artisanal. Don Valentín has sent his tequilas to laboratories to see how many different types of aromas and flavors scientists can detect, and they have found over a thousand — imagine that. You can mix Dixeebe or drink it straight. If you drink it straight, you sip it almost as if you were giving it little kisses. That’s how you enjoy a mezcal of this quality.” —Alex Valencia, co-owner and mixologist at La Contenta Restaurants
Buy: Mezcal Dixeebe Espadin, $54.99 for 375 ml at Old Town Tequila
6. Yola Mezcal
“Yola Mezcal is female- and Latin-owned, and they have a mezcal bar in Mexico City. [The founder] Yola Jiminez doesn’t have a huge company or a lot of people working for her, but she has made a name for herself. The tequila drinks beautifully, and it’s nice and fresh. The owner uses espadin, which is [a type of agave that’s] easier to grow. It doesn’t drink like anything else for me. It has a pleasant smoke smell that isn’t overpowering. It’s actually very refreshing on the palate.” —Natasha Bermudez, a bar director at Llama Inn and Llama San in New York City, and Llama Inn Madrid
Buy: Yola Mezcal, $45.99 for 750 ml at Drizly
7. Suyo Pisco
“Suyo is on a pisco discovery mission that aims to partner with independently owned vineyards to share small-batch, single-origin pisco with the world. Alex [Hildebrandt] and Ian [Leggett], Peruvian American founders of SUYO Pisco, began exploring the category in 2019 as a passion project in search of their favorite piscos. They quickly realized that the expressions of the spirit they loved the most were completely unknown outside their own regions, let alone outside of Peru, so they decided to create SUYO. I like that they are doing single-origin pisco and working in a co-op model. Suyo is beautiful in stirred classic cocktail variations, like a Manhattan, or your classic or not-so-classic variation on the pisco sour. —Lynnette Marrero, co-founder of Speed Rack, MasterClass host, and award-winning bartender
Buy: SUYO Pisco No. 1 Quebranta, $51.99 for 750 ml at Drizly
8. Pa’Lante Rum
Pa’lante Rum is a brand that was brought to my attention by a mutual friend. It’s a Cuban-owned brand that’s doing fun stuff with its rums by using Mexican sugarcane with a Cuban style of making rum. They have fun expressions like a botanical with basil, ginger, and cinnamon, and a coffee style with Mexican coffee beans. The Pa’lante Botanical rum can function like a gin in many ways. The botanicals add complexity to something as simple as a Daiquiri. —Darnell Holguin, founder of The Silver Sun Group, a beverage consultancy, New York City
Buy: Pa’Lante Botanical Rum, $40 for 750 ml at Pa’Lante
Did your favorite make the list? Tell us about it in the comments below.