Ask a Mexican

 Ask a Mexican

Tequila is a sacred Mexican drink, and it has the appellation of origin even; but many famous and not so famous foreigners have launched their own brands and made millions from them, making their brands even more famous than Mexican brands. What do you think?

Tatiana Sanchez, 29, factory worker. I think those business owners have no idea what tequila represents for us and just care about making money. I mean, sure, they can like tequila just like many of us like whisky without being Irish, but we don’t try to adopt and appropriate the culture. What are they going to know about tequila’s history, impact, and tradition? I really hate for example, that many tequila brands are better than Patron, but Patron is famous because of rappers and featured in videos where the context is partying and mistreating women and driving fancy cars with gold and diamonds hanging from every inch of their bodies which could not be farther from the truth. Tequila is made by and for the working people to enjoy without pretension. 

Leobardo García, 47, farmer. I think it’s okay. I mean the sun shines for everyone, and if they are giving our people jobs it’s okay. I only hope they are doing it the right way and paying fair wages and not giving into corruption, because it’s very sad to know that foreign money takes advantage of local disadvantages. I think tequila has put us in a different place as a country and we should be proud to have such a good product that is so full of tradition and love out there in the world, loved by millions. 

Julia Pardo, 59, manager. It’s completely ridiculous to have a famous person as the owner and face of the brand. I know there are many foreign investors since the beginning of times in the tequila industry, but what does a model have to do with making tequila and posing on a horse with braids in her hair? It only disrespects us as a culture, and she probably just slapped some money around to be the pretty face of the company. If they want to set up a company here, they should have American conditions and pay American money. That would earn so much respect and we would all appreciate an actual effort. 

Irma Ulloa, 37, housekeeper. I think it’s not bad if they build their own distillery and buy agave ethically, but that is mostly not the case. It’s a very closed industry, almost a mafia; all the distilleries outsource the tequila and sell it to the best buyer, and there’s also the council which takes a huge chunk of the profit and keeps it in the same mafia. Without paying those fees, you can’t get the “tequila” label, and many small brands can’t compete with those prices. It would be great if those famous people partnered with local producers and made the process transparent and fair, but it doesn’t happen like that. 

Richard Medina, production manager. That tequila is only for foreigners and it’s good to have them producing their own tequila for their own people. That way they don’t overprice our brands and we keep the good stuff for ourselves. Most likely that tequila is just the same as some local brand but in a prettier bottle with a nicer label and better marketing campaigns, but we let them think the rappers and models themselves come and work the land, supervise the distillation process and bottle it with their own hands. I would never buy those brands. I know better. 

Raul Gomez, 41, dentist. At the end of the day, cultural appropriation or not, it’s money that is somehow making its way to our country and its people. I think there’s enough market for everyone and if someone has the capital and marketing tools to have their own brand, they will take advantage of whatever they can. I have never tried the famous’ tequila and probably wouldn’t know that I can get far better liquid locally.