When co-owners Daniel Carrasco Brihuega and Gabriellë Marks crossed paths in Mexico, early discussions about their shared passion for Tequila created the spark for what has become a unique and dynamic brand, ‘Coracho’.
After living on the White Isle for many years Gabriellë dreamt of combining the spirit of Ibiza with a unique brand of Tequila. Mexican law dictates that Tequila must be produced within limited municipalities of Mexico and so Gabriellë travelled to the home of Tequila production to find a way of combining Tequila with the essence of Ibiza. It was in Guadalajara that Gabriellë was introduced to Daniel who shared her interest in Tequila production and their shared vision flourished into the creation of ‘Casa Coracho’. For the first time Mexico and Ibiza would connect to create the unique artisan Tequila, Coracho and other agave products.
Embarking on the production of a Tequila is a serious business as the regulations (‘NOM’) are very strictly controlled by the Mexico government, not just for the production but for all processes relating to the supply of the agave, bottling, marketing and business practices. Tequila producers must be committed and passionate about their brands and products because the end-to-end process takes years.
Tequila is highly protected by Mexico as the spirit features in the country’s history as far back as the Aztecs when ‘pulque’ (a primitive version of Tequila) was used as a ceremonial drink. When the Spanish invaded Mexico in 1519 they did not appreciate the taste of the early liquor and so distilled it creating ‘Vino de Mezcal’. It was not until 1902 that Tequila was awarded its official definition, distinct from other agave products such as Mezcal. Whilst Mezcal can be produced from several types of agave, Tequila is unique as it must be produced from just one variety of weber blue agave to meet the rigid Tequila classification.
Coracho is founded upon the ethos of ‘connection’. The name itself is derived from the ancestral territories of the Coras and the Huicholes located near the valley of Jalisco and the sea of Nayarit, the largest blue agave producing region of Mexico. The two cultures are united by a common language, Corachol, which inspired the co-founders to use as the basis of Coracho’s brand name. Coracho is unique as whilst its production comes from a singular variety of agave, the plants are grown in two distinct regions with varying climates and soil conditions, thus achieving an enhanced flavour distinct from other brands.
All Coracho Tequila has a 100% blue weber agave classification. The agave’s yeast transforms the natural sugar into alcohol over a period of 72 hours. Following the double distillation in copper barrels, the Tequila reaches its optimum alcohol content and thereafter is aged in oak barrels. The type of barrel and period of ageing subsequently determines the classification of the Tequila.
Casa Coracho currently has five Tequila varieties in production. Most will be familiar with the classifications Blanco, Reposado and Añejo. The more unusual Rosa is barrelled for 6 days in Merlot oak barrels giving it an attractive pink appearance and softer tasting notes, which pairs perfectly with seafood. The more refined Cristalino, originating from the Añejo category, requires a process of filtration using organic coconut shell which acts as a carbon filter to extract the usual yellow tones of Añejo, resulting in a crystal clear softer Añejo taste.
On an economic and social level, Daniel and Gabriellë take the responsibility of the brand very seriously. In line with its ethos of connection they have brought the local producers and workforces together. Casa Coracho contributes to the development of the towns of Tonalá where their bottles are produced using 100% recycled local glass. It also helps support the town of Amatitán by employing single women who are often living in disadvantaged conditions and who are keen to enter the labour market.
Sustainability as well as quality is at the forefront of their sourcing and production. Unlike many other brands the agave plant is allowed to reach the age of 7 years during its cultivation, encouraging improved quality and depth of flavour. The land is farmed using traditional methods which ensure it is protected and regenerated using crop rotation methods. Daniel explains “It is important to respect the earth’s natural rhythm and the growth of the plant. We incorporate artisan and handcrafted production methods wherever possible as we are confident this brings its rewards in the quality and taste of the final product.”
Ibiza is integral to the brand’s creation and Casa Coracho will soon be producing other agave-based products such as Agave Sirop, incorporating Ibiza’s natural produce such as carob, hibiscus and verbena. Gabriellë told us “The connection between Mexico and Ibiza is at the heart of what we create. Daniel and I had a shared vision from the outset, to create an exciting range of products which combine the creative, natural and economic resources of Mexico and Ibiza.”
At recent tastings in Ibiza the Coracho tequila range has been extremely well received, not just by members of the public but also by one of the most highly regarded connoisseurs Gabriela Cañedo Sandoval, considered one of the best Tequila tasters in the world. It has also been recognised by the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry (CNIT). It won’t be too long until we see Coracho on the top shelves of the finest restaurants and cocktail bars in Ibiza and beyond.