Hispanic Heritage Month isn't just a yearly celebration. It's a movement and an opportunity to celebrate and uplift Hispanic voices. During this time, we also strive to highlight the amazing work and influence of this culture and people!
In an effort to do this, RNDC will showcase a select group of brands ranging from wine to spirits. These brands will collectively donate to a foundation dedicated to exalting the Hispanic community. This year, donations will go to the Association of Latino Professionals For America. This amazing foundation is focused on providing professional development workshops and career resources for its members to empower and develop leaders for the nation. Want to give to this cause? Click HERE to give back!
Casillero Del Diablo
Casillero del Diablo wine cellar has a bit of an infamous history. You can find this beautiful vineyard tucked away just an hour outside of Santiago in a small, quiet town called Pirque. Pirque is home to the notorious Concha y Toro vineyard. It is here where its story began. A whisper became a rumor, and the rumor be came a legend. And thus, Casillero Del Diablo was born. Over a hundred years ago, founder Don Melchor Concha y Toro weaponized the imagination of locals to spread a rumor that the Devil himself guarded his private collection of wine. At the time, Melchor needed a way to keep thieves away from his prized wines. Who needs a security guard when you have rampant imaginations conjuring up every unholy reason not to steal from you? Fast forward over a hundred years, and not only is the legend alive and well, but so is Casillero Del Diablo! For the fifth year in a row, Casillero Del Diablo has been named the second most powerful wine brand in the world and the first in Latin America. In 2020, Casillero del Diablo was recognized and named New World Winery of the year. To top it off, they also received the prestigious Wine Star Award in 2020!
Part of this success is a testament to the winemaker's dedication to their craft. Crafters such as Chilean-born winemaker Sebastián Rodríguez. Living in rural Chile near local vineyards, Sebastián had an early contact with wine. Since then, Sebastián has mastered his craft and honed in on the pinot noir varietal. Casillero del Diablo certainly has a legendary past and an exciting future. Being a part of it is as easy as enjoying a bottle of their outstanding wine!
It's hard not to feel alegría or joy when you have a glass of wine in your hand. This feeling is ever-present in the winemaking process; from vine to vino, it's always there. To be exact, it's hard not to feel alegría when you are enjoying wine from Allegro Cellars. Perhaps this fact is so palpable that it inspired the very name: Allegro Cellars. Winemaker Karina Arroyo said it best when talking about Allegro wine, “that’s what wine is—it’s about getting that communal party together and being able to have fun and share a drink that everyone will enjoy.” The name and brand are also a nod to the thing that can move anyone—music!
Arroyo clearly knew this evident truth when searching for the inspiration that eventually became Allegro. As well as the feeling, Arroyo also found inspiration in family and friends. When you hear Arroyo discuss her winemaking and how wine has been made a part of different celebrations and gatherings, it’s hard not to be inspired. She also discussed how she has been able to get closer to people through one shared thing: a bottle of wine. With its Moscato seltzers, Moscato and sweet reds, Allegro will leave you satisfied and ready to move to the rhythm and music of life through wine. Check out Karina Arroyo talk about her journey of life through wine!
The pursuit of the best is the driving factor for many of today's modern wonders. In this case, we mean rum. The pursuit of the best rum was the seed that was implanted in Andres Brugal way back in 1888, which has since then flourished into something quite beautifully opaque and unique—Brugal Rum. This principle of making amazing rum is definitely one factor that drives the Brugal brand; another one is the pursuit to inspire people. Not only that, but to be inspired by others as well. This philosophy has kept the brand on a successful path since the 1800s. The success continued through the 1900s as well. In 1919, Brugal made history by creating the purest spirit known as “Ligero and limpio.” The following year, Brugal solidified itself in the rum world by crafting their first golden aged rum. Fast forward over a hundred years and we’re still enjoying it!
Though Brugal is rooted in the Dominican Republic, its acclaim and far-reaching legs have stretched to all corners of the world. This multigenerational rum has transcended time and space, turning each glass of golden goodness into the essence of its history. The legacy, or in this case dynasty, is perpetuated by the founder's very own lineage. Jassil Villanueva is one of Brugal's current Maestras Roneras and 5th generation descendant from the founder's family. Brugal's esteem goes further than the rum; it can also be found in the Master of Rum herself. Jassil , at 32, is the youngest master distiller working today for a major rum brand! Not only that, but Jassil also made history by being the first female Maestra Ronera. The role of Maestro Ronero isn’t like an average job title where you can simply apply, you have to be appointed. When Jassil got the role, she admitted to the pressure she felt to perform. But since that appointment in 2010, she has overperformed and even initiated a wave of positive change throughout the company and now 40% of Brugal’s managing staff is made up of women!
What once started as a sugarcane plantation in 1820 grew into something much bigger than anyone could've ever imagined—Don Q Rum. There’s a lot that goes into naming, and for the Don Q brand, its namesake comes from the famous literary character Don Quixote. Don Quixote’s search for a perfect world mirrors the brand’s search for perfect rum. Founder Don Juan Serrallés made the first batch of what would eventually become Don Q all the way back in 1865. Not only did he craft the first batch, he also made the Serrallés rum-making tradition. Things really started to pick up speed when the brand as we know it was introduced to the general marketplace in 1934. Fast forward several decades to the 2000s and the success doesn’t stop. In 2006 the brand was re-launched in the U.S., fortunately for us! In 2017 Don Q made waves again by taking home gold in the World Spirits Awards.
After all this time, the brand is still going strong and does not show any signs of slowing down. The same full-steam-ahead attitude could be said about Don Q's very own Master Blender and Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, Silvia Santiago. Santiago has been with the company since 1973 and has held many positions, making her somewhat of a savant in the world of rum.
She began her career with the company back in 1973 working with the fermentation process as a microbiologist. Throughout Santiago’s years at Don Q, she’s made her way through different positions such as Laboratory supervisor, Director of Quality Control, Compliance Director and now up to her current position. Her attitude and passion for what she does comes through in the brand image and can also be found in every bottle of Don Q. Enjoy the video below and discover more about the Don Q brand!
Stand tall. An adage that can be given as advice, or a way to describe Corralejo Tequila. This eye-catching tequila has a presence as towering as its prestige. In fact, Corralejo is so renowned that it's one of the few distilleries granted the right to make tequila outside of Jalisco. Within its 250-plus years of tequila making, it has racked up quite the recognition and accolades along the way. Not too long ago, in 2020, Corralejo garnered a gold medal in a flight of super-premium añejo tequilas. CEO and owner Don Leonardo Rodriguez successfully runs the Corralejo brand as it continues to write its 250-plus-year history.
Since tequila is something that is meant to be shared amongst friends and family, it stands to reason that you have your family with you along the way. Maite Pérez Rodríguez is the US and Latin America Brand Ambassador and Don Leonardo’s granddaughter! Maite has been embedded within the industry for as long as she can remember, making her the perfect choice to be the person who represents Corralejo all over the world! Watch this video and learn more about Maite and Corralejo.
400 Conejos Mezcal
400 Conejos Mezcal isn’t just a spirit. It’s an homage to ancient religious traditions. A tradition where priests would open up the line of communication to the gods through ritualistic drinking. These gods were known as the centzon-totchtin (400 rabbits). Knowing the history of the brand and mezcal itself is essential to get a deeper, more thorough understanding of the spirit.
This is where people such as Jaime Salas come in. Salas is the Head of Advocacy for Proximo Spirits’ agave portfolio. The extensive knowledge of mezcal, agave and its cultural significance Salas has is then bestowed upon bartenders and consumers so that they can have the appreciation this spirit deserves. His expertise within this category is formidable, and he also holds a Certificado de Catador Entrenado, given by world-renowned Master Tequilera Ana Maria Romero. As if that weren’t enough, Salas received a Tequila Expert & Taster certification, given by Academia Mexicana de Vino, Tequila y Mezcal S.A., as well as a Master Mezcalier accreditation by Comercam, the government entity in Mexico that regulates mezcal production and certification. When asked about his appreciation and experience within the mezcal category, Salas said, “I would ask that when you do pick up this glass, take a second to toast to those things that matter and to understand that there are previous generations that got us to this point.” Well, we can definitely drink to that!
Surpass celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month for only one month. Instead, do it all year long through these fantastic brands. By itself, paired with something delightful, straight up or in a cocktail, there are always tasty and refreshing ways to incorporate these libations into your celebraciones! You can stock up on these brands on eRNDC. Need cocktail recipes? We got you! For further enjoyment, continue below.
Enjoy responsibly. Cheers!
1.5 oz. 400 Conejos Mezcal Joven
2 oz. Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon
1 oz. Real Mango Puree
.75 oz. Lime Juice
1.5 oz. Ginger Beer
Method: Combine all ingredients, except ginger beer, over ice and shake. Top off with ginger beer, roll, and strain into Collins glass over fresh ice. Finally, Garnish with lime wheel and a dash of paprika.
Hand Of The Jimador
2 oz. Corralejo Reposado Tequila
1.5 oz. Tamarind Nectar
.75 oz. Real Crisp Apple Puree (Or Apple Sauce)
.75 oz. Lime Juice
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients, shake over ice, and strain into Collins glass over fresh ice. Finally, garnish with half Tajin rim.
1.5 oz. Don Q Cristal Rum
2 oz. Allegro White Moscato
1.5 oz. Pineapple Juice
.75 oz. Real Guava Puree
.75 oz. Lime Juice
Method: Combine all ingredients, shake over ice, and strain into Collins glass over fresh ice. Finally, garnish with pineapple fronds.
2 oz. Brugal 1888 Rum
1.5 oz. Horchata
2 oz. Espresso/Coffee
2 Dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients, shake over ice, and strain into Martini glass. Finally, garnish with whipped cream. ground cinnamon, and chocolate shavings.