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Spare Change

with John des Rosiers

The Founder’s Conviction

Roughly 90% of every drop of tequila consumed in both the US and Mexico has something added to it.

Tequila is one of the few liquor categories that allows producers to add flavoring and other elements to change the final product in drastic ways. It is even controlled, sanctioned, and supported by tequila’s governing control organization. In contrast, most bourbon is tightly regulated, just like Single Malt Scotch, and even most vodkas are just distilled grain spirit—with the exception of specifically flavored varieties. 

Tequila? Nope. Most of the drops a customer drinks are filled with fake flavors, fake color and fake ingredients that have no place in such an incredible spirit from such an incredible place made from truly amazing plants and people. 

Filled is technically an exaggeration, brands can only add 1% by weight of things like sugar, glycerin, agave sweeteners, multiple caramel colorings, and other flavors (you know the real natural ones like banana or cupcake). This 1% rule is old, from a time when flavors and colors were much less potent. Modern flavors and colors can impact a tequila in drastic ways, making the spirit in the bottle unrecognizable from the real thing. I know, I tried an up and coming brand gaining in popularity the other day and its unique level of terribleness inspired this first posting. 

So why are the additives still so prevalent in modern Tequila? There must be a reason for just about every brand to alter their tequilas’ flavor. The real reason for most brands is that their tequila is flawed, and it does not taste good to consumers without the flavoring and color. 

The sweetness from sugars both covers up the harshness of improper fermentation and distillation techniques, and it fools your pallet into thinking the tequila is yummy. Your brain senses sugar – says it’s good! Give me more! 

The glycerin gives a false impression of texture and creaminess. The coloring that makes tequila look like bourbon is meant to fool customers into believing that what’s in the bottle is better, longer aged and therefore justifies a higher price. It’s a trick, a gimmick, a mirage, and this sort of practice is dishonest at best as it leads customers away from true tequila and its honest expression. 

The newest celebrity brand of the week is just as culpable. Celebrities don’t care about quality or the amazing culture and terroir in tequila. Because of this their fame is wasted on an opportunity to help raise tequila’s standing in the world. For them it’s just about profit and selling off their brand to a huge corporation later. 

When made properly showing every bit of its million year old volcanic terroir, tequila is one of the world’s finest spirits. The idea is that everyone should be making it better, quality should not be reserved for just a handful of brands.

Tequila has the clear and absolute potential to be viewed in the same class as the finest Scotch, Cognac, bourbons, and Japanese whiskies on Earth. But the vast volumes of mediocre tequila hamper this effort, and the brands making tequila with additives are doing a disservice to the spirit and to their customers. 

At Cambio, not only have we committed to 100% clean tequila with no additives of any kind, ever, we also employ a dozen or so new techniques all designed to bring out more of the terroir and essence of our agave. Some of these methods include: 

  • New slower cooking techniques 
  • Refined 100% tahona pressing 
  • Significantly lower fermentation temperatures 
  • Wood tank fermentation only 
  • New yeast strains never before used in tequila 
  • Longer and more gentle fermentation 
  • Longer and slower distillation 
  • Barrel aging in multitudes of casks, even for our Blanco 

My goal is for Cambio to produce the best tequila in the world. We want to show you a world without tequila that is made terribly and then covered up with fake ingredients and an overly smiley happy face from your favorite celebrity. 

Taste what we do and why Cambio is so special. Check out the change. Experience real tequila for the first time.

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