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San Clemente Journal

Representing the Danger and Beauty of Mexico - Peligroso Tequila

May 01, 2010 09:56PM ● By Don Kindred

by CeCe Darakjian

Imagine you’ve had a long-time dream of starting your own tequila company. You knew that to make your dream a successful reality, you would have to make sure that you worked hard to make the best tequila in the market, made from the very best agave available, using the most modern, but at the same time, time-tested methods known to tequila makers. You would have to create a marketing campaign that was authentic and true to your vision, and you would have to employ the very best in the field to market and represent your tequila. Of course, you would have to remodel a classic Ole Hanson home in San Clemente in which to base your business, you would have to throw the best parties in town, and you would have to name the tequila Peligroso (translation: Dangerous!). 

That’s exactly what a group of local entrepreneurs, who are also great friends, have recently done. The final product is one of the best new products in the spirits industry … one that is being welcomed with excitement by the action sports crowd, the business world and the consumer as well.

The process of developing the finest tequila in the world has not been easy. Nearly three years in the making, the Peligroso brand has gone through extensive research to guarantee that it is the best available. Made of 100% pure Weber Blue Agave, it is harvested in the highlands of Jalisco Mexico.

An agave plant takes eight to ten years to grow until it is ready for harvest, and the harvesting process remains a manual effort unchanged by modern farming techniques. Harvesters known as “jimadores” have worked in the fields for generations and know exactly when the plant is ready to be pulled. The agave pinas are then chopped-shaved, or in the case of Peligroso “double chopped-shaved” which helps to contribute to the pure clean taste. The Peligroso agave is steamed in authentic brick ovens and distilled in copper and stainless pots. The tequila is then stored in Tennessee white oak whiskey barrels, where it is allowed to age anywhere from four, six, to eighteen months, depending on the particular style of tequila, which includes Silver, Reposado (rested) or Anejo (aged for one year+-old). 

Many tequila companies may add sugars, flavoring, or caramel coloring to create the different tastes or golden color in the tequila, but Peligroso is 100% pure agave with no added ingredients. It is also 42% alcohol as opposed to most other tequilas on the market which typically run at 40%. This is by design, not to make the tequila stronger, but to add to the pure tequila taste. That’s why a shot of Peligroso leaves no burning after taste, and needs no additions (Limes? Salt? Not needed here!). And best of all … no hangover.

You can’t talk about Peligroso without mentioning the presentation. Each Peligroso bottle is corked and numbered by hand to certify its authenticity. The cork is a three piece design made up of a natural cork stopper, real stained wood top and antiqued coin medallion. Each bottle comes with a hangtag sporting a genuine metal snake charm, and a brief story describing the Peligroso brand. Each flavor of tequila comes in its own special bottle. The Silver is crystal clear flint glass that perfectly reflects the purity of the tequila. The Reposado has a rustic finish that highlights the golden aged nature of the tequila, and the Anejo comes in a black glass bottle that alludes to the complex layers and undertones of this long-aged tequila.

You also can’t talk about Peligroso without mentioning its coolness factor. The tequila tastes great, the process is long and painstaking, the presentation is beautiful, but the brand is just downright cool. The company is described as a representation of the danger and beauty of Mexico … sketchy borders, dirt roads, smashed rental cars, Federales, banditos, scorching sun, rugged coastline, perfect waves, fishing coolers, cold cerveza, and of course good tequila. Even someone who has not had the pleasure of all of those distinct experiences can appreciate Peligroso Tequila as a brand that represents the potential of adventure and a little bit of danger. Peligroso’s current marketing includes a striking photo of a man’s face being bitten by a rattlesnake, and stands a good chance of causing an occasional car crash as motorists pass by delivery trucks.

Due to the partners’ long relationship with the Action Sports Industry, Peligroso currently sponsors some of the best action sports riders around. Greg and Rusty Long, Travis Pastrana and Jordy Smith are just a few of the well-known athletes who are currently with team Peligroso. Attend any of the upcoming Action Sports Industry events and you will find a Peligroso presence. From the Waterman’s Ball to the US Open of Surfing, Peligroso is there pouring shots to the best of the best.

But Peligroso is definitely more than just a premium tequila for surfers. Many upscale facilities around the area now proudly pour Peligroso, and right here in San Clemente they have sponsored events at the Beach Fire, OC Tavern, Olamendi’s, the Rib Trader, the Shore and Salt Creek Grill. This tequila is also available for purchase at the local San’ O Mart, Dad’s Liquors, or any nearby BevMo.

The Peligroso office is located on El Camino Real in a completely renovated Ole Hanson building that once served as Riley’s Café. The remodel beautifully reflects the taste and passions of the company. Although meetings at the Peligroso Tequila office are by appointment only, the inside features a test kitchen, (where company “taco and margarita tastings” frequently occur), a tranquil patio to escape the busy phones ringing in the sales office, and a stash of Peligroso in the storage room. And maybe if you’re lucky they will invite you in, and offer you a sip of their delicious creation. If so, you’ll quickly remember the reason you dreamed of starting your own Tequila company in the first place. b

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