From Yorkshire puddings and Marks & Spencer to the Bronte sisters and the first-ever football club, few would deny that Yorkshire has given the world plenty of gifts over the years.
One thing God’s Own County is yet to be associated with is tequila, but a Leeds-based start-up is looking to change that.
HACIEN Tequila is poised to debut its trio of premium crafted tequilas at Dakota in Leeds this May, with their Pineapple Blanco hotly tipped to be the drink of summer 2022.
Designed for the more discerning modern drinker, HACIEN is aiming high with ambitions of disrupting the competitive drinks market and revolutionising public perceptions of the often polarising Mexican spirit.
The brand hopes to replicate some of the success tequila has enjoyed over in the USA, where it is enjoyed much in the same way gin and vodka are consumed in the UK.
Made using 100% blue agave, HACIEN is naturally sweeter and smoother than your average tequila, making it a versatile tipple that can be sipped and savoured, or mixed into a cocktail or refreshing T&T (tequila and tonic).
Fresh and herbaceous
The range will initially comprise three variants, including HACIEN’s signature Pineapple Blanco, which infuses sweet and aromatic pineapple with 100% agave tequila for a smooth and fruity finish.
HACIEN recommends Pineapple Blanco is mixed into a fresh and herbaceous Botanical Garden cocktail or a fruity HACIEN Pornstar. Both recipes are available on the HACIEN website, alongside other tempting concoctions such as the Watermelon Margarita, the Cristalino Old Fashioned, and the Cafe Naranja.
Finest blue agave
The Tequila Añejo Cristalino is classically barrel-aged and filtered with charcoal to remove colour, resulting in a bold and complex pour, whilst the classic Tequila Blanco offers the clean and aromatic taste of Jalisco’s finest blue agave.
HACIEN is also exploring options to expand its range going forward, with tropical, berry, and coffee variants all being considered.
The trio of tequilas will be stocked in some of the north’s best bars and high-end retail outlets from May onwards, including The Alchemist, Chaophraya, Tabula Rasa, and Selfridges.
The brand was founded by entrepreneurs Seb Francis and Jordan Myers, who have enlisted the help of Business Development Manager Ashley Mitchell.
The trio has over 30-years of combined business experience between them, spanning a diverse range of industries. Seb has spent the last 8+ years leading a team of over 40 employees at Titus, a tech and e-learning company with a multi-million-pound turnover.
His clients include the likes of Superdry, Wasabi, Network Rail, and Dermalogica, to name just a few. HACIEN has been something of a passion project for Seb, who has dreamed of starting his own premium spirits brand for many years.
Jordan’s background is in mechanical and electrical engineering and has seen him heading up engineering firm JLM M&E Ltd for 10+ years, turning over millions of pounds in the process. He is also the partner of a lucrative interior fit out company and has worked alongside a list of brands that includes Amazon, The NHS and Nando’s. Jordan has been looking to move away from the construction industry for some time now and wants to focus his attention on building a brand that creates a long lasting legacy.
Ashley brings 15 years of hospitality experience to the table, having previously worked as Restaurant Manager for a string of illustrious hotels, including Dakota, Rudding Park, and Malmaison.
After securing a £500k investment, including backing from Halo Top Co-Founder Doug Bouton, the trio completed numerous trips to Mexico visiting a range of distilleries in search of the perfect partner to help make HACIEN a reality.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Seb commented:"The last two years spent creating HACIEN have not been without their challenges, however, it's also been incredibly rewarding and is something I've wanted to do for a long time. We wanted to create a tequila range that not only looks as good as it tastes but one that was versatile enough to change perceptions of the spirit itself."
"I know so many people in the UK that had a negative first experience with tequila, often because it was a lousy brand that they drank too much of at uni, and have never been back. HACIEN is made with 100% blue agave, making it much smoother and more complex than the average bottle you'd pick up in the supermarket.
"We're so ready for our launch at Dakota next month and can't wait to see the reaction to our trio of tequilas and some of the incredible cocktails we've got lined up."