Drifter Spirits Bringing Paladar Tequila to U.S. Market


April 6, 2022

Drifter Spirits announced the addition of Paladar Tequila to its portfolio in the U.S.

Paladar’s three tequila varieties pay homage to the traditions and volcanic soil of Mexico and include Paladar Blanco, distilled in stainless steel casks ($50 SRP; 40% ABV); Paladar Reposado, aged in ex-bourbon barrels ($60 SRP; 40% ABV), and Paladar Destillado de Agave, aged in American Oak and finished in Amburana wood from South America ($70 SRP; 40% ABV).

After meeting several years ago, according to a news release, Drifter Spirits co-founders Nathan Whitehouse and Peter Nevenglosky forged a partnership with Master Distiller Eduardo Orendain Jr. to bring authentic but modern tequila with experimental wood aging to the United States.

To create the spirits, Blue Weber Agave is grown for seven years and harvested on Orendain family fields, at the foot of an inactive volcano. The minerality found in the valley’s volcanic soil creates a naturally rich earthiness of the tequila’s flavor profile, compared to the ones produced in the highlands.

After cutting off the agave leaves and leaving the heart (piñas), the team slowly roast the piñas in brick ovens for 48 hours at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooked piñas are then shredded and pressed through a roller mill (molino) to obtain the fermented agave juice (mosto).

Paladar Tequila joins the distribution network that brought Avuá Cachaça and Svöl Aquavit stateside, and most recently, Drifter Craft Cocktails, which includes Paladar Blanco Tequila as the base spirit in the Spicy Margarita canned cocktail.

The next step differentiates Paladar’s process, as the fibers and juice ferment in a custom-made open-air pine box fermenter for 120 hours. Using proprietary and natural yeast, the pine box fermentation process gives the tequila a robust mouthfeel. The pine box also adds a fruity taste and gives a natural light caramel color to Paladar Reposado and Paladar Destillado de Agave.

The fermented mosto is then twice distilled in a Alambique copper and stainless-steel pot blend. Eventually, the leftover pulp after fermentation (bagazo) gets sent back to the most recently harvested agave field, laid out evenly to dry. Once the bagazo begins to dry, it is mixed into the surface of the soil, making the soil richer to grow the highest quality Blue Weber Agave.

“Our mission at Drifter Spirits is to partner with the best spirit producers from across the globe to bring beautiful spirits with provenance and the highest quality to the modern bar—whether at home or at restaurants,” says Nevenglosky. “Paladar is an incredible addition to the Drifter Spirits portfolio because of its authenticity in paying homage to the ancient category in partnership with the Orendain family. This is a tequila drinkers tequila, modernized by sustainability in production, and we intend for the Experimental Range, starting with Destillado de Agave, to showcase rare wood finishing.”

The tequilas will be available through select retailers, restaurants and bars, and nationwide shipping through www.paladartequila.com.