The Knockturnal: We ask, why a tequila company?
Kristopher DeSoto: Having been raised in Texas, I was introduced to tequila early on and since then, I’ve traveled throughout Mexico extensively and spent nearly 8 years living there. In that time, I noticed that tequilas south of the border were often different from those found on US shelves, the flavors and aromas more robust and expressive. When I moved back to the US after a decade abroad, I was surprised to find that many of the new tequila brands that had become popular were nearly unrecognizable within their flavor to what I knew tequila to be. So, I decided that a traditional, honest tequila crafted from the finest ingredients should be available in the US.
I have not had a linear career path and for the majority of it I worked in helicopter sales and marketing for some of the largest manufacturers. That experience, along with my deep-rooted passion for travel, led me to explore over 50 countries and live on multiple continents by my mid-30’s. That cultural exposure is the best education I could have imagined and influenced what I’m doing today.
Speaking on our brand, a hiatus is a break, pause, or interruption in continuity. In other words, taking time away from the daily routine. Ultimately this is what every culture I’ve encountered aspires to when they are enjoying their adult beverages. We are all trying to have that little escape when we take a break to enjoy our favorite libation. The brand name is literal in that way.
Hiatus Tequila speaks for itself. We put all our focus on what’s inside the bottle, not how fancy the packaging is or what celebrity is pushing it. Respecting traditional processes and the integrity of the farmers and producers involved are key to a product that we can be extremely proud of. Real is good and tastes great!
The Knockturnal: What inspired you to start Hiatus Tequila?
Kristopher DeSoto: I’ve always loved agave spirits, especially tequila, but so much of what we find available on the US side of the border is mass-produced and “watered down” with artificial flavors and especially sweeteners. Long story short, I wanted to make real tequila as I knew it from living in Mexico. My goal was to introduce American consumers to what high quality, authentic tequila can and should taste like. It is vital for me to highlight the true celebrities of the tequila world, who are the hard-working farmers and amazing people that create this complex spirit that is deeply engraved in their culture.
The Knockturnal: What is your favorite tequila cocktail?
Kristopher DeSoto: Honestly, I like to taste the tequila, so less is more. A Hiatus Tequila soda with a twist of lime is full of the natural flavors and aromas that I love, and the fewer ingredients involved also means less calories! But I typically will drink any of our tequila expressions neat at room temperature or possibly with a few rocks if I’m feeling fancy. Tequila can be used in any classic cocktail; with both clear and aged expressions you can basically substitute tequila in nearly any cocktail. Añejo “Old Fashion”, Blanco “Dirty Martini”, Reposado “Mule”….to name a few.
The Knockturnal: What makes your tequila different from other brands?
Kristopher DeSoto: We believe less is more. Our tequilas are all natural, no added artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. We age our reposado and añejo long enough to add unique characteristics but not so long that we lose the complexity of the agave, which is what tequila is all about. We know what we are and don’t try to be something we are not. We make tequila for tequila people, the old-fashioned way. The vast majority of tequila sold in the US is mass produced in very industrialized ways, that while can technically be called tequila, is far from the aromas and flavors that good tequila is meant to express.
The Knockturnal: Any advice that you would give to someone starting their own alcohol brand?
Kristopher DeSoto: Be patient. Everything will take much longer than you can imagine. When you think it is time to expand, wait another 6 months. Going too far too fast is not the path to success. And finally, this industry never sleeps, so be ready to work around the clock and particularly on holidays when everyone else is enjoying what your created!
The Knockturnal: Are there any new exciting projects/news you can tell us about?
Kristopher DeSoto: We can’t give away our secrets, so stay tuned! But we can say that we have a small production run concept in the works for the near term, and of course some big ambition for the longer term.
The Knockturnal: What are you and your team most looking forward to in the new year?
Kristopher DeSoto: We look forward to educating even more consumers and industry professionals about our favorite spirit! Knowledge is power they say. The more we know, the better decisions we make which ultimately helps keep our industry healthy. Millions of new consumers have started exploring the tequila category for the first time in the last few years. The market has seen a flood of new brands and there is generally very little information available where consumers drink or buy their tequila. Hospitality and alcohol retail professionals are the gatekeepers and the main source of information for their consumers. We, at Hiatus Tequila focus on education to all of these audiences, which is one of the most rewarding parts of our job!
To keep up with Hiatus Tequila check out the links below!