When I first came across El Rayo Tequila, I was struck by the gorgeous design and branding. I decided to dig deeper and discovered that the duo behind it, Tom and Jack, had a great story to tell about why they decided to launch this new premium brand of tequila.
Tom tells me about how their journey began in Peckham. His brother had brought a bottle of añejo (vintage) tequila with him from his trip to Mexico and it was like nothing they had ever tasted before. “We wanted to get rid of the bad image that most people have of tequila. It’s often associated with cheap liquor and awful hangovers,” he says. Tom and Jack soon quit their jobs and headed for Mexico where they set out to bring back a tequila experience unlike any other.
The name El Rayo means “lightning” and refers to the Mexican folk story of lightning striking the blue agave plant and creating tequila. I was delighted to be able to sample both of El Rayo’s tequilas. The duo makes their tequila using both highland and lowland agave to create a high-quality unique blend. They also use a double distilling process with 105-year-old copper stills. The first tequila I tried was the El Rayo Plata or “silver” variety which has a combination of pepper, pineapple, and floral. The plata is pure and smooth with citrus notes. You can taste the quality of the ingredients used and it went perfectly with a splash of tonic. The El Rayo Reposado or “rested” version is matured for 7 months in oak whiskey casks and has caramel, almond, and vegetal notes. The almond flavour really came through with this one and it was a very different and intriguing taste experience.
The team behind El Rayo Tequila no doubt has a real passion for their product and their business. The newly-launched brand has come out swinging in a sea of fierce competition with punchy design, clean flavours, and a story that is both relatable and engaging.