While it might seem that tequila is one of the more fashionable spirits on the market right now, it is a liquid steeped in history, tradition and culture.
It is made from plants that take decades to mature, and it is processed in ways that have not changed for hundreds of years.
A new tequila brand, Mijenta, wants to ensure that the artisanal nature of tequila is not lost.
To discuss this, we talk to Mijenta’s founder, Juan Corondo, about sustainability, community, and creating a unique artisanal spirit.
While it might seem that tequila is one of the more fashionable spirits on the market right now, it is a liquid steeped in history, tradition and culture. It is made from plants that take decades to mature, and it is processed in ways that have not changed for hundreds of years. A new tequila brand, Mijenta, wants to ensure that the artisanal nature of tequila is not lost. To discuss this, we talk to Mijenta's founder, Juan Corondo, about sustainability, community, and creating a unique artisanal spirit.
Thank you for joining us, Juan.
Thank you very much for having me in the show. It is a pleasure to be here with you. Thanks for the opportunity once again.
Let's start by looking at the name. I believe Mijenta is inspired by Mi gente.
Which means my people. Correct, yeah.
And refers to a collective mindset. Can you explain exactly what's meant by that?
Yes. Once you have the chance and the pleasure, and the honour to visit beluncas in the highlands or in the low lines, or in any of the five states that are by the DO, allowed to produce tequila, you realise that there's a set of rules. Not everything works as it should be, but you have to put the puzzle together. Not only that, then you have to create the profile of your tequila, then the infrastructure. There's a lot of moving parts at the end of the day. The most important of this are two things, the people and the land.
For me, together, the people and the land create a community, and that community breath and their hearts beat every day, and they have that passion. That is what you take away. That's why you produce tequila. Because if we overview the business in general, it is very difficult to come up with a tequila. You have to pretty much find a good price for agave, of course, thinking that you don't own the land. Most likely, it's like that. So you have to procure the right agave at the right age, from the right soil, from the right time and place. And then you fall in love with that plant living there, which is a gift, as I always say, from the gods. And then that gift gets to be transformed or produced into art, which is tequila. But there's a lot of moving parts around there.
And then obviously, big brands and corporations oversee the production, and don't pay attention to the important factors, which is the land that gives you the gift, and then the people that turn it into art. That's what Mijenta translates into. We are very meticulous. We're a small project, and we care so much about our jimadores and the people that is pre-caring for that land, for up to seven years. We're using agaves from five and six, and we have bumped into some seven as well, because that's what we feel the agaves, the blue weather agave has acquired that maturation that is necessary to consolidate the sugars, and that plants that is so healthy that it's going to give you its best. So that's the land.
And then the careful hands that are going to harvest those magueys are very important to us. So often you get to see jimadores that they tend to migrate to United States because they cannot make end meets with the salaries that they get. So we're trying to make sure that they're taken care of. We have seven jimadores that we've been using for almost over a year, that it's quite amazing the way we interact now. It's like, hey, we're going to work with you. We are your fan, number one, you talk to me, we get to share stories, and you're paying well. You're taking care of us. So we were able to do already once. There's another one, what we call taquizas, which are little celebrations or little gatherings to commemorate the hard work that these people have done.
I kid you not. It took me, on the first time, about 11 minutes to try to harvest one small blue weather agave out of the soil. They do it so fast, and it's so hard. I was like, "How do you do this?" It's incredible the amount of energy that you have to invest, the hard work that this is it for harvesting, and then retribution's not even fair. We're trying to fight that, and that's where we come from. Por la gente, por la tierra y por la vida - for the people, for the land, and for life. That's what we're trying to achieve from that sense.
Right. Now you talk about taking time to find the right area of land and the right plants, particularly. How long did it take you guys?
That's a great question. Nobody has ever asked me that. I love it. I'm a curious guy, so I'm not going to settle for the first thing that I see. I've been very lucky that I've been guided. I've been going to Jalisco for a long, long time, specifically to the town of Arandas, which is the highlands, the heart of the highlands. And then all those little towns around there are very charming too, but when it comes to Mijenta, I wanted to create something that, in my opinion or my history in the beverage industry, had that quality. So we were able, Anna Maria and I, to do chromatology tests and lab tests on the soil. There is a very particular reddish, dark reddish soil that I'm in love with. And every time I see it, I just ... This area is amazing. It has a lot of iron content and minerals. We need to find agave from these areas.
For my first batch of Mijenta, I was able to fall in love with that very intricate or labyrinth area called Ancon. And in the Ancon, we were able to negotiate and sweet talk people. I remember going there three times pre harvest, and then the night that we were going to harvest, it was peach black. I was like, "This is not the area. No, this is not right. I can't see anything." And then when the sun was going up, like, oh, wait. I see where I came from the last time. We just entered the back side, I guess, of this land.
And that blue, flourish colour of the agave is what makes me think, really gives me the hunch of what the truth taste of Mijenta should be. We take samples of the soil, and we take samples of the agaves. We measure the age of the agave, and then we calculate what is called in Spanish, [Spanish 00:07:36], the reductors for the sugar. And then based on that information, we make Mijenta. It's a very specific number that we're looking for. So far, all the batches have been identical match and that’s amazing.
On my second batch, for your information, I love the question again, we were able to harvest from a farm called [Refujio 00:08:03], which is very close by, actually, to our distillery. You can barely bicycle the pinas, if you want to, or distillery, and that may be even more amazing and more happy about the production, because we're reducing that CO2 transportation that is required out there. Although all the lands, Arandas is not big at all. It's very small, but we care about this thing so we're trying to create that affinity with the farmers surrounding our distillery where we are distilling right now. And that's important for us too.
So those two regions have an equal chromatology, and that was quite amazing, we were able to match the source and present the reductors as well. That's the story of Mijenta when it comes to the soil with the agaves. But we are within the same region, so it's the same weather, the same temperature. Okay? The same altitude as well too.
Right. Now you're working with farmers to replant in the same numbers that you are using the agave plants so that there's an ecosystem being created of giving back as much as is being taken.
This is another great question. I was going to say, wow, this is my favourite interview, ever. That is the thing. I'm trying to pretty much go on seven, six, and five year old agaves, blue weber agaves. What happens when the agaves reach six, around there, sometimes five, depending on the richness of the soils, when they can suck up from the land? What happens is magical, is that those agaves mature in such a way that they want to, that they feel that they're so mature and ready. They're ready to reproduce themselves. How do they do that? By having [equalus 00:09:40]. [Equalus 00:09:42] are baby plants that come out of the roots, and they sprout. The other way is by shooting what is called quiote, which is a spigel center from the agave that grows very, very high. Could be up to 17 feet or more. It depends on the richness of the plant. So when that happens, that specific moment happens, the plant is giving its best to create attraction from pollination and pollinators such as bats, bees, butterflies, etc. And we are pretty much trying to secure that bats, bees, and butterflies are part of this integral production. That's very important. That something that makes me very, very sad when I see the massive production of tequila happening. They're cutting agaves at three, four years. I just don't understand why. You're not getting the best out of the plant when you cut at that age, and you're not allowing the ecosystem to survive. These plants needs to get stronger. And without the help of the bat, with the help of the bees, it's not going to happen.
God forbid something bad happen, I'm knocking on wood, that there is a plague or bacteria that start eating the agaves, how are we going to survive in this industry if we don't allow the plants to become stronger, genetically? Their DNA have to become stronger than it was, and mix and match, and create that diversity. We need to allow that. So at five, six, seven years, you have a lot of quiote out there, and that's beautiful. It makes me happy when I see the quiotes on the lot that we're going to cut. I'm like, "Yes, this is right. This is meant to be." So that's what we're doing.
Right. Okay. Do you believe that there are a large number of tequila companies that are out there, that don't have that same sort of regard, both for the land and also for the craftsmanship involved in production?
Well, I don't speak bad about brands or anything. I love this industry. I just wish everybody would be more aware of this because the consumption of tequila right now is rising even more. So we need to make sure that this tequila for a long time. I know there's great companies out there, thinking about this. By no means, this is something that we came up with it. No. This is the right thing to do. We believe on doing great by doing right. That's the approach that we have. We're not going to change that because that's our ethos. That's why we're doing such a great product. We're able to put all these elements at the right time, with the right age, with the right care, with the right people and the right lands together. And that's Mijenta.
Right. Okay. Now I believe another influence for Mijenta is a folk story, which is ‘Centzon Totochtin’. Can you tell us a little bit about how that story is related, and how it is intertwined with the brand?
Yes. The legend of the ‘Centzon Totochtin’, of the ‘Centzon Totochtin’ is a beautiful, old tale that is from the language of nahuatl, and pretty much those words that end on TL, like hotel, nahuatl . The legend describes the beauty of nature with the tales of the gods. If you have a second, go through it. It's quite nice. The legend says that the Mayans experienced a very, long, lunar eclipse in which they couldn't see the sun on the average time that the sun would come out. So that eclipse worry the elders, and they decided to send one of their most amazing warriors to find the sun, and that was [Ketsalcowart 00:14:50]. Ketsalcowart went up to the valleys, and saw the magueys, and walked through them, and was able to make it to the top of a mountain. In this case, in our brand, it's Cerro Bartolo And Cerro Bartolois a volcano that is actually in Guadalajara.
So he was able to climb up there. By the time that he got to the top, he was hungry, and there was a rabbit. The rabbit decided to sacrifice itself in order for (Ketsalcowart??)to bring the sun back. Ketsalcowart took the rabbit in his hands, and placed it against the moon, and told the rabbit, "You will never be forgotten." That's why there's a rabbit on the moon, if you can see it on a full moon, hence the rabbit in the motel.
Then he began his journey up to the gods. And the after a few days, he was seeing mythical figures. One of those figures was the most beautiful female woman in the world for him. He fell in love immediately, he got hypnotised by her beauty. They both descend back to the land, to the earth. And immediately when they descend, the sun appeared. For him, it was like he brought the fertility and the happiness back to earth because he considered her as beautiful as the sun. For a few days they were happy until the evil godmother of Mayahuel noticed that she was missing, and started sending thunder and lightning to the earth.
They both hid inside of one of these beautiful maguey plants or blue weber agaves, or plants that were huge. A lightning stroke and killed Mayahuel. The plant set on fire immediately. The sugars of the plant caramelised, and then he started crying. His tears mix with the sugars of the agave created a fermentation. The plant opened up and gave up what is called agave or maguey, agave. And we had alcohol, if you think about it right there. It's a fermentation, no?
So when the plant gave up, 400 rabbits came out of the plant and populated the earth. So Mayahuel is known as the god of fertility, the god of agave.
That's what it means. So those 400 rabbits are and interesting number, if you think about it. You heard of those brands that are called 400 Rabbits. There's different scenarios with it. So slowly but surely, we want to meet 400 amazing people at Mijenta, and being able to find something special that this human being may be able to give to others as a gift. And we're going to create, hopefully, a club called the 400 Rabbits. That's what we intended to, in order to give back to Jalisco, to Mexico, to the land, and to the people. That's our intention.
Sorry, that was long.
No, no, no. It's a lovely story, though. Now tequila is quite a crowded market. How difficult has it been to launch the brand?
Every launch is a challenge, as you know. Of course, if you've never done tequila, it's different than vodka, than wine, than rum. Everything is different. There's a different market share for it. And in the case of tequila, tequila is a hot item, especially in the United States, which is the largest market for it. But there is 1,000 plus tequila brands. Right now, us believing in the things that we believe, like being very strong and passionate about all the things that you and have spoken right now, have led us to the conclusion that we need to do this. This needs to be done, especially with the amazing tequila that we're able to distill, that has beautiful notes, and body and texture that is very reminiscent to traditional tequila but with this beautiful look that we were able to put together in the values.
It has been quite charming. We just launched in the middle of a pandemic. Many times we were like, "No, we cannot do this. We know we won't be able to do this." We were so convinced about our quality and about the group that we put together, professionals, our team, the land, and of course, the people in the distillery and the people that help us harvest. We're so strongly believers of what they gave us and what we were able to produce that we were like, "We have to do this for them. Even though we're not 100% sure, we have to, we got to." So it was a moment of realisation. We were like, "Let's do or die." It was hard.
It's been hard right now, but right now if you think about it, the world needs good news. I mean, this side of the industry will do good news too. So it's been well accepted and well received. I'm very glad and very thankful for everyone that has at least opened their ears to hear about us, or has shared a glass with us so far. I'm very happy for that so thank you, everybody.
How important is environmental sustainability, not only to your brand but also to the tequila industry as a whole?
I always say I want to keep a healthy environment because I want others to do the same. If my neighbours where I'm distilling or harvesting, are not taking care of the plot of land or the distillery, it's going to affect me. So we have to start somewhere, planting the seed. It is as equally as important as what I'm doing. Unfortunately, I cannot harvest on the same plot all the time. A, there's a great competition trying to buy younger agaves and buy things that I believe in for my batch. Of course, that will increase a little bit more my price and agave. But I am convinced that we need this in order for us to create Mijenta. The minute that these elements don't align, I won't be able to create our product.
It is equally important if they take care of their land and their distillation process, and transportation, and everything that embodies to make tequila, all the taps, all the whole checklist for me and for them. It's an industry, and as I say, hopefully there will be tequila for many, many years. But the business has changed and there's funny practices in place.
If people are buying tequila, how do they know whether the company is looking after the land and looking after the people? Is there, I don't know, I suppose a certification or something that people can look for?
Yeah, there's few. First of all, I will go straight to the DO, the domination of origin, and make sure ... You can ask questions there. The Consejo Regulador del Tequila, the CRT, it's a beautiful institution that try to regulate the production and harvesting of maguey, and production of tequila in order for it to maintain its quality. There is a series of articles on that, which is basically the law in Mexico, for tequila production that everybody that enjoys tequila should be aware of those. At least the main articles on that, for it to become tequila.
The CRT works rigorously, and they ensure that the quality and the production of this tequila come from one of those five states that it's made in, within the region, and that it's bottled in Mexico as well. From then, every maestro or every brand will create a profile. It's a matter of you finding the profiles that you like, attach to the brands, and then you go on. But if you like tequila, you should be curious about it. The [inaudible] will legislate and direct you in a very virtual map, on which distillery make that tequila that you might like. Then you go to that distillery and you see the brands that they produce. Information is up there in the Internet, and you see different profiles of tequila that they make. Perhaps same profiles, things that you might like. You might discover a new one, and that distillery meant something to you. There's one, two, three brands that you like already, that they produce. That means that their quality control is quite outstanding, and that's very important too.
There's other applications. Tequila Match is amazing too. They share a lot of information that perhaps is not so clear to consumers, that you might be curious about. They do different things. But there's a lot of information out there that is hidden under the rock to consumers. At the end of the day, it's about consumers becoming more curious about the things that they like and the things that they don't like as well.
Speaking of things that they would like, I believe your master of tequila is Anna Maria Romaro. Can you talk to us a little bit about her knowledge of tequila aromas and what particularly that has brought to your expressions?
Anna Maria is, first of all, one of the most amazing human beings I ever work with. Her patience and passion, and love for tequila has led her to be one of the top leaders in the industry. She's not a person that is looking for recognition whatsoever. She's anti that. She's actually so happy to work on the fields with her beautiful hat, and being able ... "You see this agave? This agave needs help. It's lack of nutrients because you see this one?" It's a fountain of knowledge when it comes to it. And then being able to have a great education. She's a sommelier like me, from back in the day, and specialise in other things. For the past twenty years, she was into wine and tequila. She was able to gather so much data to organise the tequila industry itself. She was able to create a beautiful book about the profile and the caring of the land, and the agaves, and another one about a kit that she produced. That is basically the offertory kit for tequila. You know those kits for wines and for rums, and cognacs? She created one for tequila. That is amazing. It's amazing. So on the offertory notes on tequila, you most likely will encounter vegetable notes such as cucumber, fruits as pineapples that are caramelized, this and that. And just a whole floral component to it and a floral acidity component.
She was able to pin point the ones for tequila, which led her to go through years of investigation when it comes to tequila. She's launching another book, and she has participated in different brands that are already existing out there. So quite experience, her passion and her love for tequila are basically something unparalleled.
I was able to fall in love with what she does on the first conversation that we have over the phone. Continually working with her, being in the field with her, being a distiller with her, her and I bouncing ideas. I told her exactly what I wanted to make, and being able to criss-cross certain things, and being able to match that idea to a profile was fantastic. It was like, I don't know. Imagine you have to make a dress and you know how you want it to look, but you don't know how to cut it, sow it, and to put the beads and the buttons, and the zippers and everything together. She was basically a seamstress when it comes to tequila.
So she's basically guided you through the process of being to achieve what you were after, I suppose.
That is correct, yeah. She was fully on, hands on. I tried to help her as much as I could, physically and mentally, but she's a loaded gun when it comes to tequila. She's amazing.
Now you've talked a lot about the land and what the soil adds to the liquid. Obviously, there're a lot of choices in terms of the process, so how it's cooked and how it's finished, that also affect how the liquid tastes in the end. Can you talk us through a little bit about the choices that you guys made with that?
Yeah, no problem. I have no secrets whatsoever. We got very lucky when we were able to have the plants, the blue weber agaves that were at the age and at the plots of land that we wanted to work with. And after all that, got into the jimadores coas which is basically the ax that they use to harvest it. We were able to define one thing. We didn't want them to cut it too short. We wanted to leave a little bit of that green all around. So that's called shaving. We didn't want them to be completely white. We wanted to have some of that green because that also, some of the cooked agave notes that are very important when you're tasting a tequila, that part of the vegetal note. We were able to request that from there, so we had to be there in the harvesting. That's one of the things that we were very specific about.
Number two, we got different size of pinas. We got huge ones, mid-size, and then small ones too, from the same plot. Sometimes they don't grow equally or evenly because some are a little down the hill, some are up there, the sun. Everything affects them, the size. Usually the ones that are on the size close to a road will grow slower. They will be smaller.
So we were able to collect the little ones and the middle ones in three groups. And then we cook them at different temperatures. The big ones, of course, cooking them for a higher temperature in a longer period, versus the little ones that have the same sugars. We were able to cook them at a lower temperature and a lower time as well, because it's the size that matters in that case. We wanted to create the same caramelisation inside of the pinas. We didn't want to burn them.
So that selection was key to our production, was very key. It breaks my heart to see when people just throw the little ones and the big ones into the cooking process because you know what? The little ones are going to cook very fast. And then by the time you get the large ones cooked, your little ones are going to burn. That was a process that we did in the selection. Secondly, we were able to extract the agave nectar out of it whilst they were cooked. And then we passed them through a very delicate, rigorous process of fermentation. This is where we deliver the flavors and the notes of our tequila. That process is delicate and very, very intrinsic. The yeast that we use specifically, we selected, taking in mind, taking in consideration the reductors that we're working with for our agaves. Then that fermentation was very nice and slow, and we were able to apply different techniques that we considered. It was like cooking a dish in an oven. When you have that slow simmer, you're able to get that flavour from your audience, and peppers. That's exactly our approach to it.
Then our distillation process, we were able to break it down and we were able to eliminate at a nice, low pressure, our heads and our tails. And then we got that core, and then we really steer the heads and the tails on a second. And quite beautiful, the results. Fantastic. We were able to have a tequila that has a lot of body, that is
That is sweet, caramelized pineapple, cantaloupe, and gardenias on the nose, and this freshness on the acidity that ends up in a peel, chill cucumber. So nice and delicious. Very balanced. That's Mijenta.
Right. What is the reaction to the tequila being so far?
It's been surprising. I have a lot of friends in the industry. And everybody is like, "Whoa, what is this?" And I'm like, "Yes, exactly. What is that?" That is how tequila, in my opinion, should taste. It should be traditional tequila coming through. If you start burning and cooking, accelerating the fermentation by adding this and that, and nutrients, and all those things to make things faster, cutting corners doesn't bring you that. We've been lucky with our distillery. They're very patient, and they're allowing Anna Maria and I to do what we think should Mijenta be. We want to grow together, all of us. Yes, exactly. What is that? How do you get to that? Tequila used to be like that. I don't know what happened. People want to make money fast.
So would people be able to actually distinguish quite a difference in taste between what they may be used to?
Absolutely. Absolutely. You can do a blind tasting, have Mijenta on a panel of few tequilas. Your palate will tell you. You will agree with the flavours, the aromas. First the aromas, the colours, the texture. And then that beautiful unravel finish, that velvetiness of Mijenta, which is quite fantastic. Yes, definitely. We're very confident and happy that we were able to hit the jackpot with this production that we believe is the right way of making tequila.
How would you describe the tasting notes? What will people actually taste on the palate and in the mid tones?
On Mijenta, one of the most beautiful things is that gardenia, first suave, the soft hint that you get. And then you start perceiving different notes of uncooked agave, which smells very nice and vegetal. And then the soft mid tones of the cooked agave through it. You smell that sweetness of caramelised pineapple hints on it, and that's the cooked agave notes, that earthiness. And then some sweet vegetable, cantaloupe, right? That makes everything refreshing, and makes you enamoured with that aroma. And the mid tones, we have a quite fantastic balance of what I will call the sweet, the sour, and then the mineral. The minerality in a tequila is very important for me. And even on the aroma, you get to perceive hints of sea salt, like being placed in front of ... You know when you open a pack of salt and you get that minerality. You get that on a tequila, and that's quite nice.
Then follow on by this beautiful, velvety texture that is quite outstanding. The body of Mijenta is rich. It's phenomenal. It leaves your palate coated and wanting more. Quite seducing tequila, yeah. It is.
Now I imagine that if people are buying bottles for the first time, you would, of course, suggest that they drunk it neat, to fully appreciate those flavours. But if they were to use it in a cocktail, how would you suggest they do that?
It's a universe when it comes to cocktails, but I definitely would like people to get to the point that I understand this product, and with that understanding that I'm walking away by trying it neat at room temperature, I get to decide if I want to push a cocktail on it with certain elements or others in the sense of, yeah, it's well known that tequila works very well in sours, especially blanco tequilas. But you know what? Maybe if I get to find different notes of sweetness or notes of vegetable, I can push it the other way around. I'm not necessarily have to get my acidity from limes or lemons. There is pomelo, there's grapefruit, there's other, softer sweeteners. In my case, I will highly recommend Mijenta to be served in a paloma cocktail. It's quite harmonic and delicious. You won't have one, you'll have a few. A nice paloma would work, perfectly.
I created a cocktail that embodies a different use of ingredients like a little bit of lemon and also cherry to bring in and boost the body on it, and a hint of agave nectar towards to it. And then you stir this beautiful concoction, or shake it, however you may like it. And just add lemon oils and an olive. That will give you the saltiness of the olives, it will create that beautiful contrast on your palate. When you bite into the olive and you taste the cocktail, the earthiness of the tequila, then the deep, veril effect of the oloroso sherry with hints of the cooked agave nectar. And then suave and delicious, delicate acidity from the lemon, it's quite nice too.
You've mentioned the citrus, of course, and also the saltiness that's coming through from things like olives. What other flavours do you things would work well with the liquid?
The sky's the limit, again. It's very complex. The Mijenta tequila is very complex as a product, so it has a lot to offer. So breaking it through from a margarita, a paloma, I will drink it in an old fashioned because remember, we're talking about a tequila with structure, with body, with velvetiness. An old fashioned with it would be quite fantastic too. The servings when it comes to more sweet cocktails that people may like, I would do an el diablo cocktail with a little bit of coconut water instead of just the plain, el diablo with creme de mure.
In a scenario where you get to bring in, again, delicate acidity by creating, basically a champagne cocktail with a tequila, is quite amazing - some form of sweetness, could be a vanilla syrup or something, lime juice, shaken, topped with champagne, will create this beautiful, refreshing Mijenta cocktail on which the tequila won't be the weakest element. It will be present there. Believe me. It will be present, it will be the star of that cocktail.
Now speaking of tequila being the star, what other brand's future plans? What other tequilas are you looking to bring out?
We are, definitely within time, we're going to be able to create different variants of Mijenta. We have this amazing product to start with. And immediately, our reaction was like, we need to barrel this. We need to age it. We need to bring in some of the wood characters into it. We are in the process of creating a reposado and anejo, and in the future, a cristalino from the anejo.
Reposado is right now on the barrels and it's behaving quite well. Same as the anejo, but the anejo needs its 12 months and the reposado needs three. So we are very happy with what we've been tasting, samples from the barrels that we have. It's quite nice. You can sense those beautiful elements again. You add in a little bit of more character and impact from the wood. And being able to combine those with those vegetal notes that I previously mentioned, is creating a beautiful perfume of the melancia flavors of Mijenta. Quite nice. We're quite content and happy. We can wait till we blend everything, and we'll allow you to taste it.
Now if people are looking to taste the tequila, where is it available? Obviously you would be available throughout the US, I'm assuming.
Yes. Right now the tequila's available in the US. Basically we serve bar and other corners are being able to be the spear head of launch because everything, pretty much is being done through Internet since on premise, what we call bars, restaurants and clubs are being really impacted by the pandemic. So there's already liquor stores in New York, Miami, L.A, that the product is available.
We are rapidly moving forward with Australia. As a matter of fact, we are balling for Australia pretty soon. And within a couple of weeks, the product will be there soon. We're looking forward to expanding to the European market soon, as well as Australia as a target. We're looking at the UK, Spain, Italy and France as well. We hope we have the same reception from consumers when it comes to Mijenta. We try to work on a very eco-friendly packaging. Our box and our labels are made out of the recycled agave.
So it's a paper created out of that. Our bottles, itself are from a great producer of stock bottles, but they do recycle their own glass to make our bottles. That's the beauty of it too. There's no new creation of glass for them to make our bottles. It's the glass that they work with, that they recycle. That's an amazing one. There's no need to bring more CO2 impact on the planet. We are trying to consciously take those steps into everything we do.
We started with a shrink wrap that it was available to us in Mexico. We wanted to be able to work with Mexican companies, to create these, micro benefiting each other. Our supplier in Mexico have been able to agree to us to create self-degradable shrink wrap. It's been a beautiful product. I cannot lie to you. Everything on the bottle is being thought about. Even the way you open it, glass top, the way a bartender will hold it, the way it will look in a shelf with others within the category.
You mentioned that the company did start during the pandemic, or relate to the first expressions, during the pandemic. How difficult has that been, and do you think in the long run it has actually given the brand any advantage at all?
It has been very difficult, but not as difficult as October's going to be. I mentioned that consumers are looking for always something new, but we are not a big company at all. I mean, we just started. We're at zero basically. But being the fact that everybody right now, during the heavy months of the pandemic, went into the same level, gave us an advantage. To be quite honest to you, right now every product is ... That category, let's say you drink tequila, let's say the person next to you drinks gin, all brands and all opportunities are at the same level. That's the approach that we took.
We're all suffering. The industry is suffering big time. On the on premise, bars, restaurants, brands. You name it. Everybody is on the floor. So you know what? Let's start from the beginning then. We can raise up and see what happens. But right now I think it was an advantage to be able to launch, because people is looking for good news. And Mijenta brings good news. We put it together very nicely, and I think we're all at the same level. Right now it's not about competing by brands, it's about to bring the hospitality and service, travel back up and strong so everybody can raise up their brands or by categories, which is how I see it.
Right. So it is very much, when you mix that sort of attitude and your environment view, it is very much a brand that is about raising people up in a lot of ways. Isn't it? And keeping tradition and environment alive and strong.
Absolutely. Absolutely. The people that is going to enjoy when they're drinking, I want them to fall in love with it, with the work that we did and the people are harvesting did with the distillery, with the category itself. We got something amazing to offer. There's other great tequilas out there too. It's about bringing our industry together, back up. At this moment, that's the goal and that's the way we want to see it.
All right. Well, if people want more information, they can, of course, go to your website, which is mijentatequila.com. Thank you so much for joining us, Juan.
It's been a real pleasure chatting. And again, thank you for the great questions. Think you really asked me questions that nobody has ever asked, and I'm very happy. I was like, "Yeah, finally." Thanks a lot for your time, and I raise my glass to you. Cheers. Thanks for the opportunity. To more good tequila, and to great brands, and to our industry to surpass these difficult times. Stay safe, and thanks again for the opportunity.