Four industry notables team on new mezcal

by Stephen Garner

Here’s a little something different. Four industry notables across the business, creative, and lifestyle spaces have moved into the alcohol industry.

Nate Brown, the celebrated creative director whose work in the fashion and music space spans Kanye West to Beyoncé to Calvin Klein; and Terry Lee, a founder, advisor, and investor of some of today’s leading direct-to-consumer brands: MeUndies, Thrive Market, and Magic Spoon, are among the founders of a new all-natural, handmade agave mezcal distilled in the rolling hills of Santiago, Matatlán—the heartland of the spirit in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Born out of a passion for the agave spirit and rooted in the simple belief that mezcal is, Brown and Lee founded Rosaluna with the help from Freddie Martignetti, an accomplished investor and advisor at Highland Capital with deep family ties to the beverage industry; and Pepe Mireles, who is an accomplished entrepreneur with 25+ years of experience in real estate, hospitality services, interior design, and film.

What began as a shared love for the spirit grew into an obsession of sharing the simplicity of ingredients, energy, and magic around mezcal, while appealing to the digitally-native consumer, stripping it of its associations with formality and “alcohol gatekeeping.”

“At the core of it, we really just loved mezcal so much we made our own, and we wanted to share the magic with our friends and family,” said Brown. “Thus, Rosaluna was born.”

To introduce Rosaluna to the market, the team joined forces with sister and brother duo, JJ and Frida Méndez León Jiménez, whose family has been lovingly creating the spirit for over six generations in the hills of Oaxaca, Mexico. Vertically integrated and made purely with agave, water, and lots of love, Rosaluna grows, farms, ferments, and distills their own agave from start to finish, ensuring the integrity of mezcal is ever-present from conception to product. The partnership allows for the creation of a single-estate operation, a rarity in the mezcal industry, and positioned Rosaluna to present it’s certified gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, zero carb, plant-based, and carbon-neutral spirit nationwide.

“Frida, JJ, and their family welcomed us with open arms from day one,” added Lee. “They are first and foremost, agave growers, whose utmost attention to their craft and willingness to reimagine what mezcal is in 2020 and beyond, are essential to what we’re building with Rosaluna.”

Free of additives, coloring, and flavors of any kind, Rosaluna is an all-natural joven mezcal made from espadín agave. The bright and brilliant spirit aims to deliver a complex layer of citrus notes, tropical fruits, and smooth vegetal quality without the harsh or medicinal qualities. Inspired by a muted shade of red found throughout Oaxaca, Rosaluna’s distinctive labeling features a clay-themed color palette along with a graphic of two figures, depicted as giving thanks to the moon as a reverence to its nurturing impact on the agave plant. The bottle cap is a screw-top further representing the brand’s modern and unpretentious take on the spirit, and its copper color symbolizes the copper pots the mezcal is distilled within.

Rosaluna ($39.99 / 750mL) is available on Drizly, at all Soho House clubs nationwide, top national retail chains such as Total Wine & More, and other select retailers in New York, Southern California, and Massachusetts.

“Our partnership with Drizly has been a critical part of our launch,” said Martignetti. “Rosaluna is about sharing the magic of mezcal with a broader audience, and Drizly is helping us meet people where they are while supporting our local business owners.”