First Press Vol. 25 No. 04

BEVERAGE INDUSTRY VETERANS LAUNCH LINE OF TERPENE-INFUSED TEQUILA SELTZERS

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Targeted at Younger Drinkers, El Hempe Brand Comprises Three Different Ready-to-Drink, 100% Agave Spirits that Replicate the Nose and Flavor of Cannabis Without THC

El Hempe, a new brand of terpene-infused agave tequila seltzers, recently launched in California and Oregon, according to El Hempe CEO Tony Bash.

“El Hempe is the first non-cannabis, terpene-infused alcoholic beverage that replicates the nose of cannabis,” Bash said. “The RTD market is booming right now, especially among younger drinkers, and tequila itself has experienced double-digit growth in popularity over the past decade.”

The canned spirits are available in three flavors: Lemon-Lime OG Kush (5% abv), Mixed Berry OG Kush (5% abv) and Hibiscus Durban Poison (8% abv). Although the essence of cannabis is apparent immediately after a can is opened, the seltzers contain no THC or CBD.

El Hempe scientists were able to match the scents and flavors of two strains of cannabis – OG Kush and Durban Poison – using non-cannabis botanicals, which deliver all the flavor without psychoactive properties.

The El Hempe brand is helmed by Bash, former CEO of cannabis copacker Form Factory and longtime VP for LiDestri Food & Drink. Former Brown Forman and LiDestri senior executive Joe Ragazzo serves as Chief Revenue Officer, and LA-based Efrain Romo, who was instrumental in launching the wildly popular Cazadores Tequila brand, is Chief Marketing Officer.

El Hempe’s rollout begins in California and Oregon, where tequila and cannabis are particularly popular, and will gradually move into other states throughout 2021.

Stacey is a marketing professional with 25+ years of experience with B2B and B2C campaigns, brand management, technical writing, graphic design and social media management. Her experience in the hospitality industry is instrumental to her role as Santé's Managing Editor, a position she has held since late 2018.

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