Empire Records at the 19th Annual Latin Grammys in Las Vegas


Last week thousands descended on Las Vegas for the 19th Annual Latin Grammys at the MGM grand. The annual awards show recognizes the achievements of musicians around the world in 49 categories dedicated to Spanish- or Portuguese-language recordings, as voted on by Latin Recording Academy members from over 40 countries worldwide. Notable acts like J Balvin, Luis Miguel, Jorge Drexler, Maluma, Rosalía and many other took home awards.

Days prior to the Grammys, Las Vegas swarms with energy and excitement for the event with parties popping up in suites in all of the best hotels. For the second year in a row, El Rey has partnered with Empire Latino for their official party hosted on the top floor of the Bellagio. This year Empires own COASTCITY was nominated for Best Urban Album. Congratulations fellas!


We aren't going anywhere.


The Award winners of the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and now proud to announce, Gold medal winners for our Reposado and Silver tequila in the Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine Competition. It is safe to say that we have no intentions of going anywhere anytime soon. With our award winning lineup and being one of the first to introduce natural flavored tequilas we take great pride in where we come from.

Headquartered in Oakland, California we stay true to our roots and take pride in being a part of such a diverse and robust community. However, that does not stop us from embracing where we come from. The rich land of El Arenal Jalisco, Mexico is where our Cascahuín distillery is located.  A small, specialty distillery, Cascahuín honors the legacy of tequila by following traditional methods of production established centuries ago.

Founded in 1904 by Salvador Rosales Briseño, the distillery was instrumental in the development of tequila production standards. Their commitment to quality is fueled by the drive to position tequila as a sophisticated spirit deserving of international acclaim. We appreciate the culture, history and taste of tequilas which is why we strive as a team to provide quality tequilas for all to enjoy and appreciate. So far we can say, it looks like its working.

Tequila El Rey's Recap on Nightclub and Bar Show


Tequila El Rey had the pleasure to be in attendance of this year's Las Vegas Nightclub and Bar show which is the nation’s most influential gathering of bar and nightlife professionals. The convention has been around for 30 plus years and exhibits around 36,000 professionals from around the world to learn, network and grow the industry. The 2018 show hosted around 600 exhibitors who come from different backgrounds and different companies in hope of networking and building connections with other leading professionals within the industry. 

We were fortunate enough to have our very own director of operations Eric Loya and sales director Ralph Farias lead our team in Vegas where they successfully teamed up to network with many leading professionals within the industry and helped our team deliver an enjoyable experience for everyone who stopped by our booth to ask questions or to taste El Rey’s traditional and flavored tequilas.

We would like to thank everyone who stopped by our booth and the nightclub and bar convention for having us there to enjoy the expo hall, conference program and all the nightlife events Vegas presents. We hope to see many of you at the 2019 Nightclub and Bar show convention as it is nothing less of a good time.  #Reignsupreme

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Tequila El Rey - Light and Easy


Tequila Connoisseur Lou Agave was able to get a taste of our 6-bottle's starting with the three traditional bottles such as Añejo, Reposado and blanco and then moved on to our flavors Strawberry, Pineapple/coconut and Hibiscus. Lou Breaks down the tradition of our well-respected distillery named Cascahuín and gives a background story of how the tequila is made and our goals with establishing Tequila El Rey. Lou was a big fan our Silver/Blanco tequila and depicts the different taste each tequila delivers. Lou describes Tequila El Rey as a tequila suitable for everyone as it is very tasteful and enjoyable for all tequila tasting fans. 

"Tequila El Rey is a brand produced at the legendary Tequila Cascahuín Distillery in the valle region of Jalisco at NOM 1123.The distillery is owned by Salvador Rosales Torres and is run by Salvador and his son Salvador Rosales Trejo - (SEE BELOW). They produce Cascahuín Tequila, Revolucion, Siembra Valles, Siembra Valles Ancestral, Trianon, and Tequila El Rey among others. Trust me.... that is an impressive lineup. Cascahuín- meaning "hill of light" in the pre-Hispanic language of Náhuatl, refers to the hill in El Arenal where the distillery is located (Mount Cascahuín). The distillery was founded in 1904 by Salvador Rosales Briseno, and Salvador Torres and his son are the Master distillers of all the brands there. It's a good thing if your tequila is made here with these guys controlling things, and I'm sure someone like David Suro wouldn't trust his products here, if it wasn't one of the best distilleries. Tequila El Rey is owned by Steve Navarro, who is a business owner in the San Francisco Bay area, and along with his son Nick, manage the brand. Traditional methods are followed here, and according to the master distillers there are no additives, other than caramel coloring to balance the anejo color only, and that the brand is designed to be "soft and easy to drink."

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Oakland's El Rey Launches a series of tequila's.


Oakland Magazine writes about El Rey's history as well as a brief description of what future plans we hope to achieve with our line of tequila.  

"We've had our sights set on a line of tequila with natural flavor from our inception. Ultimately, our goal was to introduce tequila to a wider audience who prefer fruitier-tasting drinks or think that they don't like tequila due to the the stigma it can tend to have."

Read more here.

When in doubt go with tequila.


Just some fun facts about tequila, agave and it's health benefits. 

"Is there such a thing as 'healthy alcohol'? If certain individual studies on the effects of tequila are to be believed, then there sure is! The Mexican alcoholic drink is touted to be healthier than other drinks like whiskey or vodka because of some supposed health benefits that it has."

"Tequila is made from the blue variety of Agave tequilana plant that is native to Mexico and is also used to produce natural sweetener called the agave nectar as substitutes for sugar. Although the agave nectar is supposed to have a lot of health benefits and hence, is widely consumed across the world, tequila can hardly be considered a health drink! However, there are people who believe in the health benefits of having a shot of tequila every day. Why is that so?..."

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A time of year to reflect.


Christmas is the time of year when in the Mexican culture many can relate to what is known as tamale season. All Mexican families have their own traditions during this time of year but you can count that it all revolves around cooking specialty dishes such as pozole, mole or the well known tamales. The possibility is endless of the amount of traditional food you should expect to see served as it is a time of year when many families come together surrounded by drinks, food and great company as they reflect on the year altogether. 

"In Mexican-American culture, there is a time each holiday season, beginning around Thanksgiving, when all foods except tamales recede. We eat them fresh at home, one after another, until their corn-husk wrappers are piled high on the table. We pack two or three for lunch at the office, futilely hoping that the microwave doesn’t leave them a soggy mess. We bring tamales by the bagful to holidays gatherings, trading them like baseball cards with friends and cousins—I’ll give you some of my Tía Meme’s pineapple tamales if you hook me up with the potato ones from your Guatemalan sister-in-law. And, once we’ve put on the pounds (the Freshman Fifteen has nothing on the Tamale Ten) and sworn to reform our ways in the new year, we freeze what’s left to extend the holiday cheer."

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As we remember La Virgen De Guadalupe.


La Virgen De Guadalupe is an Icon that is well known through out the western hemisphere as you can almost see her image anywhere you go. La Virgin De Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico. La Virgen is depicted with brown skin, an angel and moon at her feet and the rays of sunlight that encircle her. Her image has been used throughout Mexican history, not only as a religious icon but also as a sign of patriotism. Miguel Hidalgo used her image when he launched his revolt against the Spanish back in 1810. She could be seen on the rebels’ banners and their battle cry was “Long Live Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

"As the National Museum of Mexican Art describes, "Her name and image have become synonymous with Mexicanidad (Mexican-ness) as she embodies the central theme to which any study of Mexican identity must inevitably return."

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The lost art from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera


Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, some of the most iconic artist known to come out of Mexico in the twentieth century, demonstrate their love through their own artwork. Take a look!

"He was the older, celebrated master of frescoes who helped revive an ancient Mayan mural tradition, and gave a vivid visual voice to indigenous Mexican labourers seeking social equality after centuries of colonial oppression. She was the younger, self-mythologising dreamer, who magically wove from piercing introspection and chronic physical pain paintings of a severe and mysterious beauty...."

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"Painted in Mexico"


Los Angeles county museum of art introduces new paintings that depict the 18th century art work from many great artist from Mexico such as Juan Rodríguez Juárez, Nicolás Enríquez and José de Ibarra. The Museums new exhibition displays many historical paintings that have never been seen before as they were designed for churches or other religious settings. A must-see museum if you're in the area!

"It was organized by LACMA curator Ilona Katzew and three co-curators: Jaime Cuadriello and Paula Mues Orts in Mexico City and Luisa Elena Alcalá in Madrid. More than 100 paintings are at LACMA, ranging from small oils on copper medallions worn as nuns’ habit décor to a monumental oval altarpiece 13 feet tall and 10 feet wide."

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"the blind leap of faith"


Joel Salcido, a photgrapher and writer from Texas who was born in Juarez, Mexico, takes a journey back to Mexico where he rediscovers the love of the rich culture, music and hard working people. Joel travels throughout different parts of Mexico in hope to reconnect with his mestizo-Native American roots. In doing so he also experienced the amount of heavy duty work the jimadores must engage in day after day in order to produce tequila. Joel goes on to write about his whole experience in his new book "The Spirit of Tequila."

“When I took on this project, which was strictly a personal project, I deliberately went out both to document this world of tequila, but also to see if I could relive my childhood memories, if I could find those special places that were unique and special to my childhood,” Salcido says. “As I dug into these beautiful towns in the state of Jalisco, I realized that it was all still there. This richness of culture, this richness of colors, and these beautiful people.”

Read more here. 

Mariachi revolutionized music.


Mariachi, a coveted musical art form that has helped craft much of the music we know to this day. Mariachi was originated in Jalisco, Mexico in the 19th century and is now known throughout Mexico and many parts of the United States. The musical art form is known to have many classic songs that have great meanings and tend to be played at celebrations such as weddings, birthday parties and baptisms. Mariachi first came to Los Angeles in the 1940's and from then on became a key part of culture which has helped revolutionize the music industry and even go on to help create one of Blondie's biggest hits.

"There is no music of Los Angeles without mariachi and banda and son jarocho, without bossa nova and samba, without mambo and cha cha cha and salsa, without Latin jazz helping West Coast jazz find its sound, without R&B and rock tuning "south of the border" or "South American Way." Or to musicalize the question from artist Rubén Ortiz-Torres, how could we listen to L.A. (Los Angeles) without the music of L.A. (Latin America)? How could we listen to Latin America without the music of Los Angeles? The city's distinctive musical urbanism is unthinkable without Latin American migrant sounds and migrant musicians. "Boom in Latin rhythms bigger than ever in L.A.," jazz magazine Down Beatdeclared in 1954, but truth is the boom was always booming, the tide was always high."

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'Coco' takes center stage!


Coco, a movie about a young boy named Miguel Rivera who chooses to follow his dream of playing his guitar despite the push back of his family. The movie is centered around a Dia de Los Muertos theme that depicts Mexican music, culture and folklore. 

"We hope that our audience and those communities feel like we got it right," says co-director Lee Unkrich. He says the filmmakers went to great lengths to make sure the depictions were culturally authentic and respectful. He and his crew of artists at Pixar spent six years travelling to Mexico for inspiration, going into people's homes, visiting plazas and mercados, and attending Day of the Dead festivities. But as they were kicking around ideas for a title, parent company Disney got in a lot of heat for filing to trademark the phrase "Dia de los Muertos."

Read more here.

Raiders vs Patriots in Mexico City


The anticipated Raiders vs Patriots game in Mexico City is just days away! The game is expected to be a hard fought game on both offense and defense as both teams look to claim their spots in the AFC playoff race. With the game, just days away and fans heading out to Mexico City we thought we would help out by sharing some suggestions on cool markets and historic places to visit while in Mexico City. Enjoy!

 "The game in Mexico City is sure to be a great opportunity for NFL fans from the United States to experience the vast culture that Mexico City has to offer. If you’re traveling to Mexico City for the Raiders’ Week 11 NFL game, be sure to stick around for the food, nightlife and sightseeing opportunities, too."

Read more here.

Tequila, the spirit of all seasons.


Why do we consider tequila the spirit of all season's? The answer is simple. Tequila is the best around! Tequila is a true art form that can be enjoyed in any mood. Tequila is known for the occasional round of shots at the bar or even the key ingredient to margaritas. However, tequila is not just limited to these forms of drinking but can be enjoyed on the rocks, cocktails and can even be used in forms of cooking to add the additional flavor to any food. Tequila can be enjoyed with any mood and that's why El Rey brings you the classical aged tequila's such as Añejo and reposado as well as the option of silver, pineapple coconut, hibiscus and strawberry.  A variety of tequila for whatever fits your mood. 

“You should drink the tequila which better suits your mood more than what suits your meal. Because we don’t eat beautiful dishes just to get full, any more than we want to drink tequila because we are thirsty. Drinking tequila is an experience all on its own.”

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Tequila offers medical promise.


Great news! more reasons to drink tequila. Tequila has been a growing part of the American market for years as many enjoy drinking tequila in different occasions whether social or to relax. Reports have shown that tequila has a significant impact on your bones as well as a source of treatment for osteoporosis the reasons behind this is due to the plant that is used in tequila which is the coveted agave plant. The agave plant known as the center piece for tequila is now being used as more than just the sweetener of tequila but as well as a health benefit. 

"The blue agave plant is already being investigated as the source of treatments for osteoporosis an lowering blood glucose, and now is being used as the raw material in a bio-skin to treat second- and third-degree burns."

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Bats are an essential part in the making of tequila.


Did you know bats have an impact on how tequila is made? Agave is one of the only plants that pollinates at night to add that sweet base to every tequila bottle.Bats are an essential part on how the agave plants are grown as bats help pollenate each agave plant. However, the species has dropped a significant percentage due to it's "ecosystem being disrupted by large-scale, cheaper methods of making tequila." Growing agave naturally is an essential part of making tequila and that is why our own Cascahuín Distillery contributes to the preservation of bats by letting 2% of its Agave plants to bloom.

"You can't have tequila without agave, the spiky desert plant used as its base. And it's hard to have agave without bats — because a few species of these winged creatures are the plant's primary pollinators. Agave co-evolved with bats over thousands of years. As a result, it's one of the very few plants that pollinates at night. Daulton says industrial agave farming adversely affects both plants and bats."

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The Sugar Sweetness of Dia De Los Muertos.

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An Iconic image of Dia De Los Muertos is the sugar skull. It has become a classic art form of Dia De Los Muertos and truly brings out the creativity in many of those who have mastered the skills in making them. Like many of the art forms you see during Dia De Los Muertos festivities, sugar skulls have their own meaning and history as well. Sugar skulls represent the beauty of death as a celebration for those who have passed away. The skulls are usually placed on gravestones sometimes with food and beverages that serve as a guide to bring the spirits back to earth. The smaller skulls are put on altars representing the children who have passed away. Unlike many cultures, Dia De Los Muertos is a tradition that celebrates the dead opposed to many other cultures who mourn the deaths of loved one's differently. 

"The sugar skulls are reminders of a long history that can be traced back to the Aztec empire. Celebrations honoring the underworld and its inhabitants “could be found in Mexico well before the European invasion,” says Delia Cosentino, an associate professor of art history and architecture at DePaul University who specializes in the visual culture of Mexico, in an email."

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Dia De Los Muertos is more than what you think.


Dia De Los Muertos is not meant to be halloween or meant to be scary. Dia De Los Muertos is celebrated yearly from October 31st-November 2nd. The celebration goes beyond just making skulls and painting faces. It is a way for families to remember loved one's that have passed away by building a "catrina" in memory of them or even taking a tequila bottle to the cemetery in good spirits to remember good times. There are countless ways many people celebrate Dia De Los Muertos from a variety of traditions and cultures but ultimately each tradition has the same purpose, which is to cherish the memories of loved one's and celebrate the lives they lived, specifically the children that have passed away. 

"Other traditions include sleeping in the graveyard next to the altars, or dancing in the graveyard wearing traditional shells tied to the clothing in order to wake the dead.
Public schools and government offices are not exempt from the celebrations. Shrines and altars are not only found in private homes, but schools and offices as well. The tradition of Dia De Los Muertos is sacred to the Mexican people. It is more than just a holiday; it is part of their heritage."

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