What do you do when you’re a Latin music superstar who’s sold over 7.5 million studio albums and 100 million singles worldwide, and you also love tequila? You find a premium artisanal brand you really like, and you join forces with the company to let the masses know where they can find it. Espanita Tequila turned out to be the perfect fit, and Pitbull’s all in.
The game plan for the Grammy-winning rapper, singer and songwriter Armando Christian Perez—famously known as Pitbull AKA Mr. Worldwide—kicked in last year. In 2020, Pitbull became the brand ambassador for Espanita, a handcrafted tequila with numerous medals and distinctions for quality, creativity of packaging, and value.
Although famous for his music–Pitbull immerses himself in a diversity of endeavors as well. He began a partnership with Horizon Media to launch 305 Worldwide, a multicultural marketing agency. He’s also a philanthropist, having helped establish Sports Leadership Arts and Management (SLAM!), a tuition-free public charter school for middle and high school students. The first school opened in 2013 in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, where Pitbull grew up, and the organization now operates nationwide, boasting a 96-percent graduation rate.
In April 2020, Pitbull released a single titled “I Believe That We Will Win (World Anthem),” meant to inspire those affected by COVID-19. Pitbull is donating all proceeds from the song’s sales, streaming and YouTube video views to two non-profit organizations: Feeding America, which sponsors more than 200 food banks around the country; and the Tony Robbins Foundation, whose mission is to make a difference in the lives of youth, seniors, the hungry, the homeless, and the imprisoned population.
We asked Pitbull to tell us about his involvement with Espanita Tequila, and how he’s been faring during the past year through worldwide challenging times.
by Audrey Pavia
Tell us more about your involvement with Espanita. What’s your role with the brand?
I was first introduced to Espanita by one of my business partners. After I first tried it, I realized it was really great tasting tequila, and I was excited about getting involved with this brand as its global brand ambassador and creative advisor. Now, we’re partners and I’m looking forward to the journey together.
What inspired you to get involved with this brand in particular?
I was very impressed by the brand’s packaging. As an artist, creativity and ingenuity are very important for me, and I could immediately feel that synergy between the Pitbull and Espanita brands. I loved that each bottle had a celestial symbol for each step of the tequila maturation steps; it’s unconventional, and has deep meaning. The labels of Espanita are also informative about how tequila is made, and this is something you don’t see very often. When I tasted the tequila, I thought to myself, ‘This is a truly authentic, well-constructed tequila.’ This high quality has inspired me to get involved with the brand, and I’m looking forward to watching it grow globally. When I recommend Espanita to my fans, friends and business partners, I’m confident they will enjoy this tequila.
Where did your passion for tequila come from? Have you always been a fan?
I’ve liked tequila for many years but have developed a much deeper appreciation for this spirit over the last several years when traveling and trying different brands. It’s a pleasure to make a cocktail with Espanita. This is a very versatile tequila: depending on my mood, I can enjoy it as a shot with lime and salt, and its’ a pleasure to make a cocktail with Espanita as well. Either way, it always hits the spot.
I recently started to learn more about how traditional tequila is made, and I have an appreciation of the passion and commitment that’s put in making this spirit. It’s truly impressive. As Espanita’s global brand ambassador, I enjoy shining the light on the artisans and craftsmen involved with creating this exquisite tequila.
Is there a connection between collaborating on a finely crafted tequila and creating memorable music and other entertainment projects?
I’ve started to learn about handcrafted tequila comparatively recently. So far, this journey has been absolutely fascinating. While I’ve always been fond of good tequila, I hadn’t realized just how much work and dedication goes into the creation of each flavorful drop, and how important each step of the traditional production process is.
I have tremendous respect for artisans and their commitment to their craft. Starting from picking up these perfectly ripe agave plants, harvesting them by hand, and slowly steaming them in stone ovens for many hours until they are cooked just right and release sweet aromatic juices—this is a true labor of love. Even preparation of harvested agave piñas for cooking is an art, and you have to split each huge agave piña—which are hard as a stone—in half. You have to carefully remove the center part, called cogollo, because if left untouched, it will impart bitter flavor to tequila. It’s so much easier and cheaper to process agave in a diffuser, as many commercialized distilleries do. But still craft distilleries continue to respect the traditional process and make their tequila in this tried-and-true way, where each step of this long, labor-intensive process is perfected by generations of tequileros. They do it the hard way, because they want to make the best tequila possible, and they have passion for their craft.
The connection is passion. Passion and the desire to deliver the best possible product to your fans. To create music that’s memorable, that stays with people and hopefully changes something for better in their lives, you have to have passion and be totally committed to do your best for your fans. My philosophy is that patience, passion and perseverance are the keys to success. This is also true for crafting a fine tequila, such as Espanita.