How Socorro Tequila Is Helping Alleviate Water Insecurity In Mexico

Food & Drink

According to the World Health Organization and Unicef, 2.2 billion people worldwide live without access to safe and reliably managed drinking water. To bring attention to this crisis, The United Nations designated March 22 World Water Day in 1994. Three decades later, clean water advocacy remains a vital conversation in regions across the globe.

If you’re looking for a way to support clean water initiatives this year, consider restocking your bar cart. One Texas-based tequila brand is taking action to provide clean water to various communities in Mexico.

Two spirits industry veterans, Josh Irving and Pablo Antinori, founded Socorro Tequila in Dallas in 2020. The pair met while working at Southern Glazers and connected over their passion for great tequila. After trying different brands across Texas and arguing over which was the “best,” Irving and Antinori decided to settle it once and for all by making their own.

“Pablo and I bonded over talking about tequila,” says Irving. “We’d been bartenders and sales reps, so we knew the pros, cons, and flavor profiles of lots of different brands but could never agree on a favorite. Finally, Pablo told me, ‘Let’s stop arguing over this tequila or that tequila and go make the best.’”

They spent two years going back and forth from Dallas to Jalisco, Mexico, visiting every distillery they could before choosing where they’d make their tequila. During these trips, they saw firsthand the level of water scarcity the community was facing.

“We spent a lot of time in Jalisco getting to know the people and place where our tequila would be made,” says Antinori. “Through those trips and building relationships, we learned that something we often take for granted — clean water — wasn’t accessible for everyone.”

According to the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), 6 million people in Mexico don’t have access to potable water, and only 58% of the population has daily access to running water. After each trip, the pair would come away feeling closer to the people of Jalisco and more determined to find a way to help the communities they’d grown to love there.

Socorro, which means “help” or “assistance” in Spanish, donates one case of water for every case of tequila sold through its Case for a Case Program, seeking to alleviate the situation and as a token of goodwill,

The Case for a Case program is simple –– one case of water is donated for every case of tequila sold. The water goes to orphanages and nursing homes in different communities throughout Mexico. Since the program’s implementation, 35,359 cases have been donated to the citizens of Jalisco.

“We started this journey with the goal of making the best tequila but discovered so much more,” said Irving. “The goal of our business now is to give back, supporting the communities that support us while making the best tequila.”

The current drought in Mexico is exacerbating the water crisis. Farmers, ranchers, and agave producers are all struggling with the lack of rain. And even though agave is a drought resistant plant, the impact of the lack of water is still palpable across the country.

“We have seen the impact of the water crisis in the communities we visit, and know that shortages are affecting people across the country,” says Irving. “Case for a Case is our way of trying to alleviate that struggle. Any impact we’re able to make is worth it.”

“As an outside brand, we have a responsibility to take care of the communities that are supporting us,” says Antinori. “They treat us like family and we deeply respect the work they put into helping Socorro grow.”

Irving and Antinori also oversee every step of the tequila production, and travel to Jalisco every few months to check-in. Socorro’s three expressions – Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo – are made sustainably with 100% Blue Weber agave and no additives.

The agave piñas are steamed in traditional brick ovens for a total of 48 hours to produce pure agave juice. The juice is then fermented with well water and a proprietary blend of champagne yeast for at least 96 hours and distilled twice. The Reposado and Añejo expressions are aged in new American oak barrels for four months and 14 months, respectively, and all three expressions undergo an oxygenation process prior to bottling to enrich the sweet agave taste.

Socorro Blanco has notes of cooked agave with touches of sweet citrus and a hint of pepper. Socorro’s Reposado and Añejo tequilas have an agave forward, yet complex character. The Reposado features an agave caramel flavor with notes of oak and vanilla, and the Añejo has a distinctive balance between barrel oak and toffee.

“Each of our tequilas has a distinct flavor, so they’re great in different cocktails, ” said Antinori. “The blanco is perfect for a classic margarita or ranch water. The reposado makes a delicious espresso martini, and añejo is the perfect alternative to whiskey in an old fashioned. We’re proud of the flavor profile and versatility of all three, and they give us triple the chance to give back.”

No matter which expression you prefer, each bottle counts towards the Case for a Case program. Socorro Tequila is available in restaurants and retailers across Texas and Colorado, as well as online.

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