Mexico grants historic tequila license in Russia

A distillery in Kaluga has received permission to bottle the signature drink

The Mexican government has granted a license for bottling tequila in Russia for the first time, business daily RBK reported on Friday.  

The Kaluga-based Crystal distillery may start bottling the signature alcoholic drink in Russia, although its production in the country is not possible, the Mexican Embassy clarified.  

Tequila can be extracted exclusively from the ‘Tequila Weber’ variety of blue agave, which is grown in the Mexican states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas, the diplomatic mission explained.  

“Therefore tequila cannot be produced outside Mexico but it can be bottled outside the Mexican territory,” the embassy told RBK in a statement.  

The Russian distillery is preparing for the launch of the line in 2024, owner Pavel Pobedkin said, without providing further details of the project. 

READ MORE: Mexico planning tequila push in Russia – envoy

The Mexican government registered the right for the exclusive use of the name ‘tequila’ in the second half of the 20th century. In 1974, a law was adopted stating that only blue agave liquor produced in certain regions of Mexico could be branded tequila. Manufacturers willing to produce the drink must obtain permission or a license from the government through the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI).

The Crystal spirits plant is one of Russia’s top ten alcohol producers in terms of volume, with an annual capacity exceeding 20 million liters.

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