More than any other major US city, Miami could best be described as ‘the little engine that could,’ in terms of its mega-watt growth over the last few decades. No doubt this is due in large part to the trailblazing entrepreneurs and visionaries who set their sights on the heart of the Magic City. One such visionary would be none other than Miami native Alexa Iacovelli, who is set to launch her new ‘Encantadora’ brand of Mexican Spirits on February 8th, 2020.
Thanks to Iacovelli’s impeccable stewardship, the ultra-premium tequilas and mezcals promise to break the mold of what you ever thought tequila or mezcal could do, with the company’s perfectly balanced focus on authenticity and innovation. A highly visible figure within the community, Iacovelli wears several hats: socialite, philanthropist, entrepreneur and world traveler. But her latest venture speaks to an impulse dear to her heart and roots—namely, to initiate changes that help bring about a vibrant new face to Miami. For this reason, Iacovelli will be proudly rolling out the brand in her hometown before taking on other nightlife hubs such as New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas. With Iacovelli’s high standards and pioneering stance as a female owner of a spirits brand, we are sure that Encantadora will stand up to every evocation of its name.
Alexa welcomed us to her home for a tasting and a chat about her new line of Spirits.
How did your passion for tequila/mezcal begin?
I was traveling and pretty passionate about gin when we ran out on a long trip to Mexico. The only option for the remainder of the trip was tequila or sobriety, so I gave it a shot; no pun intended. My friends started serving it to me with a lot of soda to dilute it and I realized that I actually loved the intricate flavor profile, it was just masked by my previous perceptions and the strong burn associated with taking a shot. After a few days, it was like drinking water, and I slowly started decreasing the amount of soda as my palate became accustomed to the taste, now I only drink it on the rocks.
After that trip I was obsessed, and only drank tequila after that, up until about a year ago when I got into mezcal. Today, Mezcal is my drink of choice and that came as a progression from my appreciation for good tequila.
What makes you pursue business in Mexican Spirits?
Outside of my passion and appreciation for Mexican spirits, as that is the number one reason I got into this, as a consumer, I recognize the rapidity with which the categories are growing and evolving. It’s a great business with a lot of potential in Europe and Asia, and it is an incredibly exciting business to be a part of.
As a business owner, what is the most important aspect of creating a company for you?
For me, the most important part of this journey has been the development of the product and the ability to start from the ground up and learn every aspect of the industry. While branding and marketing are such a huge focus in this industry, that will only get you to buy a product once. If you don’t like it, you won’t buy it again. Quality is the absolute most important aspect of this business in my perspective. Throughout the development process I always reminded myself at every step, “this is the last tequila and mezcal you’re ever going to drink, you can’t be caught drinking the competition”. If it wasn’t the best, and there was anything lacking, I would have abandoned the project. Obviously, included in the importance of quality is not just taste, it is also the health factor, I wouldn’t allow it to be adulterated or artificial like a lot of the competition. I knew I wouldn’t be able to drink it if I knew there was something artificial about it.
What has been the most challenging experience you have had starting Encantadora?
Seeing the brand come to life and trying the product for the first time. I remember being scared the first time I tried the finished product during bottling. I was terrified as lab tests in small batches can never compare to the actual distillation/fermentation/filtration process, and in mezcal, every batch is subject to a lot of change. It was such an amazing experience to try the six finished products one by one, and feel the excitement build as each one turned out to be even better than my greatest expectations. Watching the reaction of the wise men and women in the beverage industry has also been very rewarding—it has been the nod to a lot of hard work that fuels my fire to keep moving forward.