15 | NOV | 2019
"Cwtch" in Mexico: Kiko Mezcal takes spirits to the next level
Hummingbirds will be part of Kiko's image; these decorations were made using agave fibers – Photo: Courtesy of Kiko Mezcal

"Cwtch" in Mexico: Kiko Mezcal takes spirits to the next level

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Sofía Danis & Gretel Morales
Mexico City
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Glynn and the team behind Kiko Mezcal are working on this brand using a circular economy based business, as well as an environment-friendly approach

Glynn Pegler, from Wales, started his first company when he was a teenager. Then he focused on creating strategies for social change and ended up working with Google, Virgin, Red Bull, Comic Relief, and Santander. More recently, Glynn has worked for BBC Studios and has focused on digital strategy, innovation in education, enterprise & entrepreneurship, and emerging markets.

Glynn visited Mexico for the first time in 2012, during the G20 summit and by 2014 Glynn was appointed as an Honorary Consul for Mexico by former President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Then his love affair with Mexico began.

Now he spends at least 5 months in Mexico every year and is planning to launch a new Mezcal.

On November 2015, Glynn visited Oaxaca for the first time during the Día de Los Muertos celebration. For Glynn, Oaxaca was the closest thing to a Celtic nation in Mexico. People in Oaxaca had a similar placement and the same embrace.

Among the places he visited in Oaxaca was San Martín Tilcajete, the town where Mexican artisans create the famous alebrijes. While in the shop, Glynn was welcomed with mezcal and homemade tamales.

Now every year, he goes back to Oaxaca to visit that family and he brings Welsh cakes to share a part of his culture with his Mexican friends.

Then in 2017, Glynn was invited to the Guelaguetza and by chance, he attended the Mezcal International Fair.

He took his unique relationship with Oaxaca and decided to create a new mezcal brand since it is the fastest growing spirit in the world.

For the last 24 months, Glynn and his team have been working on Kiko Mezcal. In Santiago Mazatlán, Oaxaca, the home of mezcal, Gerardo, the “Maestro mezcalero” (mezcal master), has been creating a unique new mezcal that looks to take this drink to the next level.

Glynn's bond with Oaxaca has a lot to do with cultural similarities: "the name Kiko embodies many things, the embrace that Oaxaca has given me. [Both Welsh and Oaxacan] are family oriented cultures. Family and traditions are the most important things for both." Furthermore, the name Kiko has a special meaning for him. The Welsh word "cwtch," although untranslatable, refers to a hug that comes from the heart and for Glynn, "kiko or quico," short for "kiss" in Mexican Spanish, holds a similar meaning, that is why Glynn and his team decided to name the company Kiko Mezcal: "We wanted a word that gave people a connection with the mezcal in a similar way, that showed respect to the drink;" nevertheless, the name also is a way to show respect for mezcal and its significance in Oaxaca: The most important thing to remember when drinking mezcal is that it should always be sipped. As they say in Oaxaca: 'tómalo a besos."

Kiko Mezcal is not only a soft, earthy, yet citrusy, overall a balanced mezcal, it is also based upon a socially-conscious strategy, as Glynn believes that brands should be useful in the lives of consumers, therefore, this concept of usefulness is at the heart of Kiko: a brand with a purpose.

Glynn and the team behind Kiko Mezcal are working on this brand using a circular economy based business, as well as an environment-friendly approach.

For example, producers use rosemary as a natural plague repellent instead of using pesticides and they use their agave waste and fibers to make boxes, cards, and even labels. Kiko even has plant nurseries as they are trying to preserve rare agave species growing in the wild in Oaxaca.

Glynn pointed out he didn't want to be “just another gringo doing a mezcal.” His idea was to create an ethical and sustainable company. Kiko is not only looking to employ people in Oaxaca, showcase the state's richness and culture, and show the world the potential in Oaxaca, Glynn is striving to create a genuine friendship with people, in order to collaborate and create a new mezcal brand.

Glynn and his team plan to release special edition glasses for the mezcal, different boxes, and different salts to pair with the mezcal.

For Glynn “Mexico is so much more than other people think" and he really wants people to be able to embrace the quality that exists in the work in Mexico.

Glynn fell in love with the culture and the people, which accentuated the potential and at the same time the lack of opportunities in the country.

Kiko Mezcal was previewed during the Queen's Birthday Party, an event organized by the British embassy in Mexico in April but the brand will be officially launching in July.

It should be noted that Kiko Mezcal's efforts have already paid off, as the brand has already been recognized as a Certified Artisanal Mezcal

Overall,  Kiko is a mezcal with a lot of work and ethics behind it, as well as its #SpiritofKiko, which can be summed up in three goals: Spirit. Style. Sustainability.

Kiko Mezcal will be a medium to high price range mezcal.


Only bats can save tequila

In 1995, a few years after Medellín Legorreta warned the tequila industry, a plague destroyed the agave crops in Mexico; it was so catastrophic it was named the “AIDS of tequila.”
Only bats can save tequila Only bats can save tequila


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