Topic: News

Pura Vida Tequila 2017 Gift Guide













The holidays are just around the corner, and whether you’re buying for yourself or another tequila lover in your life, here’s the definitive gift guide you need this season! From stocking stuffers to presents, Pura Vida has you covered.

Love to hike? Love to drink? Love to hike and drink? The Adventure Happy Hour System is for you! Comes with a stackable shaker, strainer, citrus juicer, and four rocks glasses. Campfire margarita, anyone?


Includes a beautiful leather and canvas travel bag and three Carry On Cocktail kits (old fashioned, gin and tonic, and Moscow mule). Comes with everything you need—ingredients, tools, and instructions—to concoct your mid-flight cocktail bliss.

Ever wanted to take a full bar with you wherever you go? Now you can! Packed into this canvas and leather bag (available in forest green, navy, or white) is a mason shaker, a muddler, a jigger, two linen cocktail napkins, and two cocktail coupes. Fill with the spirits of your choosing and enjoy.

Put your feet up and relax this holiday season—while sending everyone a not-so-subtle message: if you can read this, bring me tequila! Handmade, high quality, and hilarious. Sure to brighten any stocking.

For the true tequila connoisseur, this tequila-scented candle boasts a woody aroma with undertones of vanilla and honey.

A classic gift that can be personalized with a name or monogram for a special twist. Handcrafted from recycled blown glass, each product is unique, sturdy, beautiful, and eco friendly.

Add a bit of fun and flair to your kicks. Great for parties, nights out on the town, or just hanging out with friends. These fun slip-ons are sure to become a wardrobe go-to.

Bring a splash of color to any kitchen with these 4” x 4” coaster sets. Each one is hand painted and sure to be as unique and vibrant as the recipient! Lots of styles and patterns to choose from.

Airport travel is the worst! Make it a bit more bearable with this fun, unique luggage tag. The leather strap and waterproof acrylic material help ensure it will survive through countless security scans and trips around the baggage carousel.

Make someone’s holiday a little bit merrier this year with any of these boozy baubles!

Margarita Mega Merger

On November 9th, Texas-based Pura Vida Spirits Company and Milestone Brands officially teamed up to take the original Mexican Orange Liqueur, NARANJA, “nationwide” as ZZ Top front man and Pura Vida Spirits investor, Billy Gibbons, likes to say. Bolstered by the significant resources and successes of the Milestone Brands team, NARANJA will launch nationwide in January 2018. Milestone Brands formed in February 2016 by former Deep Eddy Vodka CEO, Eric Dopkins and Deep Eddy Vodka co-founder, Chad Auler.

NARANJA is produced by La Madrileña, brand owner of Controy, the original creator of the Mexican orange liqueur. NARANJA is the secret ingredient necessary for any authentic Mexican margarita, and for nearly a century this premium orange liqueur was available only in Mexico. Now that the secret is out, thanks to Milestone brands and Pura Vida Spirits Company, margarita lovers everywhere will soon be able to make margaritas taste like they do in Mexico with NARANJA.

To understand the significance of the NARANJA and its rich Mexican history, we must first look back to the creation of the first Margarita in October of 1941 at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico. One particularly slow afternoon, while Don Carlos Orozco was experimenting with mixing new drinks, a prestigious visitor arrived, Margarita Henkel, daughter of the German ambassador. Don Carlos offered his newest creation to Miss. Margarita to taste and she loved it so much that he decided to name it “La Margarita” in her honor, as she was the first person ever to drink one. Legend has it, that inaugural margarita was little more than a mixture of equal parts tequila, NARANJA, and lime; shaken and served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass.

Tradition is—and always will be—the cornerstone of NARANJA, and its continued success and growth into a bigger market will rely heavily on its recipe and packaging, both of which speak to the unique heritage of Mexico. A truly authentic margarita can only happen with Mexican ingredients, and Naranja was one of the two base spirits in the invention of the now-iconic Mexican cocktail. As Pura Vida Chairman, Stewart Skloss, likes to say, “Margaritas come from Mexico, so should the ingredients.”

Moreover, “As the Tequila category continues to grow, we feel NARANJA will play a significant role using a recipe and package that speak to the heritage of Mexico,” said Eric Dopkins, founder and CEO of Milestone Brands.

Skloss added, “I’m thrilled about the acquisition for this truly authentic brand and look forward to supporting the Milestone team on NARANJA’S projected growth.”

In such a competitive vertical, NARANJA has an important edge. Being the original spirit in the original margarita, it will always stand as the emblem of authenticity in orange liqueurs.

Drink Tequila Like a Boss


Tequila, especially Pura Vida’s organic, small-batch spirits, is no longer a party lubricant to slam down your gullet with a lick of salt, wedge of lime, and a prayer the following morning doesn’t begin with a nasty hangover. The days of Tequila Mixtos, low-grade agave nectar mixed with non-agave sugars, are past. Now is the age of Jalisco-born, officially-regulated, 100% agave-smooth spirits enjoyed in high-end cocktails and (surprise!) by sipping.

Since Pura Vida works passionately to cultivate and perfect our boutique beverages to highlight the complex range of flavors of our beloved high-altitude-sweetened agave, sipping from appropriate glassware is highly recommended. The budding tequila enthusiast will reach instinctively for a shot glass, but wait a minute! The miniscule space provided by these tiny glasses robs you of a larger sensory experience.

We at Pura Vida suggest pouring your favorite PV tequila in a rocks or white wine glass in order to allow the aromas of our distilled agaves to aerate and bloom, such an oenophile does with fine wine. And, like a wine enthusiast, take your time rediscovering and enjoying tequila by utilizing traditional full-sensory wine tasting etiquette.

First, hold up your glass and admire the purity of color. Marvel at the crystal clarity of the triple-distilled beauty of our Pura Vida Silver and the range of luscious amber shades of our Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo tequilas. All of our aged spirits are all ripened in second-generation oaken bourbon and cognac barrels.

Then, wave a hand over the top of your glass and breathe in the various scents brought out of the agave and our barrels through the aging process. You should catch the notes of mint and agave’s spice in our young Silver and the jasmine, vanilla, pineapple, ginger and oak hints in our matured Reposados and Añejos.

Now, slowly take a sip and observe the mouth-feel of each type of tequila. Since Pura Vida starts every batch by distilling and straining each three times, our tequilas are some of the smoothest on the market. The only “catch” you may feel on your tongue is the honeyed heft of the Añejos as they gain body with the caramelization of their sugars through the years’ long maturation process.

And while you roll those sensuous sips of Pura Vida around your mouth and over your whole palate, observe each flavor-profile. Do you taste the jasmine, agave, and slightly peppery finish we’ve found in our Silver? How about the bit of mint and lighter jasmine notes intertwined with the sweet notes of oak, chocolate and vanilla in our Reposado? In the Añejo, do you taste the deeper vanilla tones with some raisin, coffee, and peppered floral brought out of the oak barrel too? And, finally, in the Extra Añejo, can you identify a more exotically fruity profile, including undertones of lychee and guava mixed with the spicy oak and subtly grassy herbaceous flavors? Do you taste other flavors?

So, throw the salt and shot glasses over your shoulder and hit any devils lurking there urging you to waste precious and delicious pours of Pura Vida by slamming shots. Instead, order up a pairing of Silver and Sangrita (read more below) for a new-to-you flavor experience. Or request any Pura Vida Tequila neat in a rocks glass, sans rocks, turn to your neighbor, and spread some educational wealth about your favorite liquor. Sip the good life together!

Bartender of the Month – Travis Hebrank


Name: ­­­­­
Travis Hebrank

Polite Society Restaurant and Bar

Highland, IL

Favorite Vacation Spot?
This is a toughy… I’ve had great times in Paris, San Fransisco and also in my backyard. So… Let’s say… My backyard.

What are you streaming on TV right now?
Well, GoT just ended for the season, so I’m back to streaming my go-to’s, 30-Rock, Futurama and South Park. Cowboy Bebop is always in the rotation.

Three things you can’t live without?
Air, Water and Food

How long have you been bartending?
Really not terribly long. I’ve only been in the industry for about 4 years. I’ve been bartending for about 2. What I lack in experience I make up for in enthusiasm. I’m also really good at convincing people that I know what I’m doing.

What are some of your hobbies?
I read a lot, play around with music in various forms, go to movies… normal stuff.

Any time a menu uses the word “fresh”. “Fresh Lime” in a margarita… It makes me immediately assume that everything without the “fresh” qualifier is NOT fresh: not a great state of affairs.

What’s the most important skill a bartender should have?
Personality is definitely important (and sadly, often a neglected element), but I think efficiency and accuracy are perhaps more important. It really depends on what type of bar you are working at…. 500 people clambering for budweisers don’t need you to have a cheery personality, they need you to be quick.

How do you approach making cocktails? And how do you incorporate that style into your bar’s cocktail menu?
I tend to start with the flavor/aromatic combinations, because I feel like the structure can generally be fixed relatively easily (with sugar, salt, citrus or bitters). So I tend to start with a flavor idea: I have one cocktail, the Thai Fighter, that started with the idea “wow, Pad Thai is incredible”, so I tried to incorporate lime, cilantro, ginger, peanuts. It ended up working really well.. The menu follows these creations while also taking into consideration what I think people with LIKE, what I think they will ORDER, while always keeping an eye on the season.

What’s your cocktail-making style in in three words?
Creative but Delicious

What do you drink on your night off?
I’m the beverage director at Polite Society, so I have to keep an eye on every aspect of the beverage world… Having said that, I probably spend the most money on wine.

What trends have you spotted in cocktails?
A trend that I dislike: anything that makes it difficult to drink the drink. “Here, smell this, and then dab a drop of this potion on your left ear lobe and then close your eyes and suck on this rock… then drink this cocktail out of this eyedropper.”
Trends that I DO like: trying to introduce people to new things by guiding them in… presenting new ingredients or techniques in a way that doesn’t inflate the bartenders ego, but makes the guest smile and want to try MORE new things.

What’s a cocktail you’ve added to the menu that you think people should drink now?
Well, I feel that I should mention, I’ve got a Pura Vida cocktail that’s going on the menu soon: I reduced a west coast IPA down with a few types of peppercorn and some herbs to make a syrup. Pura Vida Añejo is the base spirit: to accentuate some pepper notes while rounding things out with the oak influence. Lychee liqueur to accentuate the tropic notes of the hops in the syrup. Green Chartreuse to accentuate the earthier components of the syrup. The IPA syrup provides the bitterness and sugar, with a touch of lactic acid. Lemon juice and splash of club soda to finish things off.

I also have an egg white cocktail using a root beer syrup that I made from scratch with 6 different kinds of roots and about 30 other ingredients. I think a Cachaça base is going to win out. Don’t want to get in the way of the complexity of the root beer syrup though.

SangriTa, Not Sangria…


Sangrita, Spanish for “little blood”, is the traditional Mexican potion with which those in the know pair with their favorite glasses of Pura Vida Silver or ReposadoTequilas. Those who are REALLY in the know, choose Pura Vida’s El Guapo’s Handmade Sangrita to create the magic of an authentic Mexican flavor adventure.

The origin story of Sangrita is debated as to the whom and the how of its beginnings, but many sources agree its popularity arose in Mexico’s Jalisco region around the 1920s as a method to cut the sting of earlier, homemade tequilas. As tequila evolved into a smooth and choice spirit of discerning palates, it’s pairing with sangrita advanced in sophistication, too.

Sangrita is made from the blending of tomato juice (or pomegranate juice – another long-standing debate), orange juice, lime juice, onions, salt, and chilies. The red of the tomato juice gives it its “blood red” color, while the rest of the recipe produces a complex and complimentary flavor partner to the sugars and spices of Pura Vida’s organically grown and carefully cultivated agave goodness.

Our El Guapo’s Handmade Sangrita secret family recipe was perfected with a tomato juice base to complement the nuanced flavors of our Pura Vida Tequilas. And earns its gourmet status by being prepared in small, boutique batches while only using the finest all-natural, organic ingredients.

So, next time you crave a “spirited” trip down to Jalisco, order up a Banderita (“little flag”) – a glass each of lime juice, your favorite Pura Vida Tequila (Silver or Reposado – recommend), and El Guapo’s Handmade Sangrita, the colors of your sips mirroring the colors of the Mexican flag. Enjoy a genuine Mexican experience… Sip the Good Life!

Roasted Tequila Butternut Squash


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

From: Cooking in Stilettos

1 3-pound butternut squash, peeled, cored and diced into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
½ teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup of apple cider
3 tablespoons of Pura Vida Tequila Reposado
¼ cup of maple syrup (preferably grade B for a more intense flavor)
Juice of half a small lime



Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For easy cleanup later, you will want to line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, toss the cubed butternut squash with the olive oil, salt and freshly cracked black pepper and pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.

Spread so it is an even layer and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, taking care to rotate the butternut squash halfway through.

While the butternut squash is roasting, let’s make the glaze. In a small saucepan, add the apple cider, Pura Vida Tequila Reposado, maple syrup, and lime juice.

Stir to combine and turn the heat to medium high.

Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, until forms a syrup consistency and has reduced by half.

When the butternut squash is done, remove from the oven and pour the tequila glaze over the butternut squash cubes and toss the mixture so everything is coated with that delicious glaze.

Return the mixture to the oven and let roast for about 10 minutes longer.





Cranberry Tequila Punch

Cranberry Tequila Punch
(The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook, 2016)



6 cups chilled bottled apple juice, divided
6 cups chilled bottledcranberry cocktail, divided
1 large orange, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/3 cups fresh cranberries, divided
2 cups Pura Vida Tequila Reposado
1 cup NARANJA Orange Liqueur
2 bottles sparkling wine, such as prosecco
10-12 fresh rosemary sprigs



Make ice ring: Pour 1 cup each apple and cranberry juice into an 8- to 9-in. bundt or ring mold. Add half of orange slices in a single layer and about 1/3 of cranberries. Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.

Set aside 24 to 36 cranberries for garnish. Pour remaining berries into mold, then add remaining orange slices. Fill with another 1 cup each apple and cranberry juices. Freeze until frozen sold, at least 3 hours or more.

Just before serving, mix remaining 4 cups of each juice with Pura Vida Tequila, NARANJA Orange Liqueur, and sparkling wine in a large bowl or pitcher. Remove mold from freezer and invert onto a plate. Run bottom of mold under warm water until it releases, a few seconds. Slide ice ring into a punch bowl fruit side up. Fill bowl with punch.

To serve, skewer each reserved cranberry with a toothpick to make a hole. Strip 2/3 of leaves from bottom of rosemary springs, then slide 2 or 3 cranberries onto each sprig. Fill glasses with punch and set a sprig in or across each glass.