The History of Pura Vida

To tell the story of Pura Vida, makers of the finest and smoothest tequilas in the world, we must go back to 1923, where the Vivanco brothers worked the agave fields in the Highlands of Jalisco, the heart of Mexico’s finest agave producing region. Under the watchful eye and loving care of Agaveros like these, the fields of beautiful blue agave in Los Altos became known far and wide for their exceptional quality, rich flavor, and high sugar content. Sugar is the lifeblood of tequila. It was here in the company of 4th generation Agaveros that the first expression of Pura Vida Tequila would soon be born.

Enter Stewart Skloss, head honcho behind the Pura Vida empire. He’s a Texan through and through, born and raised, but there’s no part of the world he hasn’t seen or touched. From New York to London and Moscow to Kuwait, no matter how far he traveled there was always an empty spot in Stewart’s heart the life of an international jet-setter just couldn’t fill. His love of Texas and Mexico took him back to his younger days with his amigos in Nuevo Laredo where they frequented the famed Cadillac Bar and drank the seductively satisfying Mexican elixir called tequila. One fateful day, while living in Guadalajara, Stewart and his amigos stopped in the town of Tequila for a two hour sampling at one of the local distilleries. What started out as a simple tasting turned into a two-day fiesta, fueling the fire in him to follow his dream of one day making the finest tequila in the world.

He spent years traveling all across Mexico in search of the ultimate tequila, or “El Primero Uno.” He learned all about what separates one tequila from another and about how important the purest and cleanest water is to the process of making the finest spirit possible. Armed with the knowledge and experience of what he wanted to create, he joined forces with the Vivanco’s and together they developed the flavor profile for the first three expressions of Ultra-Premium Pura Vida Tequila. The wealth he had amassed and the friends he’d made along the way created the perfect opportunity and he was set to do exactly what he’d dreamed of for so many years; produce the “Primero Uno” for the world to enjoy. His years of searching across Mexico, tasting every type and style of tequila had come to an end, and his years of building the tequila empire he’d always known would be his destiny, at long last, could now begin, all he needed now was a name for his ultimate creation.

In his travels throughout Mexico and Central America Stewart came to know the phrase, “Pura Vida” as it’s used commonly in Costa Rica and surrounding areas as a kind of greeting; an affirmation of how good life can be. Meaning literally “Pure Life” Pura Vida means much more than this and people often use it in a variety of positive ways, all celebrating the joy of life. Stewart knew right away this was the perfect name for his creation, and the perfect toast for those who live life to the fullest. To the good life, to the pure life, Pura Vida!

Once back in the States, Stewart met up with longtime friend, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and tequila aficionado in his own right, Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top. Stewart knew Billy shared his dream of “El Primero Uno” and when Stewart approached Billy with the tequila he created, Billy told Stewart he’d all but given up on ever finding the perfect tequila, but for a friend he’d happily try it and give him an honest opinion. The very next day Billy Gibbons came on board and the small batch craft brand where the first Pura Vida Tequila expression was born began its meteoric rise into the nationwide spirits company Pura Vida Tequila has become today.

Ultimately outgrowing the humble roots where the Pura Vida Tequila story began, Stewart knew he must carefully protect the formula and processes by which he developed the perfect flavor profile for each award-winning expression if The Pura Vida Tequila Company was going to continue to expand. The five-stage water purification process so critical to the flavor of each expression along with the highest sugar content pure blue agave in the land found a new home in Pura Vida’s own distillery, a state-of-the-art facility located near beautiful Lake Chapala.

And so the once tiny company born from a dream now stands poised on the brink of greatness as it starts the newest chapter in the history of The Pura Vida Tequila Company. Join us in our passion for the ultimate tequila. To the good life, to the pure life, Pura Vida!