Michael McCarthy Michael McCarthy | September 2, 2020 | Food & Drink National
Cincoro proves tequila can be as sophisticated and eminently satisfying as any high-end spirit on the shelf.
Cincoro CEO Emilia Fazzalari
Emilia Fazzalari believes life is a series of special moments with friends. They’re what define us and eventually get deposited into our collective memory banks. If we’re fortunate, we get to repeat these moments again and again.
Fazzalari, who’s one of Cincoro Tequila’s five founding partners and serves as its CEO, says her partners agreed on a singular mission from the start: to create a delicious tequila and share it with friends and, soon, the world. “Everybody says Cincoro is the most delicious spirit they’ve ever tasted,” she says. “Notice I said spirit, not tequila? We set out to make the best of the best, and to date we’ve won 12 gold medals. We wanted it to be artisanal, but also have a modern taste profile—plus a beautiful aroma and a long finish like a fine cognac or bourbon.”
She’s right. Late on a recent Saturday night under the stars, my wife and I sipped Cincoro’s amber-toned añejo neat. The brand’s añejo is aged for 24 to 28 months, more than two times longer than required. Our noses detected the subtle sweetness of maple and cooked agave (the tequila is crafted from 100% Weber blue agave); the taste leaned toward dark chocolate, which was complemented and leavened by an echo of oat. I relay this to Fazzalari when we speak, and she’s effusive. “That’s so wonderful and exactly what we want to hear!” she says. “Ever since the partners’ first dinner together, our goal has been to create something special.”
Cincoro’s tequilas include blanco, reposado, añejo and extra añejo.
So, that first dinner in New York City. Talk about the coming together of NBA power brokers. The evening in 2016 included Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan; Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss; Milwaukee Bucks owner Wes Edens; and Fazzalari and her husband, Wyc Grousbeck, who owns the Boston Celtics. “We all loved tequila going in. We started feeling like a team or a family, dreaming of creating for ourselves the best tequila ever,” Fazzalari says. “Everyone is very engaged and brings unique skill sets to the brand, and we talk constantly. We all contributed to the idea of the flavor profile, and Michael and I personally taste and approve every batch from the distillery.”
Cincoro partners Wes Edens, Wyc Grousbeck, Fazzalari, Michael Jordan and Jeanie Buss
It’s always smart to dwell first and foremost on a beverage, rather than its container, but the specialness of Cincoro’s bottle can’t be overlooked. Turns out Jordan surprised his partners by tapping former Nike genius Mark Smith for the design. “Our bottle is amazing, filled with purpose and brand storytelling,” says Fazzalari, noting the design matches the shape of the agave leaf; its five-sided base also represents the five partners. “We have two 23-degree angles incorporated into the design. A very interesting brand secret: If you were to line up 23 bottles from top to bottom, they would make a perfect circle—and that circle is the same size as center court.”
Now, that would be another special moment.
Photography by: Courtesy of Cincoro