Have Your Own Tequila. Blue Nectar Debuts Blending Program (MarketWatchMag)

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Retailers, bars and restaurants can create their own unique blends. 

Blue Nectar Tequila has introduced a custom blending program for on- and off-premise accounts, available across its 15-state distribution network. The initiative aims to provide an innovative way for retailers, bars and restaurants to offer a unique Tequila. “A lot of Tequila brands do single barrels, but that means investing in dozens of cases,” says Blue Nectar cofounder Nikhil Bahadur. “Our program has a minimum order of 17 4.5-liter cases. To my knowledge, we’re the only Tequila brand offering custom blends.”

Under the terms of the program, a local market manager visits the account with three blends of reposado and extra añejo Blue Nectar Tequilas. The buyer tastes each blend and experiments with different combinations, ultimately crafting a unique mixture of all three. Blue Nectar then blends and bottles the final product at its distillery in Amatitán, Mexico, shipping the order through normal distribution channels. Each bottle has a custom label with the name of the retailer, bar or restaurant, as well as lot number and bottle number.

More than 50 accounts have already signed on, including Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, Massachusetts; Dallas-based Sigel’s Fine Wines & Great Spirits; Schneider’s of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; Denver-based Marg’s Taco Bistro; and Tippins Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “We wanted to offer a tangible program that gets the retailer or bartender involved in a hands-on way,” Bahadur explains. “We asked ourselves how to create excitement with the distributor, retailer and consumer. The aim is to offer a service that they haven’t seen before.”

Bahadur adds that driving interest in Blue Nectar’s core line is another goal. The range includes Silver ($45 a 750-ml. bottle), Reposado Extra Blend ($50), Reposado Special Craft ($55) and Añejo Founder’s Blend ($65) offerings, and the brand focuses on terroir and agave-forward flavor profiles. “We know where our agaves are farmed, and we blend our aged Tequilas to achieve balance,” Bahadur says, adding that Blue Nectar’s master blender, Guillermo Garcia-Lay, previously worked for Bacardi.

“There’s nothing proprietary, however. We put the whole production process on our website, sharing what components go into the blends. It’s not easy to educate people through sound bites, so we use that platform to have conversations and show how we’re different.”

Launched in 2010, Blue Nectar depleted 8,000 cases last year and projects sales of 10,000 to 12,000 cases in 2016. The brand will add five new markets—Maryland, Delaware, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.—by year-end. More information is available at Bluenectartequila.com.

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