Tequila fans can get ready to toast to a new brand of Cristalino tequila, a blend that is relatively new to the U.S. liquor market.
Global Brand Equities President and CEO James Morrissey has developed a brand called Gran Coramino Cristalino Reposado Tequila, co-founded by actor and comedian Kevin Hart.
Cristalino is comparable to a mix between a clear, fresh-tasting Blanco (pure, unaged tequila) and a gold, vanilla-forward Reposado, which has been aged for up to year, Morrissey told Fox News Digital in an interview.
"What Cristalino has done, in its relatively new category, is taken the taste profile of Reposado tequila but created it in such a way that it’s crystal-clear in look and aesthetic," he said.
The Cristalino category was first created through experimentation, Morrissey revealed. He credited Juan Domingo Beckmann — an 11th-generation tequila maker — with creating the new blend.
Beckmann, who is said to be the world's largest global grower of agave, has partnered with Global Brand Equities and Hart to bring Gran Coramino to life.
In a statement sent to Fox Business, comedian Kevin Hart shared that developing Gran Coramino has been an extension of his unspoken "passion" for tequila.
"I've been passionate about tequila for a long time, so to be able to bring my passion to the forefront and team up with James Morrissey at Global Brand Equities and the certified ‘king of tequila’ himself, Juan Domingo Beckmann, has been an extraordinary ride," Hart said.
"I really wanted to create a tequila that was significant in every aspect, and after experiencing the unique properties of Cristalino, which is widely unknown in the tequila market, I knew that this was exactly what Gran Coramino needed to taste like in order for it to have a true identity and have a long-lasting imprint in the tequila space," he added.
"And now, we’re doing just that."
Global Brand Equities aims to "disrupt the status quo" of liquor consumption by creating "superior" products with celebrity ties, Morrissey explained — especially as the tequila space has been "highly saturated" in recent years.
"We needed to have a product that really was unique in order for us to get behind it and commit our time, energy and resources to it," he said.
The right opportunity presented itself in 2020, when Morrissey spoke to Hart about his love for tequila.
"It became evident very quickly how much Kevin actually knew about the world of tequila," he said. "His knowledge of brands and liquids that existed was definitely very surprising to me and encouraging."
Morrissey revealed that "tequila aficionado" Hart even touts a tequila bar at his home in Los Angeles, which is stocked with bottles brought back from Mexico as well as U.S. brands that "nine out of 10 consumers have never heard of," he said.
"The fact that he had a deep understanding of the tequila category and also was truly passionate about it was definitely super interesting and [is] what piqued my interest," he added.
"And what really interested me was his ability as a businessman to understand the work ethic and the responsibilities that go hand in hand with creating and owning a business," Morrissey said.
"When we set out on the path to create a new tequila brand, he wanted to be in the driver's seat with us in terms of what the package looked like, what the road to market was and where the price point was," he went on.
"He really wanted to have his finger on the pulse across all the details."
When Morrissey and Hart traveled to Mexico to meet with Beckmann, the "undisputed king of tequila" showed them various tequila processes and liquids that they had "never come across."
"He blew our minds in terms of some of the liquids that he had in his possession," Morrissey said.
"We found out really quickly that not only were we going to be able to create an incredible liquid that was truly unique, but we were going to be able to create a Cristalino tequila with the creator of the Cristalino category … and we knew that we had something really special," he added.
Since coming to market in May 2022, Gran Coramino has seen "explosive" sales, according to Morrissey, as the fastest-growing liquor product over $50 in the U.S. in the last decade.
Among the approximately 1,000 tequila brands on the market, Gran Coramino has already landed a spot in the top 5% based on volume sales.
Consumer feedback has been "really incredible" in terms of the tequila’s taste profile and "smooth finish," Morrissey detailed.
Hart commented, "Not only does Gran Coramino further ignite my love for tequila, but it also gives me the chance to fulfill my goal of building a generational brand of the highest level of quality, a product I can truly be proud of."
Morrissey expects Cristalino to see an upward trajectory in the market space over the next decade, based on how the blend has taken off in Mexico.
"When it comes to liquor in Mexico, in the most premium bars, restaurants, hotels and nightlife destinations, Cristalino tequila is one of the leading categories of beverage that's being consumed," he said.
"We’re really bullish on it," Morrissey continued.
"The awareness around Cristalino right now is very low in the United States and indeed internationally, but we believe over the next few years with Gran Coramino, we're going to bring visibility not only to our own tequila, but the category as a whole."