Meet Paola, an agave specialist in the UK

Happy Tequila Day! Today we get to know Mexibrit Paola Bridge-Collins, Sales Manager at Indebrands, representing tequila & mezcal brands like Fortaleza, Arette, Mezcal Union, Corralejo and Gem & Bolt…

How did you become an agave ambassador? What was your journey?

My journey working closer to the Agave Spirits stared when I was still living in Guadalajara (my home city), working in Marketing and Publicity. I was always involved in promotional activities for several Tequila Brands and traveling promoting them across the country. Then I moved to London in 2015. I got involved in the logistics organisation and marketing for Tequila & Mezcal Fest UK – the 1st festival ever done in the UK.

I carried out working closer with the Agave Industry running some tastings for trade, and after 3 years in 2018 I’ve got signed by Indie Brands to represent their Agave Spirits portfolio as Agave Specialist promoting our agave brands, and educating the trade through masterclasses and educating consumers in events. Fully promoting the agave category as whole across the country.

 

The UK’s relationship with tequila & mezcal has changed considerably in the past 10 years, how do you see it now and what’s to come?

Certainly, the consumption for Tequila or mezcal has changed, not quite as we wish changing consumers perception towards Tequila is a bit difficult, due to the bad experiences slamming the tequila in their previous parties, so the horrid hangover is what they point it out… But slowly with more details and drinks education, especially that Tequila is gaining a bit more promotion for being a healthy drink and now consumers are more opened to taste it in a different way in cocktails or sipping better quality tequilas.

Since Mezcal is pretty much a novelty for the trade, and consumers not necessarily know about it and they don’t understand the difference, but seems it’s been rapidly adopted due to the smokiness and variation of tasting notes found in the Mezcal and because it’s artisanal way of production, consumers seems more attracted to it.

In my opinion, still long journey to see Tequila & Mezcal be positioned in the consumers mind. There’s a lot of work to do to continue promoting the category with all the respect that it deserves.

Nowadays there’s a lot of publicity via online with articles, celebrities drinking and promoting specific brands, people traveling around Mexico – a fabulous way to open people’s eyes in the Mexican culture, food and national drinks.

Also, thanks to the strong efforts and dedication from all my colleagues who work in the agave category – whether Brand Owners, Importers and Distributors, Brand Ambassadors, Bartender and Mixologist it is a massive help to continue a healthy growth for agave spirits.

In addition to the above, the agave family (all agave spirits lovers) we don’t see this as ‘our work’, we are dedicated to be an eye opener and educate consumers on what really agave spirits means, what it represents such a wonderful category, and how to enjoy it!

 

Where’s the best margarita? The best place to sip on tequila & Mezcal in the UK?

This is difficult to answer, because there are many places! But ok just to mention some: Hacha Agaveria, Café Pacifico, El Camion, Santo Remedio, La Pantera in Cardiff, Ojo Rojo in Bournemouth, Four Hundred Rabbits in Nottingham, The Basement in Edinburgh… I trust I am missing many more!

 

What are your favourite London spots & why?

My favourite spots in London, walking along the Thames (when the weather allows it) starting the walk from London Waterloo towards Tower Bridge. I love seeing the diversity of people, buildings, history, is just awesome.

I also love East London, why? Because it has a numerous of local bars, restaurants (nothing fancy) just great vibes and very cultural.

And if I can mention my third favourite is Richmond Park, natural spot to enjoy a nice picnic, a long walk along the river and if you’re lucky you’ll see dear heard!

 

What neighbourhood do you live in and what’s the best thing about it?

I live in Streatham Hill, and what I like is the location well connected to Central London, West London and closer to Tooting park, Brixton and South East London, plus is a quiet area with a mix of cultural backgrounds.

 

 

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