Episcopal Priest Launches a “Blessed” Tequila Brand to Benefit Refugee Children

Sanctus Aquam Premium Tequila heeds a higher calling—helping migrant children escape violence and poverty

There’s no shortage of tequilas on the market, but until now, none could lay claim to the supernatural.

Sanctus Aquam Premium Tequila heeds a higher calling—helping migrant children escape violence and poverty—and it is literally blessed by its founder, progressive Episcopal priest Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija.

All proceeds from the sale of Sanctus Aquam, which is Latin for “holy water,” are donated to Border Compassion, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting refugee children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The brand aims to popularize that fact and the passion of Rev. Lebrija with the help of new creative produced pro bono by ad agency Cornett, based in Lexington, Kentucky.

The “Blessed Tequila” campaign showcases the superior quality and selfless mission of Sanctus Aquam, a 100% blue agave blanco tequila expertly distilled in Jalisco, Mexico.

“If you think of holy water as an instrument to carry God’s grace, then is this tequila not an instrument to carry God’s grace to a population that’s on the margins and forgotten?” said Fr. Lebrija. “It’s not the holy water we think about used in churches or to bless people, it is holy in the sense of what it’s meant to do.” 

About two years ago, Lebrija was in Mexico, where he supports a shelter for children and an orphanage. The shelter’s power had been turned off for weeks. 

Lebrija recalled a century-old legend about a Mexican priest who was able to save a similarly struggling orphanage after he inherits a tequila factory and cleverly skirts Prohibition laws by disguising his product as “Sanctus Aquam.”

“I could do that,” Lebrija thought.

Today, Sanctus Aquam aims to raise $100,000 per year for children’s shelters in Mexico by selling small quarterly batches of premium tequila online and at select retailers. The price per bottle is $84-$89 plus tax and shipping, which allows Border Compassion to make enough per bottle to provide full room and board for a family in the shelter for one month. Production is limited to 300 cases (1,800 bottles) per year, which allows Sanctus Aquam to shelter and feed 150 families for an entire year. 

“There isn’t one salary in any of this,” Lebrija said. “The importer has forfeited any fees, and I only have to pay taxes to the federal government. Everyone helping me realizes this is for a good cause, so when we say 100% of the profits, we mean it.”

Source: Cornett

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