AquaRiva Tequila. As it turns out, DOES make me happy.

Sometimes you open up your inbox to the really unexpected. An invitation to a night out on a tequila bender with Cleo Rocos was certainly one of those messages.

I can't tell you how much I like this woman. I love her glamour, her style, her wild crimson hair and as it turns out, her adorable, enchanting personality. What I wasn't expecting is Rocos being the only female Tequileira in Mexico and President of the Tequila Society with a line in her own premium tequila brand. She's even been highly awarded for it. However, after a lifetime in showbiz and practically a degree in partying (I will never forget her Lady Di smuggling story) she really does know her onions when it comes to booze and is currently promoting her Power of Positive Drinking, educating people in how to drink properly and happy. West Street listen up.

Now I'm not one for celebrity endorsed anything (apart from Davina's fitness DVDs - now they work) and as you know I despise shill, speaking my mind and some, so I was kind of apprehensive about accepting the invite. Plus, tequila is something I used to drink whilst snorting salt and squeezing lemon in my eye in the uni days (what? you're telling me you didn't do that?) then regretted every drop the morning after. It sure as hell isn't something I would order now, what with me being trés grown up and responsible and all that.

But, the AquaRiva brand of tequila is nothing less than a revelation. I LOVED it. I drank 6 margaritas and I woke up the next morning jaded from tiredness but no hangover. None. Nada. Nothing short of a miracle. This is because there are no chemical nasties or additives, just 100% pure agave - an Aloe type of plant that tequila is made from I believe. The margaritas were also made to her specification using the AquaRiva pure agave syrup in addition to lime juice, so no sugar or additives to give you a pounding head.

And as it happens, tequila should never be drunk as a shot (and never with a side order of snorting salt or lemon juice in the eye). It should be sipped or mixed.


The range comes in three varieties; AquaRiva Blanco, Reposado and Premium Reposado. The Blanco had a little of that heat and fire I expect from a Tequila but the Reposato, which is aged for at least six months in oak barrels, was really pleasant to drink. Far smoother and more complex than any tequila I have ever tried.

I'm on the fence a little with the packaging. It has a sort of 50s holiday retro feel which is good, and the illustration was painted by a young artist Cleo met on the Tube one day. It's a great story but not sure it really give the bottle much shelf or bar stand-out, or attract new Tequila drinkers. Still, the ground level marketing they are employing will certainly help spread the word to those in the industry.

We toured around some of Brighton's better pubs having a drink in each one, but the best margarita was served at the My Hotel bar where we kicked off the night. Cleo and her team were wonderful hosts and along with the Brighton Food Society, I had a really fun time.




I get sent lots of PR products to try, many I refuse and others not reaching a blog post but I would hand on heart say that I would definitely purchase this for my drinks cabinet. With a kid in now in tow, more than ever I can't afford a morning after the night before scenario, but this tequila is also a real pleasure to drink as well. I've been converted. Expect a crash in the wine market people.

You can find AquaRiva in Waitrose, Sainsburys and aboard Virgin Atlantic flights. No mean feat for such a young brand. In Brighton the Pleisure Group of pubs and My Hotel also have bottles behind the bar.

Bottoms up.

The AquaRiva perfect Margarita Recipe

35mls of AquaRiva Blanco or Reposado Tequila
25mls fresh squeezed lime juice
15mls of AquaRiva Organic Agave Syrup

Lots of ice, shake well and pour into a glass, best served on the rocks. Rim the glass with an orange zest, completes the perfect cocktail (Salt if you like).