Sofia Deleon, native Guatemalan and the restauranteur behind Central American street food concept El Merkury, is thrilled to announce the launch of Tenango Rum. Tenango Anejo Rum honors Deleon’s familial legacy and the culture and flavors of Guatemala. Deleon grew up inspired by stories of her Great-grandmother distilling Cusha, a traditional Guatemalan moonshine, at home, and has created Tenango in her honor. A 100% single source Guatemalan rum, Tenango Rum is additive free and made from Grade A molasses, the dark, sweet liquid byproduct of manufacturing sugarcane, and is aged in second use American White Oak barrels. It is distilled in the traditional Spanish style method on a column still, allowing for a more flavorful rum that takes on major characteristics from the barrel. Tenango Rum is available now (MSRP $49.99).
“I grew up hearing stories about my revered Tatarabuela, and have always felt connected to her. I am sure it is where I get my entrepreneurial spirit!” said Sofia Deleon, owner Tenango rum. “It is in her honor that I founded the brand with the mission to reshape the world’s perception of rum and create a lasting impact on the lives of Guatemalan women and their families. I believe that culture and heritage should be at the heart of every sip, and that by honoring the traditions of our ancestors, we can redefine the rum landscape.”
Authentically made in a Guatemalan distillery, Tenango (750ml, 80 proof, $49.99) is an homage to family, good times, and the entrepreneurial spirit. The rum is a vessel for cultural celebration and sustainability, and the launch aims to support in the empowerment of Guatemalan communities via employing women and craftspeople to hand-make the vibrant covers that adorn each bottle. The traditional Mayan sheaths are woven on a traditional foot loom by a Guatemalan Kik’che’ Women’s co-op that specializes in this cultural practice, and $2 from every bottle sold goes to the co-op’s trade workers.
Tenango prides itself on being a single source rum – this term refers to all ingredients originating in the same environment. Every aspect and ingredient of Tenango is Guatemalan including the sugar cane. The quality-controlled fermentation, bottling and aging all takes place in Guatemala, meaning that when you drink Tenango, you’re not only enjoying a delicious rum but also one with intentionally chosen, high quality ingredients without any mystery additives or colorings.
The spirit’s complex flavor profile is a true love letter to Guatemalan terroir. Rich notes of cocoa, banana, coffee, almond, and tropical fruits — imparted by a more pronounced fermentation process in the balmy La Costa region — seamlessly dance with the whiskey notes imparted by the second use barrel, adding flavors of butterscotch and caramel, making this the perfect rum for whiskey lovers. Tenango is best sipped neat or over ice, but also lends itself to classic and nouveau cocktails alike, including Espresso Martinis, Old Fashioneds, Sours, Manhattans, and more.
Tenango Rum is currently sold nationwide for online purchase, as well as at the following retailers, with more to come soon: Buy Rite Williamstown (2031 N Black Horse Pike, Williamstown, NJ 08094), Buy Rite West Depford (1075 Mantua Pike, West Deptford, NJ 08096), also Holmdel, Max’s Beer, Wine & Liquor (116 3rd Ave, Neptune City, NJ 07753), and Wine Outlet (2130 NJ-35, Holmdel, NJ 07733). Rum lovers can order craft cocktails made using Tenango at a growing list of on-premise accounts in Pennsylvania, including top Philadelphia bars Bolo, Royal Boucherie, Martha and R&D.
Tenango Rum Old Fashioned
- 2 oz. Tenango Rum
- .5 oz. Simple syrup
- 2-3 dashes Aromatic bitters
- Orange peel
Garnish: Expressed orange peel
Instructions: In a double rocks glass, combine Tenango Rum, simple syrup, and bitters. Add a large cup of ice and gently stir to chill and dilute. Twist the orange peel over the drink to release oils and garnish.
Tenango Rum Negroni
- 1 oz. Tenango Rum
- 1 oz. Campari
- 1 oz. Sweet vermouth
Garnish: Orange twist
Instructions: Fill a cocktail shaker with a cup of ice and all the ingredients. Stir to chill and lightly dilute the ingredients. Strain into a chilled rocks glass over 1 large ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist.
Tenango Rum Espresso Martini
- 1 oz. Tenango Rum
- 1 oz. Coffee liqeuer
- 1 oz. Simple syrup
- 1 oz. / 1 shot Espresso
- 3 coffee beans to garnish
Garnish: 3 coffee beans
Glassware: Chilled martini
Instructions: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Pour Tenango Rum, coffee liqueur, espresso, and simple syrup into your shaker and shake vigorously until the edges of the shaker feel chill. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with 3 coffee beans.
ABOUT FOUNDER SOFIA DELEON
Guatemala City native Sofia Deleon is a visionary in the world of culinary entrepreneurship. Her passion for exceptional flavors and a desire to showcase underrepresented cultures led her on an extraordinary journey, from launching the renowned El Merkury restaurant chain to venturing into the world of rum with Tenango.
Sofia’s story began with a childhood fascination for creating homemade ice cream, which quickly evolved into a successful catering company and pop-up concept. After receiving accolades and a “Best of Philly” award for her fast-casual Central American street food and churro bar, she expanded El Merkury to become a thriving culinary destination with a mission to uplift Guatemalan women artisans.
Now, Sofia is embarking on a new chapter as she unveils Tenango Rum, a labor of love that seamlessly fuses her entrepreneurial spirit with her family’s heritage. Tenango is not just another rum; it is a vessel for cultural celebration, sustainability, and the empowerment of Guatemalan communities.
With Tenango, Sofia aims to redefine the rum landscape, encouraging consumers to discover the art of sipping rum beyond traditional tiki drinks. By crafting an authentically produced, high-quality spirit that pays homage to her great-grandmother’s moonshine distillery, Sofia continues the legacy of her family while creating new opportunities for the next generation of Guatemalan women.
Stay tuned as Tenango Rum prepares to take the world by storm, inviting you to join the journey of savoring exceptional flavors, embracing culture, and supporting sustainable livelihoods.