The line of private-label tequilas from Mission Taco Joint include blanco and reposado tequilas.

Mission Taco Joint Takes a Shot at Its Own Private-Label Tequila

Tuesday September 5, 2023

By Rachel Huffman

Mission Taco Joint only serves the best – the best chips, the best tortillas and the best tequila.

“We pride ourselves on sourcing 100 percent Blue Weber agave tequila,” Alex Baldera, director of operations support at Mission Taco Joint, says. “We’ve never had a mixed tequila on our backbar – ever.”

To consistently match the flavor profile of the Mission Margarita, though, the St. Louis-based restaurant chain spent years developing a private-label tequila, which is now available for in-house drinks at all eight locations as well as by the bottle at select locations.

“By creating a line of private-label tequilas, we know that they’re made to our specifications, and they’ll taste good in our Margaritas – no questions asked,” Baldera says. “We also know about any changes to them before they hit the market, which allows for heightened quality control.”

“We don’t have to make our own masa for our chips and tortillas, but we do,” Jacob Bowyer, regional manager at Mission Taco Joint, adds. “Since the beginning, we’ve strived to craft thoughtful flavors from scratch, and that same approach applies to our tequila.”

After vetting different distilleries and their respective tequila offerings, Mission Taco Joint chose Casa Maestri, a woman-owned and -led company based in Jalisco, Mexico. “Casa Maestri is a family operation,” Bowyer says. “We’re excited to work with a distillery that has similar values to us.”

Both the blanco and reposado tequilas blend highland and lowland Blue Weber agave, a combination that shines in cocktails. Imbibers can taste a hint of black pepper and vegetal grassiness in each, but the blanco tequila differentiates itself with bright citrus notes that define the Mission Margarita.

Want to mix things up? Add one of the daily selections of housemade aguas frescas to the Mission Margarita for a fresh flavor or awaken your taste buds with a spicy version of the classic cocktail.

The reposado tequila is more spirit-forward, obtaining a light caramel color and a trace of baking spices from the oak barrel. Sip it in Mission Taco Joint’s top-shelf Margarita with Pierre Ferrand dry Curaçao, lime, lemon, agave and a Hawaiian black salt rim; the Paloma with Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Grapefruit Radler, lime, lemon, agave and a dash of grapefruit bitters; or the Mezcal Old Fashioned with Banhez mezcal, vanilla agave and Angostura bitters.

“Our private-label tequila is the backbone of our spirits program,” Bowyer says, “and all our cocktails can be enjoyed independently or with our food. The recipes use complementary flavors such as lime, mango, pineapple and chile, meaning you can order a spread of street tacos and your drink will pair perfectly with every bite.”