Milestone Brands buys Naranja orange liqueurBy Nicola Carruthers
Texas-based spirits company Milestone Brands has acquired orange liqueur brand Naranja from Mexican firm La Madrileña for an undisclosed sum.
Milestone Brands – formed in February 2016 by former Deep Eddy Vodka CEO Eric Dopkins and Deep Eddy Vodka co-founder Chad Auler – also recently acquired American Born Moonshine and Dulce Vida Tequila as it strives to expand its portfolio.
Naranja is produced by La Madrileña, brand owner of Controy, the original creator of the Mexican orange liqueur. Milestone Brands plans to relaunch Naranja in January 2018.
The firm signed a long-term production agreement with La Madrileña, and acquired brand rights from Stewart Skloss and Pura Vida. Skloss, chairman of Pura Vida, will retain a minority position in the Naranja brand.
Maintaining its original recipe, the orange liqueur and Margarita story date back to 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico, when Don Carlos Orozco used the spirit to make a drink for Margarita Henkel, daughter of a German ambassador.
The orange liqueur is described as having a “fine balance of bitter and sweet”, and is recommended served in Mexican cocktails.
“As the Tequila category continues to grow, we feel Naranja will play a significant role using a recipe and package that speak to the heritage of Mexico,” said Eric Dopkins, founder and CEO of Milestone Brands.
“We will be proud to spread the message that authentic Margaritas must use ingredients from Mexico.”
Skloss added: “I’m thrilled about the acquisition for this truly authentic brand and look forward to supporting the Milestone team on Naranja’s projected growth.”
Dulce Vida Spirits has sold over 35,000 nine-litre cases and has grown by nearly 500% since acquiring the brand in June 2016.