Episcopal Priest Creates Tequila Brand to Benefit Refugee Kids

This beverage is blessed by its maker

"Celebrity tequilas be damned!"

So says a campaign from Cornett promoting Sanctus Aquam, a tequila created by Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, an Episcopal priest. Proceeds from sales help provide shelter for refugee families just south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Befitting that higher calling—and its name, Latin for "Holy Water"—the beverage is blessed by the reverend himself.

"The money provides for many needs—food, electricity, water and even Zoom classes so that the kids don't keep falling behind in their education, and to help their parents learn English," says Rev. Lebrija. 

Sanctus Aquam is produced in Jalisco, Mexico, and costs $84-89, with a goal of raising $100,000 a year for Border Compassion. Roughly 300 cases (1,800 bottles) will be manufactured annually, providing 12 months of shelter and services for 150 families. 

Cornett launched a pro bono social push that plays off the tequila's spiritual roots.

One ad casts lime, a shot of tequila and salt as "The Holy Trinity." Another shows a text bubble above da Vinci's "The Last Supper" and asks "How do you say 'another round' in Latin?"

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Rev. Lebrija's inspiration for Sanctus Aquam came from a Mexican legend about a priest who saved an orphanage after he inherited a tequila factory by dodging prohibition laws.

"It took about 16 months from idea to having the first bottle in my hand," Rev. Lebrija tells Muse. "This included the approval from the Mexican government to actually create a tequila, the production, and the gazillion details that go into running a tequila brand."

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