Maluma and Casa Lumbre Co-Founder Moises Guindi at the Contraluz launch party in Brooklyn, NYC
No stranger to getting people in the mood to party and have fun, Maluma has announced and debuted an expansion of his creative endeavors—and it’s one to toast, to be sure.
Having conquered the worlds of music, fashion and even acting (yes, we saw Marry Me), Maluma, born Juan Luis Londoño Arias, is getting into the spirits game with his own line of mezcal.
Meaning “backlit” in Spanish, the Papi Juancho singer named his brand Contraluz for its pure taste and sheer appearance. We caught up with the hit-maker turned mezcal-founder to learn more about this delicious venture and what sets the brand apart from the pack.
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How did you come up with the name Contraluz? Does it have any particular significance?
Contraluz means “Backlit” in Spanish. We believe it captures the essence and the spirit of our liquid. Through a maturation and small-batch filtration process that is new to the world of mezcal, we remove the color acquired as our liquid matures while creating a smooth and elegant tasting experience that could only have been possible by transforming our aged mezcal into a cristalino.
Inspired in this process that creates this crystal clear liquid, Contraluz wants to celebrate those unexpected moments away from the spotlight—in the backlight of our lives—where extraordinary possibilities lie.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how Contraluz is harvested and created?
Contraluz Cristalino Mezcal is created from cultivated Espadín agave and is matured for approximately six months in charred American oak barrels sourced from renowned U.S. whiskey producers. The unique filtration process strikes a balance between the subtle notes of vanilla, cedar, honey and dried fruit acquired during the maturation process, and the cooked agave that delivers a smooth finish and a touch of light smoke.
This crafted cristalino process creates an elegant blend of aromas and tastes while ensuring the signature character of mezcal is maintained. Under the supervision of Chief Innovation Officer and co-founder Ivan Saldaña, a small-batch filtration method was developed to transform matured mezcal into this new category innovation.
Why a tequila brand? Has this been a long passion of yours? What makes Contraluz different from other tequilas on the market?
Contraluz is Mexico’s first Cristalino mezcal. When I had my first sip, I fell in love. It’s so smooth and not too smoky; just perfect. Music has helped open doors for me to innovate and create. When my dad presented this business venture, I was excited to explore and now present a new type of beverage for my fans globally.
What’s your favorite way to drink it?
I drink Contraluz neat, but love to have it chilled with ice.
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What do you hope that fans take away from Contraluz, and what’s the best way to enjoy it?
I want my fans to have a mezcal experience and enjoy it with friends and family. My goal with Contraluz is to have it unite people and share it amongst love.
What’s next for you? Any other fun endeavors coming up?
My team and I are getting ready for my third launch with Macy’s for Fall 2022. Super excited about that! I am getting ready to announce other business ventures as well that will support upcoming artists.
Photography by: Ilya S. Savenok / Getty; Courtesy of Contraluz