At 26, Fort Worthian Rikki Kelly is already a force to be reckoned with. She's not at all what you might imagine an enterprising tequila proprietor would look like, in fact she’s just the opposite.
What makes Kelly’s Ego Tequila so different? As Kelly guides me through the various stages of categorizing tequilas ranging from a delicate blanco with citrus and white floral notes, to a maturely aged añejo (which the budding brand does not yet carry), I can’t help but notice her passion for her Mexican distilled spirit. Although the brand doesn’t yet carry the 12-month aged añejo, due to the early stages of the company, Ego does carry an impressively complex reposado, which has been aged for 8 months in oak barrels. Rikki’s ability to explain the tequilas in such a beautiful way is breathtaking.
She also explains that while the award-winning brand is currently sold-out she expects to have more shipments in soon. Like Rikki, the family-owned distillery she carefully curated is passionate about their craft. Natural spring water is sourced directly from an inactive volcano in Jalisco, Mexico and labels are hand-placed on each bottle of this 100% agave tequila. During the short phone conversation, I quickly discovered that as a child Rikki wanted to be a chef growing up in Sulpher Springs, Texas. “Cooking is my first love! I loved sitting in the kitchen with my grandma cooking and helping my mom. Those are the best memories.” After she finishes recalling her fondness for foodways she answers my most obvious question. “No plans to add any infused tequilas to my brand because I am a purist.” She proudly exclaims but in a non-judgmental tone. And the name Ego is equally as apparent. It stems from that wave of confidence that washes over you after consuming tequila.
Kelly has a strong admiration for other entrepreneurs. She credits Jonathan Morris, Magnolia Network’s host and Fort Worth hotelier, as someone she respects and is looking forward to working with in some capacity. “I love working for myself but there are some challenges that come along. I respect those who are able to successfully combine the things they’re passionate for along with entrepreneurship”.
Rikki is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. As her brand continues to climb she’s looking forward to maintaining her place as a quality tequila. The website says it all; "Ego Tequila is dedicated to providing the consumer with high-value spirits that are exciting for newcomers and tequila aficionados alike."
Ego Tequila will only be available in select stores this Sumer. Visit the Ego Tequila website to find vendors near you.
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