In 2005, Edgartown summer resident Otto Hoernig III sold a defense satellite business that he owned with his father and sister and signed a five-year non-compete clause. “I couldn’t do the same business, and that’s all I really knew,” he said recently.

It was fishing, one of Hoernig’s favorite Vineyard pastimes, that lead him to the tequila world. With time on their hands, he and his father went on a fishing trip to Mexico, near the end of which they visited a tequila factory. A few sips later “I got this crazy idea,” he recalled. “I thought, ‘well, since I’m not doing anything right now, maybe I should be in the tequila business. That would be fun.’”

Indeed. Three months later he returned to Mexico with a consultant and toured twelve distilleries. His favorite was Casa Noble, which is made, appropriately enough, in the town of Tequila in the Mexican state of Jalisco. In 2006 he bought in and made plans with the original founders for expanding the twenty-year-old company, which distills its tequila using a recipe from the 1700s. Since then, exports to the United States have grown from 3,500 cases a year to 50,000 cases, including more than a few bottles to restaurants and liquor stores on Martha’s Vineyard.

It should be no surprise that when Hoernig and his wife, Mary, were married on the Vineyard last September, the celebrations featured Casa Noble tequila. At a clambake at the Chappaquiddick Beach Club, guests sipped the Jalisco Pharmacy, a spicy cocktail that is Hoernig’s favorite.

“Jalapeño with the tequila, that’s so good,” he said. “Everybody’s hooked on it.” More than two hundred jalapeños went into drinks that night. It was, as they say,
a hot party.          

Jalisco Pharmacy

  • 1 ounce of Casa Noble Crystal or Reposado tequila
  • 1/2 ounce of mezcal reposado
  • 1 thick slice of jalapeño
  • Juice from one fresh lime
  • Pinch of fresh ginger
  • Squirt of agave nectar

Muddle jalapeño with other ingredients. Serve on the rocks with soda.