Culture

There’s A Women-Led Tequila Brand Inspired By Día De Muertos And You Need To Try It

A women-led company has made Satryna a new premium tequila inspired by Día de Muertos. The brand which boasts a 60-year-old family recipe passed down three generations have made the tequila with The Day of the Dead in mind. Using luxurious and premium ingredients, Satryna is only available in small batches and will cost you a pretty penny. 

Owner Nitzan Marrun, an heir to the legendary Tequilera Newton and Maestra Tequilera Mireida Cortes from Tequilera Newton have joined forces to launch Satryna Blanco, a triple distilled version and Satryna Cristalino, an Añejo Claro versio. 

During Día de Muertos, a Mexican celebration of remembering and honoring the dead, it is not uncommon to use a bottle or shot of tequila as an ofrenda. Enter: Satryna. 

A tequila inspired by the owner’s Mexican heritage.

The handcrafted glass bottle makes an intricate display of Mexican iconography. The focal image is a modern mockup of La Catrina. Mostcommonly depicted as a female skeleton in European style clothing to symbolize she is ashamed of her indigenous ancestry. La Catrina is an icon of Día de Muertos thanks to Jose Guadalupe’s Posada’s original satirical illustration in the early 1900s. 

“[Día de Muertos]is not only a very powerful and mystic celebration that brings together all Mexicans, but also great care is taken with every aspect of the celebration to honor our ancestors,” Marrun told Forbes. “Likewise my Satryna tequila is mystic, powerful and great care has been taken into every aspect in order to honor my ancestors and their legacy.” 

Each bottle is handcrafted and etched with ancient Aztec sketching, the metal topper is a sugar school, but more than that Marrun believes is a key part of Día de Muertos celebrations. 

“Tequila is part of the ofrenda,” says Marrun. “It’s an offering to the dead, which is an essential part of this day’s celebration…It is a way of honoring our family and friends who have past away with the food and drinks that they liked the most when they were alive. When we set an offering for my ancestors, we always place our favorite drink, Satryna tequila.”

A 60-year-old family secret finally comes to light in Satryna. 

A descendant of the Newton family Tequilera, Marrun says she spent years honing her craft and learning the family’s traditional methods. It took time but she was able to convince her family to release the 60-year-old family recipe that has been tweaked with Marrun’s learnings. 

“Growing up in Mexico, Nitzan developed a passion for tequila and spent considerable time honing the craft and dreamt one day her tequila would be admired and sold all over the world,” the company website reads. “After many years of convincing her family, they have now decided to release this legendary tequila so that true aficionados around the world can savor this special gift of Mexico.” 

The process of making Satryna is pretty intense.

Satryna is made from 100 percent blue weber agave curated from the “Tequila Valley of Mexico” in Jalisco. The agave is derived from the rich volcanic soil in the area and grown for eight to 12 years. When it is perfect, the agave liquid is extracted, then fermented and distilled three times. Lastly, it’s aged in oak barrels from California and Cognac. 

“The semi-arid and semi-humid soil in the rich agricultural lands of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt is ideal for the harvest of our sweet agave plants. Each hand-selected and harvested is ripened to perfection only after being nurtured for eight to 12 long years,” according to the website. 

Satryna claims their Maestro Tequilero utilizes a tequila making process that is centuries old combined with a modern distillation process to ensure purity and smoothness. 

Each bottle of the spirit is numbered and signed by Carlos Newton, one of  Tequilera Newton founder Enrique Newton’s descendants. Satryna Blanco pricing starts at $90 and Satryna Cristalino starts at $169. It is quite the investment but the laborious process and the owner’s attention to detail explain the costly price tag. Moreover, the stunning bottle, with it’s intricate and historical artwork, wouldn’t make a bad centerpiece a once the contents are gone.

RIP That Time Disney Tried To Trademark Día de los Muertos

Entertainment

RIP That Time Disney Tried To Trademark Día de los Muertos

shot_by_prum_ty / Instagram

Since Disney Plus launched on November 12, people have been swept up in all the family-friendly chaos, indulging in a long list of classic Disney favorites. While the streaming service also plans to offer new original content, the company is definitely taking advantage of our generation’s lust for nostalgia, providing exclusive access to the Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and National Geographic franchises (and reminding us how much Disney dominated our youth with films like The Lion King, The Cheetah Girls, and Gotta Kick It Up). Honestly, the list of iconic feel-good films is outrageously long, and it’s easy to understand why everyone’s so excited.

But it’s no secret that Disney’s wholesome image has been blemished by a long, varied history of controversy and criticism. While Disney has been accused of sexism and plagiarism numerous times, one of the most notable topics of discussion in recent years has been the company’s tendency to racially stereotype its characters, a propensity that is  especially notable in early Disney films (though many scholars and film critics argue that this has carried into the 21st century, despite Disney’s attempts to be more culturally sensitive).

On many occasions, Disney has acknowledged the racist nature of its older animated films, like Dumbo, The Jungle Book, and The Aristocats. In the descriptions for several programs on Disney Plus, there is a brief warning about the “outdated cultural stereotypes” contained within each film, and while several people view this disclaimer as a sign of progress, Disney has been criticized for making a bare minimum effort toward addressing the problematic elements of its past.

And speaking of the company’s past, how could we forget the time that Disney tried to trademark the term “Día de los Muertos” / “Day of the Dead”?

Credit: Pinterest / The Walt Disney Company

Back in 2013, Disney approached the US Patent and Trademark Office with a request to secure “Día de los Muertos” / “Day of the Dead” across many different platforms. At the time, an upcoming Pixar movie with a Día de los Muertos theme (read: the early stirrings of Coco) was in the works, and Disney wanted to print the phrase on a wide range of products, from fruit snacks to toys to cosmetics. Por supuesto, Disney received major backlash for trying to trademark the name of a holiday—what is more culturally appropriative than claiming ownership over an entire celebration? Especially one with indigenous roots?

“The trademark intended to protect any potential title of the movie or related activity,” a spokeswoman for Disney told CNNMexico at the time. “Since then, it has been determined that the title of the film will change, and therefore we are withdrawing our application for trademark registration.”

But prior to withdrawing their application, Disney received extensive backlash from the Latnix community. Latinos all over social media expressed their disdain for Disney’s bold and offensive attempt to take ownership of the holiday’s name, even starting a petition on Change.org to halt the whole process. Within just a few days, the petition had garnered 21,000 signatures.

Although Disney didn’t acknowledge whether the online uproar had influenced them to retract their trademark request, they were clearly paying attention. Lalo Alcaraz, a Mexican-American editorial cartoonist, had expressed open disdain at what he called Disney’s “blunder,” creating “Muerto Mouse”—a cartoon criticizing said blunder—in response.

Credit: Lalo Alcaraz / Pocho.com

This wasn’t the first time Alcaraz had criticized Disney with his cartoons. After the trademark fiasco, Disney definitely caught wind of Alcaraz’s position, and in an effort to approach the upcoming Día de los Muertos movie with sensitivity, the company hired him to work as a cultural consultant on the film.

Although several folks celebrated this development, Alcaraz was widely denounced for collaborating with Disney—many people called him a “vendido,” accusing him of hypocritically selling out to the gringo-run monolith against which he had previously spoken out. But Alcaraz stood his ground, confident that his perspective would lend valuable influence to the movie and ultimately prevent Pixar from doing the Latinx community a disservice.

“Instead of suing me, I got Pixar to give me money to help them and do this project right,” Alcaraz said. “I was let down because I was hoping people would give me a little bit of credit for the stuff I’ve done; to give me the benefit of the doubt.”

And, sin duda, Coco emerged as one of the most culturally accurate films that Disney has ever produced. Employing an almost exclusively Latino cast and crew, Coco seamlessly captured the beauty, magic, and wonder of Día de los Muertos, depicting the holiday with reverence and respect. And after becoming the top-grossing film of all time in Mexico, it’s safe to say that Coco helped Disney bounce back from its trademark mishap, even if more controversy is bound to emerge in the future.

Mexico City’s Annual Día De Muertos Night Bike Ride Broke Records And It Looked Incredible

Culture

Mexico City’s Annual Día De Muertos Night Bike Ride Broke Records And It Looked Incredible

Omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Dia de Muertos may have officially happened over a week ago (it takes place from November 1-2), however, that isn’t stopping Mexicans from celebrating.

Sure, Mexico City had its massive Desfile de Día de Muertos last weekend and the incredible Mega Procesión de Las Catrinas on the weekend before but this weekend the celebrations continued. And this time, it took place in the form of a massive nighttime bike ride through the city’s most busy boulevards.

Mexico City’s Dia de Muertos night bike ride broke records with nearly 150,000 people coming out to celebrate.

A record 147,500 people took part in the annual Day of the Dead night bike right held Saturday in Mexico City, according to the city’s transportation secretary.

Riders showed up in elaborate costumes and disguises and completed an 18-kilometer route (about 11 miles) along the city’s famed Paseo de la Reforma. The route took the riders through some of the city’s most popular districts and along some of its most popular monuments. The ride then ended in the historic center of the capital city.

A costume contest at the Angel of Independence monument, live music at different locations and the screening of short films promoting the use of sustainable transportation at Plaza Tlaxcoaque complemented the bicycle outing.

Families and even their pets participated in the 11-mile ride.

Mexico City Transportation Secretary Andrés Lajous, who participated in the ride, told the newspaper El Sol de México that one of the most gratifying aspects of the event was to see young children enjoying their city at night. Many families took part including some that took their pets along for the ride, which took place between 9:00 and 11:00pm.

As violence continues to rack Mexico, events like this show highlight the positive events and moments in a country battling rampant drug violence. For many, the event offered a sense of pride as they were able to enjoy their city by night.

The night bike ride was just the latest in a series of major events in the city to celebrate Dia de Muertos.

For many, Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is synonymous with sugar skulls and elaborate ‘Catrina’ face painting. In reality, it’s a two-day festivity that lights up Mexico with colors, flowers, candles and a seemingly omnipresent joy.

Every year, on November 1st and 2nd, Mexicans take part in the adored demonstration of love and respect for their deceased relatives. And though the country’s capital is full of cemeteries to celebrate, plazas decorated in beautiful ‘ofrendas’ and lots of ‘pan de muerto’ weeks before the celebration, there’s one special day in CDMX when visitors will get to see a huge group of beautifully decorated Catrinas walk down the street in a parade celebrating life and death.

This year marked the 6th year that the parade took place. And more than 150 thousand people participated despite cool and rainy weather. Plus, there were nearly 200 professional makeup artists getting everyone looking like the famous ‘Calavera Catrina.’

However, not everyone was able to enjoy their night as some complained of police brutality.

While the vast majority of participants had an enjoyable and safe night, one young woman said that she and other cyclists were attacked by at least 20 police officers late on Saturday.

Twitter user @malitriushka said that after Reforma avenue reopened to traffic at about 11:00pm, the safety of cyclists riding on the road was threatened by an aggressively-driven Metrobús.

The woman said that she and other cyclists approached police to ask for assistance but were beaten and accused of theft. “As a cyclist, as a woman, I saw the situation and decided to help. Now I have fractures and am accused of theft,” she wrote on Twitter. “They beat me and with false testimony they say I stole a hat,” the woman said in another post.

She also said that her boyfriend and three other people were detained by police and that their cell phones, which had recorded the incident, were confiscated.