Dorian Hargrove 12:47 p.m., May 19
Tequila for the masses at UCSD tomorrow
Over the years the prestigious Institute of the Americas on the campus of UCSD has hosted its share of VIPs, including eleven Latin American presidents. But tomorrow the politically well-connected think thank--which until recently was run by ex-Clinton administration diplomat Jeffrey Davidow and often grapples with the weighty topic of the war against drugs--is throwing a $15 a head wingding for Mexico's biggest tequila magnate.
"Jose Cuervo tequila is Mexico’s iconic brand," says the institute. "Now known around the world, Cuervo and Mexico are indelibly branded together. There may be people in China or Zimbabwe or Paraguay who think that Coca Cola or McDonald’s are products of those countries, but nobody doubts where Cuervo comes from. This unique victory of branding stands alongside another Cuervo triumph – the conversion of tequila from a barely respectable drink generally disparaged as suitable for the lower classes into THE acceptable national spirit.
"The Institute of the Americas’ will honor the man behind this transformation by presenting its Business Leadership in the Americas Award to Juan Francisco Beckmann Vidal, President of Jose Cuervo S.A. de C.V. The award ceremony and Mr. Beckmann’s presentation on Branding Mexico: Jose Cuervo's Experience and Vision of the Future will be followed by a Jose Cuervo tequila tasting. Reservations are necessary. Must be at least 21 years old to attend."