Gov. Rauner and Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti unveil official Illinois Bicentennial Tequila

For Immediate Release

Friday, May 4, 2018


Rachel Bold

Gov. Rauner and Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti unveil official Illinois Bicentennial Tequila

Highlight importance of small business, Latino community

CHICAGO (May 4, 2018) — Gov. Bruce Rauner and Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti today unveiled the official tequila of the Illinois Bicentennial during a Cinco de Mayo celebration at Mi Tierra en la Villita Restaurant. Bicentennial Commissioners and members of the Latino Caucus joined them for the festive occasion, which doubled as recognition for Illinois’ small business sector and the state’s vibrant Latino community.

“This Bicentennial partnership gives us the opportunity to recognize the contributions of Latino Illinoisans and entrepreneurs to our culture and our economy,” said Rauner. “Small businesses – in the Latino community and all over Illinois – are critical to our economy. They employ millions of Illinoisans and create most of the state’s new jobs. It’s why they are considered the backbone of commerce in the state and why we need to support them in every way.”

The official Bicentennial libation is handcrafted by Mexican tequila-maker El Nacimiento. Using 100% Blue Agave from the finest soils of Jalisco, Mexico, El Nacimiento prides itself on a recipe handed down through generations of the family-owned company. The double-distilled tequila is harvested using traditional techniques, fermented without additives over seven days, then cooked in clay kilns and aged in American White Oak barrels.

With its introduction here, Nacimiento is also releasing 2000 special-edition, commemorative hand-blown Illinois shaped bottles filled with a seven-year-aged Extra Añejo. Illinois-based importer Borderz Importz, a minority-owned small business, distributes the tequila. Borderz Importz was started by restauranteur Joe Fernandez, Jr. After experiencing El Nacimiento for the first time, Fernandez sensed something special, and figured he found something that Illinoisans would greatly enjoy.

“We could not be prouder that El Nacimiento has been named the official tequila of the Illinois Bicentennial,” said Joe Fernandez, Jr., President of Borderz Importz. “As someone in the restaurant business for more 30 years, it is exciting to see the State of Illinois supporting our local small businesses. El Nacimiento has been a special tequila in Mexico for generations, we cannot wait to bring this special reserve to Illinois.”

Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti and Sen. Martin Sandoval applauded the many contributions Latinos have made in Illinois.

“As the first Latina lieutenant governor in our nation’s history, I am proud of Illinois’ incredible diversity and rich cultural history,” said Lt. Governor Sanguinetti. “The Latino community has played a vital role not only to our state’s culture but also to our state’s economic engine. As we celebrate 5 de Mayo and this unique Bicentennial event, I wish we all embrace our diversity and remember the significant contributions Latinos have made to our great state.”

“As Co-Chair of the Illinois Latino Caucus, I am thrilled that the Illinois Bicentennial is honoring the cultural and economic contributions of Latinos to the State of Illinois,” said State Sen. Sandoval, D-Chicago. “Latinos throughout Illinois join Gov. Rauner and Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti in celebration of the 200th birthday of Illinois and Cinco de Mayo festivities throughout the state.”

El Nacimiento is now available for purchase online and at a growing number of retailers, including your local Binny’s. For a complete listing, visit

The Spanish version of the Illinois Bicentennial video PSA can be found here.


On Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the union. The Illinois Bicentennial is a yearlong celebration of what has been BORN, BUILT & GROWN in the state and a reminder of why we are #IllinoisProud.  Citizens are encouraged to participate in the celebration by visiting

Attached photos may be used for publication. Video of the event will be posted here.


A statewide multimedia campaign will celebrate Illinois' influence on the world through music, sports, agriculture, literature, commerce, history, technology and innovation, transportation, and art and architecture.

Get Social

Stay connected with all information on the Illinois Bicentennial through our social media.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get inspired by Bicentennial stories, gain access to exclusive information about events and happenings, and discover even more reasons to be #IllinoisProud.

  • Name