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How a Turtle Helped and Hurt the Launch of This Premium Tequila Ken Austin, founder of Tequila Avión, tells us his incredible brand story over a couple of Cinco de Mayo cocktails.

By Dan Bova

Avion

In a world where business leaders are quick to rattle off their resumes and tell you how ungodly successful they are, it is refreshing to meet a guy who laughingly refers to himself as "not a very smart guy."

That's Ken Austin, the very funny and, yes, extremely successful founder of Tequila Avión. Since its creation in 2009, the brand has been the star of an HBO show, won all kinds of awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and in 2014, sold a significant majority stake to French beverage giant Pernod Ricard for a reported $100 million.

Related: I Tried a $1,000 Mint Julep. Was It Worth It?

Austin is the heart and soul of Avión. He invited me to the company's global headquarters in New York City to talk about the booze biz and make me a couple of his favorite Cinco de Mayo cocktails. (Full disclosure: I may have had a couple more "samples" after the camera stopped rolling.)

Check out the above interview and try out some of these recipes. They were as delicious as they look.

Watermelon Margarita

  • 2 parts Avión Silver or Reposado
  • 1 part fresh watermelon juice
  • ¾ parts fresh lime juice
  • ½ part agave nectar

Combine all ingredients with ice in a shaker, shake and strain into a glass, garnish with a watermelon wedge and salt/spice rim.

Elevated Paloma

  • 2 oz Avión Silver or Reposado
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz agave nectar
  • splash of club soda

Build all ingredients over ice in a Collins glass, stir to chill, garnish with a lime wedge.

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim, and Spy magazine. His latest books for kids include This Day in History, Car and Driver's Trivia ZoneRoad & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff, and Wendell the Werewolf

Read his humor column This Should Be Fun if you want to feel better about yourself.

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