A spirit company has rebranded one of its drinks after the Mexican Tequila Association took issue with the name.

Last summer the Wensleydale Spirit Company, based in Leyburn, launched its take on tequila at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Having already created a range of London Dry Gins, Wensleydale Spiced Rum, and Tusky Vodka, its t’Quila product aimed to offer customers something a little different.

Chris Taplin, owner of the Wensleydale Spirit Company, said people loved it and sales exceeded expectations – but this success was short-lived after the business received a letter from the Mexican Tequila Association via the British Embassy in Mexico.

In the letter, the Leyburn company was asked to remove all bottles from sale as they apparently breached the Mexican geographical indication of tequila. Mr Taplin added: “We were completely blind-sided.

Darlington and Stockton Times: In the summer of 2023, the Wensleydale Spirit Company based in Leyburn, North Yorkshire launched

“We are a small distillery in the Yorkshire Dales, and we made it clear that while our t’Quila was a flavoured vodka we were not trying to pass it off as a real tequila which has to be made within 60 miles of the town of Tequila in Mexico, not Leyburn in North Yorkshire.

“We argued our corner, but there was no compromise and we had to comply.”

While the company had to change its product for sale, it has now come back with a solution by re-launching the spirit, now branded as TQ Vodka. Any mention of Mexico or Tequila has been removed.

Mr Taplin added: “We are delighted to have TQ back on the shelves, and that we are now once again able to sell and promote our full range of spirits.

“This time last year we had no idea that we would be in a fight against Mexican officials which had the potential to seriously damage our distillery.

“At times it seemed absurd that from the middle of the Yorkshire Dales, we had sufficiently ruffled the feathers of people on the other side of the world that they thought it worthwhile to confront us.

“Still, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and we are now confidently promoting TQ which I think it is fair to say has a back story like no other of our spirits.”