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Purple Christmas?

I hope everyone out there is enjoying their holidays, whether you’re with your friends, family, a random group of strangers, or, if like me, you’re on your own this year.

Purple is not a color I associate with this season, but a work event recently gave me a reason to (however loosely) think of the holidays in a different hue.

While my company is a beer importer, we do a couple other things on the side too. One of these “side projects” is tequila. We have one guy working for us who is dedicated to a few brands of tequila. This guy is originally from Mexico, and when he’s not working for our company he’s also a DJ and an event coordinator. One of his events was December 22nd this year.

Casa Noble Premium Tequila Bottles

The super-premium tequila our tequila dude promotes is called “Casa Noble“. It’s an organic, really, really good drink that comes in a couple different styles (all aged a different number of years). The company is owned by none other than Carlos Santana.

Tequila in general has kind of a bad rap in Japan; people are afraid of it. Sure, it’s a strong drink. But it doesn’t always have to taste like paint thinner. Actually, this is a tequila you can sip if you want (though probably not for the first-time drinker). Promoting tequila and getting people to drink it is a bit of a challenge in the Japanese market. In the past, at events where I’m helping promote Casa Noble, I’ve manned a table where a small army of champagne glasses stand, each with about a half-shot worth of the drink inside. People approach, interested, and I offer a glass, smiling. Then, they ask:

“What is this?”

I reply: “It’s Casa Noble! It’s a premium organic tequila!”

They then literally shake their head, put their hands up, and walk away (admittedly, while smiling sheepishly).

I don’t think I have ever walked away from a free drink. Ahem.

Anyway, the realization came that as long as you don’t call it “tequila” most people will try it. Many people have started requesting it at clubs and bars, not knowing it’s tequila. They know it only as “Casa Noble”.

This year team tequila gave the all new “Purple Christmas” event a shot. A club in Aoyama was rented out for the night, the place was decked out in a bunch of purple decorations, a few DJ’s signed on, and people were invited. It was an evening to introduce people to Casa Noble, and it was also an exercise in event planning.

Velours in Minami Aoyama, Purple Christmas 2012
The venue for the night, “Velours” in Minami Aoyama. Photo by Gen Okamoto
DJ Luis CzG at Purple Christmas, 2012
Mr. Tequila himself, one of the DJ’s for the evening.

I arrived around 8:30 PM, and much to my surprise, had my hair and makeup done. I spent my evening either wandering around from room to room, chatting with my coworkers (about half my company showed up), or working at the door letting people into the club (I switched off regularly with two other people doing this). We wrapped up at 5:00 in the morning on the dot, took an hour to pack up our things, and went out for a bowl of breakfast ramen in Shibuya at about 7:00 AM.

Alisha Holding a Casa Noble BottleAlisha on the Phone at an Event

Photos by Gen Okamoto

The next day, at about 3:00 PM a delivery guy woke me up ringing my doorbell, Christmas present from my family in hand. I, wearing my pajamas, peacock hairstyle and purple glitter, somewhat ashamedly grinned as I opened the door and said “oh, good morning”.
Long nights like these are…well, long. Like I said in one of my previous posts, I’m really bad at staying up all night. Somehow things worked out this time around (I’m guessing because I was working, not imbibing).

A Ramen shop in Shibuya, Tokyo
Nothing a good bowl of ramen at 7:00 AM can’t fix.

The Purple Christmas event was a learning experience for all in attendance; some things went as planned, other things did not. We’ll move forward into 2013 with a whole bunch of exciting ideas and interesting events on our schedule.

Though… I think I’ll probably stick with red and green for my holiday festivities.


  1. Dave Yan Dave Yan January 9, 2013

    nice blog. and glad to see you like Casa Noble Tequila 🙂

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