For Chicago native Uduimoh Umolo, seeing the world and being able to open his mind to unique experiences was something he was exposed to at an early age. With West African roots, he attended school in both Ghana and London, as they both are places his parents had connections to. Once back on American soil, the Jon Basil Tequila owner knew that entrepreneurship was the route that he wanted to take in life.

"I started to really pay attention to how I was showing up as a Black male. My life growing up in Chicago and my life abroad were very different, which led me to really ask questions about the world, and ultimately piqued my interest into entrepreneurship," Umolo shares. "I ended up going to University of Illinois in Urbana Champagne studying Advertising and Business, and I wanted to find a way to marry my interests of things that affected and touched culture into one."

As a well-known connector in his communities, there came a time when the spirit brand owner couldn't truly identify with the beverage brands he was using for various events and parties. So rather than wait for something to come along, he set out to launch his own.

"I felt like it was important for us to have a brand that we actually identified with and was true to culture, that's what led me to creating Jon Basil Tequila."

From left: Mixologist Derrick Tuner and Jon Basil Tequila founder Uduimoh Umolo. Image: courtesy of Jon Basil Tequila.

With plenty of spirit options to move into, Umolo chose tequila because it's the only one that's an upper, and when made with 100% agave, it's the easiest for your body to process. The brand was named for his grandfather, as well as the man who made it possible for his father to come to the United States from West Africa.

"Ultimately, it was just the culture of tequila. Being in West Africa and seeing a lot of the similarities and nuances in the cultures of both made it the perfect fit. When you look at the cuisine and the ingredients used in the cuisine, and even the music, I wanted to bridge the gap between those two," he says. "I just wanted to have a brand that pays homage to those folks that paved the way. Every time we sip it, it's a toast to them and a way to let them know we appreciate their sacrifice and that we're aware of our duty to uphold that legacy. "

Made with rain water to blend, Jon Basil is a very smooth option, even for the person who doesn't typically drink tequila. As you prepare to curate menus for the holidays, new year, or even a special occasion, we've tapped Jon Basil Tequila's mixologist, Derrick Turner to give us a few cocktail recipes that are sure to leave your guests talking.

Jon Basil's Signature Holiday Drink-All Falls Down

All Falls Down Signature holiday cocktail. Image: courtesy of Jon Basil Tequila.


  • 2 oz. Jon Basil Reposado 
  • 1 oz. apple cider juice 
  • .50 oz. lemon juice 
  • 1/4” knob of ginger  
  • .25 oz. agave 
  • pinch of cinnamon  

In a mixing glass add ginger, muddle, then add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake. Strain into iced glass and garnish with apple slices.

Red House

Red House Cocktail. Image: courtesy of Jon Basil Tequila.


  • 2 oz. Jon Basil Reposado 
  • 1 oz. Campari 
  • .75 oz. fresh lemon juice 
  • .50 oz. agave 

In a mixing glass, add all ingredients plus ice. Shake, then strain into coupe glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Casa de Basil

Casa de Basil cocktail. Image: courtesy of Jon Basil Tequila.


  • 2 oz. Jon Basil Blanco
  • 1 oz. passion fruit nectar
  • .50 oz. guava nectar
  • .75 oz. fresh lime juice
  • .25 oz. agave 
  • pinch of nutmeg

Add all ingredients to mixing glass. Shake. Strain over iced rock glass and garnish with fresh mint sprig.

JB's Winter Tropics


  • 2 oz. Jon Basil Blanco 
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice 
  • .75 oz. lime juice 
  • .50 oz. agave 
  • bar spoon of pink peppercorn   
  • 3 dashes of Peyshauds bitters 

In a mixing glass, muddle pink peppercorn. Add remaining ingredients along with ice. Shake, Strain into coupe glass. Optional garnish: fresh-cracked pink peppercorn.