Caleño was founded by Ellie Webb. Inspired by the vibrant and energetic culture of her Columbian heritage, she began experimenting with a variety of botanicals in her own kitchen, spending over a year exploring and perfecting!The result is a tropical free-spirit that captures the sunny South American lust for life.
‘So, I guess my whole journey essentially began back in January 2017. It was a culmination of things, but mainly, I was looking to cut back on my drinking after Christmas. There was one night in Bristol, I remember going out to a Latin Funk music night with some friends, and I’d offered to drive (as I wasn’t drinking). My friends ordered the usual gin and tonics, craft beers, whilst I was left drinking a diet coke and then water… Not quite as exciting, and was quite frustrating.
Coming from a background in the alcohol industry, it got me thinking. There is literally so much choice in the world of spirits and alcohol, but if you’re suddenly not then drinking, what do you drink? I knew I couldn’t drink soft drinks all night, and water felt incredibly boring.
A few months later I took a trip back to Colombia. I spent a lot of time with family (my mum’s side is from there) and also travelled around the country, visiting Cali, Medellin, Bogota the coffee region and the coastal towns of Cartagena and Santa Marta.
Whilst I was there I experienced the warm, happy upbeat/sunny nature of the Colombian people, who are relentlessly optimistic, open-minded and are always finding an excuse to celebrate/party!! It was there that it dawned on me what the non-alcoholic space was lacking. When you don’t drink, people accuse you of being boring, and that’s just not the case, it’s the drinks that are dull. It needed a massive injection of fun and excitement, and that’s when I decided that was what my drink was going to do. From there, my vision for the drink was pretty clear.
I bought a load of botanicals online and started experimenting and playing around with different ingredients, seeing what kind of flavours I could extract. I was determined to create something that tasted more like the adult-type drinks I was used to drinking, had complexity of flavour, interesting ingredients, and also reminded me of my favourite place in the world… Colombia (hence the Inca berry!)’.