The Truth About Onda, Shay Mitchell's Tequila Brand

A wave of cool '90s-inspired sophistication has crashed on the beach of the spirits world. Onda — which translates from Spanish as "wave" — was founded in July 2020 by TV actor and producer Shay Mitchell and her business partners, including co-founder Kelli Adams. Mitchell is the chief brand officer for Onda Sparkling Tequila (via People). The '90s, surf-inspired tequila seltzer product comes served in a brightly colored can and is made from all natural ingredients, including blanco tequila produced at a woman-owned distillery in Jalisco, Mexico (via Onda's website). The 355 milliliter cans contain 100 calories, no sugar or carbs, and 5% ABV (via The Spirits Business). The original seltzer flavors were lime and grapefruit, and in summer 2021, the brand released its Paradise Collection featuring four new flavors: mango, pineapple, passion fruit, and strawberry (via Forbes).

Mitchell was inspired by her love of tequila seltzer, as well as a '90s-meets-perpetual-summer theme. "Tequila sodas have always been my go-to drink, so for me, I wanted to make something that I knew not just myself, but a lot of people would love and enjoy," she said (via Forbes). "And so that's where Onda was brought to life. I think lifestyle is kind of an overplayed word, but we really just wanted to create a vibe and energy among the people who like it and consume it" (via People).

Cultivating a gnarly community

One important factor when developing Onda was the source of the tequila. Upon being introduced to Casa Maestri distillery, which has won numerous awards in Mexico, Mitchell, Adams, and their team knew it was "the one" because of two factors: its distinction as a female-owned company and the quality of the tequila it produces (via Forbes).

"While the alcohol industry has been primarily male-dominated, there's a shift in more woman-owned brands entering the space, which is exciting to see. We are proud to work with a woman-owned distillery and continue growing female representation in the industry," Kelli Adams said (via Forbes).

Finally, if you're feeling stuck and isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can join Onda Beach Club, a virtual hangout community based on Onda's super cool surfing-chic values. The group allows members special, inside access to promotions and new releases (via The Spirits Business).

Hang ten, friends!