The Team

From the beginning, our intention was to be fully ourselves and keep our community top of mind.

We’re disrupting spirits with a brand that's authentic to who we are: Millennials and Gen Zers proud of our Latin American roots. Wherever you are from, bebé, you are a beautiful blend of cultures! Pa'lante was created with this ethos in mind: We’re from here and from there – de aquí y de allá.

The Distillery

We have a unique relationship with our distillery, built on decades of trust.

Our co-founder, Edis Zurita, and master blender, Jorge Perez, met in La Habana in the 80s distilling rum for one of the world's most renowned rum brands. Jorge’s had an illustrious rum-making career in Cuba and Mexico. Our close partnership allows us to create innovative products like an herbaceous Botanical Rum and a Dark Rum aged with Mexican oak.

Our Faces

Eric Zurita


Eric’s love of rum stems from his father’s rum-making days at a major distillery in Cuba. He grew up hearing stories of his heyday on the island, and now he’s on a mission to showcase rum’s versatility and Latinify the spirits industry. For him, Pa’lante is equally about making damn-good rum and bringing authenticity to how our community is represented in this space. Eric believes uplifting our community and excelling in business are inseparable goals.

Edis Zurita


Edis was a chemical engineer in Cuba who worked for one of the world’s most renowned rum brands. He left Cuba in the 90s in search of a brighter future for his family. As an immigrant in the U.S., he passed on the value of hard work, his love of rum, and his island’s beautiful culture to his sons, who are carrying on the family tradition. He’s excited for Pa’lante to change the perception of what rum can be.

Josie Ortega


Josie loves setting and implementing business strategies. As a lover of numbers, math, and all things data, she believes every problem is a function waiting to be maximized, minimized, or assessed for its cost/benefit. Everything requires decisions, plans, and contingencies. Despite all this, she’s still really fun at parties. Representing Pa’lante gives her the opportunity to leverage her talents for things she holds dear: family, roots, and legacy.

Eddie Zurita

Territory Manager [FL]

Eddie is a first-generation Cuban American inspired by his heritage. While he first exercised the work ethic handed down by his parents on the basketball court, he’s excited to use it for bringing Pa’lante to a bar near you. Eddie wants to unify our communities for a common good and is a force of positivity on the team, earning him the nickname “Chief Hype Officer.” He’s proud to be helping his family bring delicious rums and a rebellious brand to market.

Eimi Ramirez


Eimi hace lo que se le da la gana. She moved to Buenos Aires to start a career in advertising, came back to New York for film school, and owns a pet snake. Eimi loves thinking about what Pa’lante can look, feel, and sound like, but it’s also fun to imagine how a Latinx-owned rum company can contribute to and reflect U.S. Latinx culture. Everything she contributes to Pa’lante is seen through the lens of how we can party while staying true to ourselves.

Steve Myers

VP of Sales

Steve is a mysterious Australian gentleman known in different circles for his mezcal-smuggling skills and a stint playing for Guatemala’s national rugby squad. His multicontinental and multidecade adventure as co-founder of Ilegal Mezcal has distinguished him in the spirits industry for his ability to open up new American and international markets. As a Padrino of sorts, Steve is happiest watching and helping the young Pa’lante cohort take on the world.

Brandon Espinosa

VP of Biz Dev

Brandon is a first-generation graduate from The Hotel School at Cornell University. He is a creative entrepreneur with proven success building brands through a cultural lens. He was VP of Brand at The Bronx Brewery, where he drove revenue through impact. He is also the founder of The Salsa Project, which protects and preserves the music among younger generations. Catch Brandon bringing Latin vibes to our brand activations, ensuring we show up in the right way for our community.

Evan Schuster

Territory Manager [NY]

Evan paid for college by managing bars for a restaurant group in Florida. He believes there’s something special about the first time a bartender suggests a new spirit and the guest becomes a lifelong fan. Infusing Pa’lante into those moments is his objective, and he won’t stop until they all have the juice to spark those moments. As the only non-Latin co-founder, he’ll be sharing his love of our culture with everyone who wants to participate in its richness.

Nick Monaco

VP of Finance

Nick comes from a family of immigrant self-starters of Italian and Colombian backgrounds. He’s passionate about paying homage to that heritage by sharing with the world the culture and unique experiences our rums provide. Pa’lante opens the door for those of us who want to strengthen our connection to our parents’ homelands. But he’s using his corporate finance expertise to help Pa’lante introduce consumers of all backgrounds to our community.

Stephen Bernier

Advisor / Brand Designer

Stephen is a multidisciplinary creative and the designer behind Pa’lante’s brand identity. He is inspired by countercultural movements and creating space where brands can challenge the status quo, have meaningful impact, and capture the imagination. For Pa’lante it was important to create an identity that empowered our inner rebel and celebrated the Latinx community. As a member of our Advisory Board, Stephen will help ensure Pa’lante stays looking badass.

Jorge Perez

Advisor / Master Blender

Jorge is Edis’s close friend and former colleague from his rum-making days. As our Master Blender, he’s the primary brain and palate behind our innovative rums. He’s also a PhD in chemical engineering who specializes in the science behind a wood barrel’s effect on a spirit. He’s had an illustrious rum-making career in Mexico and, although he was trained in the traditional Cuban style, he’s very much a hybrid artist-scientist making modern rums.

Natasha Bermudez

Advisor / Cocktail Expert

Natasha Bermudez, Bartender in Residence for PUNCH 2020, has forged a path through NYC’s bar industry. After stints at Death&Co, Banzabar, and Llama Inn, she became head bartender at 3-star New York Times Critics’ Pick Llama San, where she creates and reinvents an original drink menu alongside beverage director Lynnette Marrero. As an isleña from DR and lifelong rum lover, she’s passionate about mixing Pa’lante into top-notch beverages for you to enjoy.