Celebrities and tequila, a combination that seems to work?
As tequila is a growing industry many celebrities have decided to take advantage of this and started to get involved with varying degrees of participation in the development of their tequilas. Some come on later as brand ambassadors, while others come up with a concept and rigorously taste test until the desired result is achieved. Still others will visit Jalisco to learn more about the distilling and fermentation process where the biggest impact in the quality of the tequila can be accomplished.
Using social media to boost sales, celebrity endorsements have helped propel the tequila industry into a place where growth is outpacing most other forms of alcohol sales. this first started when Sammy Hagar built a beach bar back when Cabo San Lucas was a backwater town with little tourist infrastructure. Through the 90s, his bar, and his hit sensation “Cabo Wabo” paved the way for the success of his new eponymous tequila brand. It wasn’t too long before other celebrities took notice and built their own tequila brands.
Lets dive into the world of tequila and look more into this.
George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila
Loosely translated as “House of Friends,” George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila is the most renowned celebrity tequila on the market today. Casamigos comes in four varieties- Blanco, Mezcal, Anejo, and Resposado.
Casamigos still stays true to their roots, using an authentic process in the highlands of Jalisco. The brand selects the best Blue Weber agaves, which are roasted for 72 hours. Casamino’s uses a special house-made yeast blend to ferment for 80 hours. The result is an award winning, rich blend suitable for celebrating any occasion with friends and family.
Reviews for Casamigos credit the tequila’s smoothness and complex flavors, contributing to high reviews and making it competitive with other top-shelf tequila brands. We at tequila-world happily vouch for this and agree with the critics around the world.
Clooney started Casamigos in 2013 with his friend and entrepreneur Rande Gerber when they were looking for a house brand to serve at his home and reportedly never intended it to be available to the public. Just four years later, Casamigos was sold to multinational spirit distiller Diageo for $1 billion.
You can purchase this tequila on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3fQxldD
Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila
Jenner reportedly spent over three years working with master distillers to develop her new brand of tequila, 818. Named for the area code of the famous Jenner-Kardashian’s domain north of downtown Los Angeles, Jenner had been teasing the announcement of her much anticipated brand on social media for months.
Early reviews for 818 are impressive. Since launching, 818 tequilas have won 8 prestigious awards, including “Best Resposado Tequila” from the World Tequila Awards. With impressive awards and an eye-popping social media following, Jenner is all but guaranteed success as 818 rolls out into the marketplace.
Like Casamigos, 818 uses 100% Blue Weber agave and works with local, family farms in Jalisco to produce the tequila. Sourced with the best mature agaves, they are cooked in traditional brick ovens for up to 40 hours. The extracted juice is fermented for 70 hours in pot stills and twice distilled. The Resposado and Anejo Tequilas are aged in white oak barrels to enhance the flavours.
Currently available in California, 818 Tequila will become available nationwide this summer. Jenner’s commitment to environmental sustainability carries through this brand, too. She plans to donate 1% of sales to environmental non-profit partners working to ensure the sustainability of our planet. We at tequila-world are impressed and suggest trying this to any tequila connoisseurs when given the opportunity.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Teremana Tequila
Launched in March 2020, The Rock’s tequila brand, known as Teremana, sold a stunning 300,000 cases within the first year of production. Teremana, or soul of the earth, is a small batch tequila that can pack a punch, not unlike the brand’s creator.
Teremana’s business practices are committed to supporting the local, time-honored traditions of tequila making. Brick ovens roast the agave for three days before extracting the juice for fermentation. Interestingly, the rejected agave fibers are recycled for organic compost to sustain and grow the agave fields for the next harvest. Handmade, traditional copper pot stills are used ensuring a rich, flavorful tequila.
Today, Teremana is available as a Blanco or Resposado tequila. Both varieties are highly rated, but the Resposado scored especially well, noting flavor aromas of citrus zest and vanilla with a smooth finish.
Teremana’s website can help inspire drink creations for your next party on their comprehensive Recipe page, containing several dozen drink recipes featuring Teremana. The high ratings mixed with The Rock’s star power means that this tequila will give the competition a run for their money.
Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Tequila
Sammy Hagar, of Rock n’ Roll’s consummate group Van Halen, always had an affinity for Mexican liquor, but didn’t have real blue agave tequila until a Mexico vacation in the early 90’s. His love for the Mexican culture inspired him to develop nightclubs in Cabo and help put the beachside destination on the map. Based on the bar’s overwhelming success, Hagar worked with local distillers to start up his tequila line at a time when celebrity alcohol was almost unheard of.
Cabo Wabo boasts they use thicker pintildeas of agave to provide a more robust flavor with a bolder taste profile. In fact, the company works this into their motto by contending that their tequila is “thick cut.” Once the thick pintildeas are selected, they are then cut into four quarters and cooked in a stainless steel autoclave. Once heated, the carbs are chemically transformed into fermentable sugars. Once the fermentation process is complete, an aging process begins, depending on the tequila type.
Cabo Wabo produces a Blanco, Reposado, and an Anejo. Reviews are mixed, but however some reviews credit the smooth finishing notes which prevent alcohol burn tastes. Like the Teremana, Cabo Wabo’s website includes several drink recipes to highlight the drinks, including a Smoked Bacon Reposadorita and a Hickorita.
Michael Jordan’s Cincoro
The story goes that Michael Jordan was waiting for a reservation in 2016 with a few NBA owners that had been invited to dinner at a swanky New York City restaurant. While their reservation was mistakenly made for the wrong day, the group assembled at the bar and ordered their favorite drinks. Alcohol was flowing and soon it was decided there was space in the tequila market for a super-premium brand. And thus, Cincoro was born.
Cincoro is a portmanteau of the Spanish words for “five” and gold,” paying homage to the original group that concocted the idea for the brand. Each variety of the tequila- Anejo, Reposado, Blanco, and Extra Anejo occupies space in the luxury spirits market. The Extra Anejo bottle, for example, retails for over $1,600 a bottle. Jordan brought in his colleague from Nike, Mark Smith, an industrial design expert for creating the bottles and packaging.
Cincoro’s signature Extra Anejo bottle matures for between 40 and 44 months, contributing to the hefty price tag. While the ratings for Cincoro are generally high, many reviewers cost value as an issue, especially compared against other tequila brands.
John Varvatos and Nick Jonas’ VillaOne
Men’s iconic fashion designer John Varvatos and Jonas Brother Nick have partnered up to produce VillaOne, a handcrafted tequila near the midpoint price range. This tequila is produced by master distiller Arturo Fuentes, who has experience in other types of spirits, too.
Slow cooked and double-distilled in copper pots, VillaOne embraces tradition in the long-established distilling and fermentation process. Jonas and Varvatos has teamed up with the Stoli Group, most notable for Stolichnaya Vodka, for marketing, production, and sales of VillaOne.
It was reported that because Jonas is diabetic, the fermented sugars of tequila make it one of the rare alcoholic beverages he can enjoy healthily, so he and his friends naturally gravitated to tequila when celebrating on nights out.
Jonas held a celebrity-filled launch party in Montauk, NY back in the summer of 2019 to celebrate the three varieties- the un-aged Silver, Reposado, and Anejo. Reviews of VillaOne are generally good, but lack any wow factor to make it stand out from the competition.
Maurice Tebele and Elliott (aka F*ckJerry) Tebele’s JAJA Tequila
Pro Instagram Memer Elliott and his brother Maurice launched JAJA (pronounced “haha”) in 2018 after spending years trying to find the perfect tequila. The Tebele brothers, along with childhood friend Martin Hoffstein, developed this small batch tequila with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and eco-friendly processes.
JAJA is available with three gluten-free varieties- Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo. Each is triple-distilled to capture the best flavour story and aromas. While some other tequila producers have industrialized the process, because of their sustainability efforts, JAJA relies on traditional methods with ethical labour standards.
Solid reviews for JAJA have come in, with raters commonly mentioning the smooth finish and the sweet and savory notes, particularly in the Reposado. Reasonably priced, JAJA’s founders plan to distribute to all 50 states and beyond for a quality yet not-out-of-reach tequila product.
Sean Combs (aka P Diddy) DeLeon Tequila
DeLeon Tequila was purchased by Sean “P Diddy” Combs in a joint venture with Diageo in 2014. First launched in 2009, DeLeon is showcased in a bottle that resembles a luxury fragrance.
DeLeon is currently available in three varietals- Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo. Each expression is moderately priced for the category and the tequila has generally positive reviews. An ultra-premium varietal, the Deleon Anejo Leona will set you back some $800, however. Some raters mention the complexity and subtlety provide complementary tasting notes.
While P Diddy is no longer involved as some other celebrity owners and promoters, he still serves the product at parties. Perhaps he is better known for his Ciroc line of Vodka.
Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar’s Santo Mezquila Blended Tequila Mezcal
While not technically a tequila, rocker and veteran tequila maker Sammy Hagar and food critic extraordinaire Guy Fieri deserve an honorable mention for the innovative mezcal/tequila blend. Mezcal is the close cousin of tequila, with a few liberties taken on the type of agave and how it’s prepared in the roasting process.
This product has honey and smokey flavors, and receives high marks in nearly every category across the board. This is a great introduction into mezcal for those who may be put off by the strong taste (or sometimes included worm) of mezcal. The Santo webpage links some great looking drinks, including the Diablo Margarita, the Fiery Fieri, and the delicious looking Mezca-Fresca margarita.
This bottle was originally launched with the involvement of Adam Levine, but he is no longer affiliated with the brand today. Hagar and Fieri have also collaborated on more traditional tequila endeavors, but this blend stands above the rest, attesting to the uniqueness of the product. The unique flavor will be sure to be a hit at the next backyard pool party this summer.
Many celebrities have been inspirited to launch their own alcohol line, and with tequila sales absolutely exploding, many are jumping on the bandwagon. While all similar in production methods, some brands take the extra step to be environmentally conscious or opt for more traditional distilling and fermentations, which is what allows for the variety of flavor notes and finishes.
From George Clooney’s astonishing success with Casamigos, to Sammy Hagar’s nearly 30 year old tested and true Cabo Wabo brands, there is a celebrity tequila brand for almost every type of tequila drinker, even the purists familiar with the process of production. As tequila continues to grow in popularity, expect more celebrities to latch on to help expand their own brands while sharing their favorite drinks to celebrate with friends.