It could be the high concentration of Mexican immigrants to Southern California or perhaps the pressures of stardom that has helped tequila to penetrate Hollywood. But we’re pretty sure it’s simply the fine flavours that a good tequila brings to the palette. Several Hollywood stars have taken their enjoyment of the agave elixir to the next step by investing in their own tequila brands which aren’t just vanity projects: the entrepreneurial ventures have already yielded a number of spirits’ competitions awards.
The Craft Gin Club is in Mexico this week so instead of gin we're sipping tequila and mezcal. After we've tasted our fair share we're writing articles about the Mexican Moonshine in our Trading Gin for Tequila series!
Carlos Santana, Casa Noble Tequila
When you visit the Casa Noble website, you’re welcomed by a few licks from a Paul Reed Smith “Supernatural” guitar, one of the manufacturer’s signature Santana models. Although the agave distiller can trace its roots back to the mid-1700s, it wasn’t until July 2011 that the brand got its biggest marketing boost when guitar god Carlos Santana bought a stake in the company and joined the board. If you’re not in the mood for a G&T, pour a slug of Casa Noble, put on Abraxas and let Carlos’ fleet fingers guide you.
Sammy Hagar, Cabo Wabo
Rock fans everywhere still don’t forgive David Lee Roth for not working things out with Eddie Van Halen, but the hair band still put out some decent work with Roth’s replacement, didn’t it? Soon after leaving Van Halen, Sammy Hagar commissioned a tequila from a distillery in Jalisco, the Mexican state in which the town of Tequila is located. When the booze got picked up by a wine producer in Napa, sales exploded, as did the tastebuds of professionals as Cabo Wabo’s anejo line has won silver, gold and double gold medals at consecutive San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Hagar has since sold his stake in the Tequila but still actively endorses it and plays live at Cabo Wabo cantinas.
George Clooney, Casamigos Tequila
The recently-married Clooney has played a number of superb roles in film. We didn’t know he was also adept at playing with words. The Spanish terms “casa” and “amigo” - meaning “house” and “friend” respectively - come together for the name on the label of his award-winning blue agave elixir. Clooney and his business partners source hand-selected plants from Jalisco whose juice, after several unique steps, end up in bourbon casks. When he’s had too much Casamigos during the evening, no doubt Clooney opts for Nespresso the next morning. Suddenly his endorsement contract with Nestle makes sense!
Justin Timberlake, Sauza 901
The Mickey Mouse Club star (he’s done one or two notable things since), first launched a tequila called 901 back in 2009, the title representing both the telephone area code of his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee as well as the hour when Timberlake feels the day ends and the night begins. Originally working with an independent tequileria in Jalisco, Timberlake won a gold medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition, encouraging the US conglomerate Beam Inc. to partner with him at the beginning of 2014 to relaunch the brand as Sauza 901. Let’s just hope that the artist is sharing his tequila with today’s Mousketeers.
P Diddy, DeLeon Tequila
DeLeon Tequila is a favourite with Hollywood stars and those that appreciate a luxurious lifestyle. It’s perhaps no surprise then that an artist that climbed his way to the top singing “It’s all about the Benjamin’s” aspiration to a generation has gone in 50% on the brand. Sean John Combs - a.k.a. P. Diddy, a.k.a. Puff Daddy, a.k.a Well, I suppose that's enough nicknames - joined forces with Diageo through his Combs Wine & Spirits to purchase and relaunch the DeLeon brand. True to opulent form, the tequila line starts retailing at $120 and ranges up to over 10 Benjamins.