Know Your Celebrity Tequila Brands
Celebrities seem to have a fascination with tequila. While many members of the glitterati deal in other spirits like vodka and bourbon, tequila seems to have a special appeal, enticing them to buy into brands or even start their own. Could it be tequila’s growing popularity in the American market? Is it the low cost of production in Mexico with big rewards back home? Or is it just that they all really love a good Margarita? Whatever the reason, celebrities can’t seem to stop themselves when it comes to agave. Here, the most notable celebrity-owned or founded tequilas.
Sammy Hagar’s Cabo WaboIt’s no coincidence that this line of tequila shares its name with the rocker’s restaurant chain. It began as the house tequila served at the flagship Cabo Wabo in Cabo San Lucas before being brought to the United States in 1999. According to Hagar, the name came to him after seeing an inebriated man “wobble” his way out of a bar after a heavy night's drinking. From its initial launch to 2006, Cabo Wabo tequila went from selling 30,000 cases a year to more than 140,000 cases, making it one of best selling premium tequilas in the United States at the time. Hagar ended up selling a majority of the company for 80 million dollars to Gruppo Campari in 2007 (and the rest in 2010). But Hagar isn’t out of the tequila game, though. He recently partnered with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine to launch Santo Mezquila, a blend of tequila and mezcal.
Carlos Santana’s Casa Noble TequilaCarlos Santana lost some of his rock ‘n’ roll cred when he released that earworm of a song with Rob Thomas in 1999, but gained some of it back when he invested in Casa Noble in 2011. In 2014, Carlos Santana sold his share of the Casa Noble and is sadly no longer behind the brand. Luckily tequila isn’t Santana’s only investment, the virtuoso guitarist also has a line of women’s shoes, the designs for which, the brand claims, were “inspired by the artistry and passion of Carlos Santana's soulful rhythms and vibe.”
Justin Timberlake’s Sauza 901Sauza 901, named for Timberlake’s hometown area code in Memphis, was first released in 2009 as a small private label (it was originally just Tequila 901). After receiving press and accolades, Timberlake and his partners attracted the attention of Beam Inc. who, in 2014, bought the tequila brand from the pop-celebrity. Rebranded as Sauza 901, the blanco tequila still benefits from Timberlake’s endorsement but is now made in Sauza’s distillery.
AC/DC and Thunderstruck TequilaNamed for their 1990 hit single, AC/DC’S new line of blanco, reposado and añejo tequilas will be available in early 2017. The tequila is made by the Fabrica de Tequilas Finos Company, which is also responsible for Costco’s Kirkland brand tequila. This is not AC/DC’s first foray into the beverage industry; they have endorsed beer, wine and even an energy drink that was branded “High Voltage” (after the title of their 1976 album). The band even promoted a canned, low-alcohol version of Bourbon & Coke.
Sean “Diddy” Combs DeLeón TequilaThis tequila is the sophomore spirit from ‘90s rap superstar Sean John Combs after his success with Ciroc vodka. The lineup features ultra-premium spirits for only the most ballin’ drinkers including DeLeón Diamante ($150) a cask-strength añejo tequila, DeLeón Extra Añejo ($350) and DeLeón Leóna ($850), a reserve bottling finished in Sauternes casks.
Toby Keith’s Wild Shot MezcalThis country musician from Oklahoma, famous for wearing his American Pride on his denim sleeve and Billboard hits such as “The Taliban Song,” “Get Drunk and Be Somebody,” and “Beer for My Horses,” released this mezcal in 2011. First featured at his restaurant chain, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, Wild Shot Mezcal guarantees “wild” smoke flavors, a “wild” good time and a worm in every bottle.
George Clooney’s CasamigosStarted in 2013 by the former ER heartthrob in partnership with nightlife impresario Rande Gerber and real estate magnate Mike Meldman, this top shelf tequila has impressed both the press and consumers alike. Showered with awards, the tequila brand has grown to include a reposado and añejo tequila.