Pop Culture

Celebrities Who Launched Their Own Tequila Brands

We’ve seen a lot of alcoholic spirits got a boost through ads from a trusted celebrities. But it seems like the type of liquor stars are most fascinated with lately is tequila. Beer, vodka, whiskey and bourbon are nice, but tequila seems to have a special appeal for celebs.

Probably the first name that comes to mind is George Clooney and his Casamigos Tequila which he promoted regularly through is celebrity visibility.  It was so successful it was sold for a lot of money and now old George doesn’t have to even act anymore.

So it seems celebrities and tequila go well together, and perhaps this is why even more of them managed havelaunched their own brand with their own particular twist on Tequila. From rockers to rappers to pop stars to Hollywood big stars, here are some celebrities who founded or are part owners in tequila brands:

1. George Clooney – Casamigos Tequila

The epitome of a dashing Hollywood celebrity, we’ve seen George Clooney play a handsome doctor, a CIA operative, a leader of a heist, and of course, a sexy leading man – among many of his roles. He’s the classic, talented actor you would definitely see driving his sports car to go down and meet with his equally manly friends in glasses of tequila.

Clooney’s passionate about tequila, whether it’s on the rocks, by the shot, or straight from the bottle. No wonder he created his own brand. In fact, tequila-filled nights with his friends is how the Casamigos Tequila was born. The Oscar-winning actor came up with his own brand and blend of tequila with the help of his close friends Rande Gerber, businessman and husband to supermodel Cindy Crawford, and Mike Meldman, a real estate magnate. They we in search of something they could drink all day long without getting a hangover, and something that tastes so good it doesn’t have to be covered in salt or lime.

The Casamigos Tequila was launched to the public in 2013 and is sold by 20 countries. In 2017, it was bought for $1 billion by Diageo, making Clooney the highest-paid male actor of 2018, even though he hasn’t been featured in a film since 2016.

2. Adam Levine and Sammy Hagar– Santo Mezquila

The Maroon 5 frontman with the moves like Jagger and the former Van Halen singer who is known as the Red Rocker have more than rock music in common. These two talented musicians bonded over their love for tequila and launched the world’s first mezquila, a combination of tequila and mezcal, which is tequila’s lesser-known, smoky cousin made from agave. Their creation, which they named as Santo Mezquila, became a success.

The Santo Mezquila is a combination of the distinct flavor of tequila mixed with the smoky flavors of the mezcal. At first, Levine and Hagar couldn’t figure out whether to make a new tequila or mezcal, so they compromised and discovered that it tastes great. Hagar said that with the blend, they created “higher spirit.”

3. Justin Timberlake – Sauza 901

Justin Timberlake is probably most known as a former boy-bander and popstar who rose to popularity in Hollywood and became an in-demand actor. His memorable appearances in “Saturday Night Live,” “Social Network” and “Friends with Benefits” proved that he had talents other than music, but what most people may not know is that he also found success with business.

One of his greatest roles is playing Rick “Sour” Vane, a washed up line in a TV commercial for Sauza 901, because the product is his own creation. Timberlake had a special love for tequila, which made him make his own brand. He launched the Sauza 901, which was named after his area code in Memphis, is now made in Casa Sauza’s distillery. Originally, he launched the tequila in 2009 as Tequila 901 as a small private label. The tequila is known to be so smooth that it doesn’t need a chaser.

4. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs – DeLeón Tequila

US rap superstar Sean Combs – also known as P. Diddy, Diddy or Puff Daddy – also ventured into tequila business. The Bad Boy Entertainment founder released successful albums during the 90’s to 2000’s, and keeps himself low key as a songwriter for other artists.

Before launching his tequila brand, P. Diddy already found success in liquor branding, after he launched the Ciroc Vodka from Diageo. DeLeón Tequila partnered with P. Diddy in 2013 and launched a lineup of ultra-premium tequila spirits including DeLeón Diamante, DeLeón Extra Añejo and DeLeón Leóna.

5. Sammy Hagar – Cabo Wabo

Before he partnered with Adam Levine, Sammy Hagar was an expert in the tequila business himself. The Cabo Wabo tequila started as the house brand tequila served in the Rocker’s restaurant chain with the same name. The Cabo Wabo chain of restaurants started in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and franchises exist in Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, Nevada, in the Las Vegas strip, and on Hollywood Boulevard, California. Hagar said the Cabo Wabo name came to him after watching a drunk man “wobbling” his way out of a bar.

The Cabo Wabo tequila served at the restaurant was a hand-made tequila he commissioned from a family-owned distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. In 1999, a Napa Valley wine importer imported the liquor to the US. It became a hit, and the tequila was launched as a separate product sold in stores by 2006. From selling 37,000 cases on the first year to 140,000 in 2006, the Cabo Wabo tequila became the second-best selling premium tequila in the US.

6. Mario Lopez – Casa Mexico Tequila

Latino TV personality Mario Lopez is known for his role as AC Slater on Saved by the Bell, and for being one of the hosts for Extra. He is also a proud co-owner of the Casa Mexico Tequila. Lopez has always been an avid tequila lover, and one day the Casa Mexico tequila founder Eric Buccio approached him to try his mix. Without any doubt, the TV host loved it and invested in the brand.

Buccio was refining his tequila for 8 years, and when he found the perfect mix, he started sharing it with his friends. That time, Lopez was set to be married in Mexico, and he thought the tequila was the perfect drink to bring to his wedding party. By the end of the wedding weekend, 120 bottles of Casa Mexico tequila was served. The brand also boasts boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya as a partner. The tequila blend was produced in the Jalisco highlands.

7. Carlos Santana – Casa Noble Tequila

Carlos Santana während seines Live-Konzertes am 21. Januar 2000 in der Münchner Muffat-Halle.

Carlos Santana is a rock music icon and guitar legend who rose to popularity by the late 1960s to 1970s with his band Santana. He’s one of the most talented guitarists that have walked in the face of the earth. Older millennials may have heard about him when he released that earworm of a song “Smooth” with Rob Thomas in 1999. The Mexican American musician invested in Casa Noble Tequila in 2011, but is no longer behind the brand as he sold his shares in 2014.

Santana became a part owner of the brand, after he professed interest in aligning himself in the spirit of Jalisco, Mexico, where he was born. He visited the distillery in Jalisco, Mexico and shook on a deal with the CEO of Casa Noble. The triple-distilled tequila was a champion at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition in 2007 and 2008.

8. Toby Keith – Wild Shot Mezcal

The American country singer behind the hits “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” “The Taliban Song” and “Get Drunk and Be Somebody,” released his Wild Shot Mezcal in 2011. The Oklahoma native has always been fascinated with Mexico and the drink mezcal. Mexico, which is the birthplace of tequila, has been a theme that runs with many of his songs.

Keith first featured his mezcal at his restaurant chain, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill. The drink promises wild, smoke flavors. Each bottle also comes with an agave worm, which Keith insists that must be eaten.

9. Bethenney Frankel – Skinnygirl Margarita

Bethenney Frankel is a reality TV star from Real Housewives and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. She also starred in her own spin-off series Bethenny Ever After and had a talk show named after her. She is also a founder of the Skinnygirl lifestyle brand and an author of four self-help books related to the Skinnygirl life.

Responding to the need of a “diet” version of women’s favorite alcoholic spirits, she launched her successful Skinnygirl brand of Margarita with six different flavors. It also expanded, as it now sells more than 20 types of cocktails including vodka, wine, sangria and more. These all promise to skimp on calories, but not on taste.

10. AC/DC – Thunderstruck Tequila

The iconic Australian rock band AC/DC also ventured in the tequila business. They are the ultimate classic rock band behind many hits our fathers loved. These ageing rockers are surprisingly big in the beverage industry, having released beer, wine, bourbon and coke RTD, and even an energy drink.

AC/DC expanded their alcoholic beverage empire with the release of Thunderstruck Tequila, their line of blanco, reposado and añejo tequilas made available in 2017. The name came from their 1990 hit single, “Thunderstruck.” The liquor mix was made by Fabrica de Tequilas Finos Company, maker of Costco’s Kirkland brand tequila.

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