The Wide World of Celebrity Tequilas

Actors, musicians, and other famous figures are rolling out new tequilas, capitalizing on the spirit's current buzz.

The Wide World of Celebrity Tequilas

February 14, 2023 –––––– Laura Pelner, , , ,

Actor George Clooney and entrepreneur Rande Gerber are old friends who’ve long vacationed together in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where they developed a passion for tequila. One day they were struck with the idea of creating their very own expression, looking only to make a tequila they could enjoy with friends and family. Of course, that dream grew into something much bigger in the Casamigos brand. “We wanted something different—the best tasting, smoothest tequila, one that didn’t have to be covered up with salt or lime,” Gerber recalls. “We wanted to be able to drink it all night and not be hungover in the morning.”

After two years and roughly 700 tastings, their tequila project became a reality in 2013. The two friends, along with entrepreneur Mike Meldman, partnered to launch Casamigos—and the tequila world hasn’t been quite the same since. Today, Casamigos is a huge success, ranking sixth among the top 10 for all tequilas alongside some of category’s biggest names, according to Impact Databank. Spirits industry giant Diageo acquired Casamigos for $1 billion in 2017, but Clooney and Gerber are still actively involved with the brand, which now includes three tequilas and a mezcal.clooney.jpgGeorge Clooney and Rande Gerber of Casamigos

A star-studded array of fellow celebs has since joined the tequila party with their own expressions—a list that includes Michael Jordan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Sammy Hagar with Guy Fieri, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas with John Varvatos, Diego Osorio with LeBron James, Eva Longoria, and Kendall Jenner of Kardashian fame.

Early EntriesSean “Diddy” Combs has found success in many walks of life, and spirits is one of them. In 2007 he partnered with Diageo on Cîroc vodka. He then tried his hand at tequila by taking a 50% share in the DeLeón brand in 2014, again partnering with Diageo. He calls the DeLeón venture his “dream of owning my own tequila,” and remains engaged in tasting the spirit’s new releases and various cocktail creations.

“I’ve always realized there’s an art to crafting and drinking this spirit, and I appreciate the people and the culture surrounding tequila,” he says. “There’s a culture of celebration and honoring where you’re from, whether it’s Harlem or Jalisco. It’s my job to share its heritage and craftsmanship, while bringing culture into the tequila category.”

Former NBA great Michael Jordan’s Cincoro tequila is a high-end offering launched in 2019 by a group of five professional basketball team owners: Jordan, who has a stake in the Charlotte Hornets; Jeanie Buss, the controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers; Wes Edens, a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks; and husband- and-wife duo Wyc Grousbeck and Emilia Fazzalari, who own the Boston Celtics.

This NBA ownership group first bonded at basketball meetings and then started dining together. At one dinner, Jordan led them through a tequila tasting that spurred a mutual passion for the spirit. “We share a love of tequila and decided to team up to craft our own,” Fazzalari says. “To this day, Michael and I taste test every batch of Cincoro we create to ensure it’s up to our standards.” Cincoro has blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo offerings right now, and Fazzalari expects a new expression to join the fold before year-end.nick-jonas-villa-one.jpgNick Jonas and John Varvatos of Villa One Tequila

Passion and friendship are also at the heart of Villa One tequila. Singer and actor Nick Jonas and fashion designer John Varvatos collaborated on Villa One, launching it in 2019 as co-founders. The two met at a dinner party and discovered they had a lot in common, including their love of tequila. That friendship led to the creation of Villa One, with backing from global spirits company Stoli Group. “We’ve always been passionate about tequila, and shared a desire to learn more about its craft,” Varvatos says. Their vision was to create a tequila that focused on craftsmanship while still being affordable. “This is just the start for Villa One—and both John and I are more than just the face of the brand,” Jonas adds. “We’re both hyper-involved in Villa One, from the creation of the tequila itself to the design and ongoing marketing efforts.”

Legacy And InnovationA new guard of famous women and younger celebrities is also getting involved in the tequila world, notably led by model and TV personality Kendall Jenner, the daughter of Bruce Jenner and Kris Kardashian. Jenner launched 818 tequila last year and has received immense support from her fan base.

“Kendall has spoken about how she was interested in developing a woman-led brand in a heavily male-dominated industry, building a socially and environmentally responsible tequila brand, and creating a liquid with a taste and style that spoke to her generation,” says David Yan González, who directs tequila operations at 818. “She draws people in and gets people talking about and trying tequila who may not have done so before. Our goal is to make a delicious tequila that people love, and Kendall has certainly attracted a wider audience.”kendall-jenner-818.jpgKendall Jenner of 818 tequila

Similarly, actress Eva Longoria is at the helm of Casa Del Sol, which she launched this spring as co-founder along with a team of Mexican women. Longoria is Mexican- American and has long considered entering the tequila space, but always wanted to wait for the right opportunity. Casa Del Sol provided just that. “The idea was not to be celebrity forward, but rather brand forward, while elevating the voices of women in key leadership roles,” says Casa Del Sol president Colbi Corbett. “For us, it’s more about who Eva is as a person and businesswoman rather than who she is as a celebrity. Eva’s influence runs deep and her personal mission, vision, and values align so well with Casa Del Sol.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Teremana has taken the tequila world by storm. Teremana was among the fastest-growing spirits in the country last year, despite launching in 2020 right at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Johnson built the brand as a “tequila for the people” and sipped through more than 100 distillations before finding the right one to make Teremana. His tequila is now among the best-selling, having jumped ahead of several more established brands. Due to its demand, Johnson began work on a second Teremana Distillery in Jalisco this spring.

Spanish actor Diego Osorio was drawn to tequila because of family heritage, and two years ago he launched Lobos 1707. Osorio got backing from NBA star and friend LeBron James, who’s an investor in the brand. Osorio says his great-great-grandfather—with whom he shares a name—was in the spirits business and used to age tequila in his Spanish wine barrels, so he created Lobos 1707 to honor that history.the-rock.jpgDwayne "The Rock" Johnson of Teremana

“Lobos” means wolves in Spanish and Osorio chose that name to celebrate bringing people together, as wolves do in packs. “The heartbeat and mission behind Lobos 1707 is to foster inclusivity and creativity,” he adds. “Tequila is finally getting the respect it deserves, so we’re excited for what’s to come.”

Rockstar Sammy Hagar has been involved in the tequila business for many years. The former Van Halen vocalist created the Cabo Wabo brand in the 1990s, and it was an early mover in the trend back toward 100% blue Weber agave-based tequilas in the U.S. Hagar built Cabo Wabo into an empire that included not only the tequila brand but also a chain of restaurants and bars, though he ultimately sold the tequila to Campari in 2010. Several years later, he partnered with star chef Guy Fieri and wine and spirits marketer Jack Daniels (unrelated to the whiskey distillery), co-founding Santo Spirits to make blanco and reposado tequilas as well as a tequila-mezcal hybrid. The company also has plans to launch an añejo and a higher-proof tequila this year.

According to Daniels, “Sammy and Guy are extremely active as majority owners, and they’re involved at every level, from product tastings and distillery visits to packaging design, product creation, and distribution. Tequila’s reputation is consistently growing, and it’s clear we haven’t even scratched the surface yet.”

Celebrity Releases To Try


818Model and media personality Kendall Jenner created this portfolio of three expressions made from agave sourced from Jalisco’s Lowlands.Blanco—40% $45Rested briefly in oak to provide vanilla elements that complement its fruity and floral undertones.Reposado—40%, $55Rested in oak barrels and blended with a bit of extra añejo to combine notes of caramel and vanilla with honey, meringue, and pecan elements.Añejo—40%, $65Aged for more than 1 year in white oak and blended with a bit of extra añejo, this expression has aromas of toasted nuts and chocolate, with a rich, full-bodied

Casa Del SolActress Eva Longoria’s tequila brand launched in 2021 and encompasses three expressions made from agave sourced from Jalisco’s Highlands.Blanco—40%, $60Offers hints of fresh agave and mint with notes of spice, caramel, and green apple.Reposado—40%, $70Aged for at least 4 months in French oak and cognac barrels, it is woody with elements of vanilla, raisin, tobacco, and honey.Ańejo—40%, $100Aged for more than 14 months in French oak and cognac barrels, this offers notes of dark cacao, dried fruit, oak, and vanilla.deleon_300.jpg

DeLeónSean “Diddy” Combs owns this brand of three expressions made from agave sourced from Jalisco’s Highlands.Blanco—40%, $40Made from slow-roasted sweet agaves and offers notes of coconut and citrus, with a hint of lime and vanilla.Reposado—40%, $45Aged in both French oak and American white oak wine barrels, this expression has layers of spice and dried fruit, with vanilla and clove.Añejo—40%, $50Aged for more than a year in a combination of American and French oak wine barrels, this has highlights of oak and caramelized agave, complemented by caramel, dried tobacco, and leather.lobos_300.jpg

Lobos 1707Actor Diego Osorio created this family of three tequilas and a mezcal with backing from NBA star LeBron James.Joven—40%, $46Made with a small measure of reposado tequila mixed in and aged in Pedro Ximénez barrels, this has flavors of fresh agave, tobacco, and herbs.Reposado—40%, $50Aged for 7 months in used American white oak and then finished in Pedro Ximénez barrels, this has notes of wine and wood, with coffee and cocoa flavors.Extra Añejo—40%, $150Aged for 3 years in used American white oak and finished in Pedro Ximénez barrels, this boasts elements of sherry and molasses.santo_300.jpg

SantoRockstar Sammy Hagar and celebrity chef Guy Fieri oversee this brand of two tequilas made from agave grown in Jalisco’s Highlands and a “mezquila,” a mezcal-tequila hybrid that blends both 100% blue and 100% espadín agaves.Blanco—40%, $54This smooth spirit is agave-forward, with earthy notes of white pepper, citrus, and spice.Reposado—40%, $61Aged in bourbon barrels for 4 to 5 months, this reposado has semi-sweet peppery heat with caramel and citrus flavors.casamigos_300.jpg

CasamigosActor George Clooney, entrepreneur Rande Gerber (husband to model Cindy Crawford), and entrepreneur Michael Meldman created three tequilas that are made from agave grown in Jalisco’s Highlands. Casamigos also has a mezcal made from 100% espadín agave.Blanco—40%, $48Rests for 2 months and is crisp and clean, with notes of citrus and vanilla.Reposado—40%, $54Aged for 7 months and is slightly oaky, with caramel and cocoa notes.Añejo—40%, $59Aged for 14 months and has flavors of caramel and vanilla. cincoro_300.jpg

CincoroNBA icon Michael Jordan partnered with a team of four other NBA franchise owners to create this luxury brand, which boasts four tequilas sourced from both the Highlands and Lowlands of Jalisco.Blanco—40%, $90Using agaves from both the Highlands and Lowlands, blanco is smooth and slightly sweet, with light citrus and vanilla elements.Reposado—40% • $110Aged for 8-10 months in Kentucky bourbon barrels, reposado boasts notes of baking spices and toasted oak, with caramel and white chocolate on the palate.Añejo—40%, $140Aged for 24-28 months in Kentucky bourbon barrels, this expression has hints of maple, butterscotch, and dark chocolate.Extra Añejo—40%, $1,600Aged for 40-44 months in bourbon barrels, this has notes of wood and spice, with caramel and vanilla.teremana_300.jpg

TeremanaDwayne “The Rock” Johnson dove into tequila with this portfolio of three expressions made from agave grown in Jalisco’s Highlands.Blanco—40%, $30Roasted agave on the nose, with lemongrass and pineapple on the palate.Reposado—40%, $33Aged for at least 2 months in American whiskey barrels that provide aromas and flavors of oak, stone fruit, and vanilla.Añejo—40%, $40Aged for 2 years in American whiskey barrels, this expression has notes of vanilla, roasted agave, and warm oak, with a sweet finish.villa-one_300.jpg

Villa OneSinger Nick Jonas worked with fashion designer John Varvatos to craft three tequilas sourced from the Highlands and Lowlands of Jalisco.Silver—40%, $45Bottled immediately after production, Silver has elements of cooked agave, fruit, and nuts.Reposado—40%, $50Aged in bourbon barrels for 6 months, this has hints of caramel and candy, with smoke and coffee flavors.Añejo—40%, $60Aged for more than a year in bourbon barrels, this expression boasts notes of caramel, wood, vanilla, banana, and honey.

More Celebrity Tequilas To Explore

AmbharActor Chris Noth owns a majority stake in the Ambhar tequila brand, which includes expressions of plata (silver), reposado, and añejo.

CalirosaSinger Adam Levine and his wife, model Behati Prinsloo, launched Calirosa, a 100% agave tequila, last year. Along with añejo and extra añejo expressions, its lineup includes a rosa blanco which is aged briefly in California red wine barrels, giving it a pink hue.

Dos PrimosCountry music star Thomas Rhett worked with his cousin Jeff Worn on Dos Primos tequila, creating 100% agave blanco and reposado varieties that aim to showcase Mexican heritage with a southern slant.

Flecha AzulActor Mark Wahlberg has become the principal investor in Flecha Azul tequila, a brand launched in 2020 by PGA golfer Abraham Ancer and entrepreneur Aron Marquez. Flecha Azul offers five labels: blanco, reposado, añejo, extra añejo and añejo cristalino.

Gran CoraminoActor and comedian Kevin Hart debuted Gran Coramino this spring with a 100% agave reposado cristalino expression. The reposado is designated as a cristalino because it’s aged in oak and then filtered to remove its color while keeping the flavor intact, resulting in a crystal-clear aged tequila. An añejo expression is due out this fall. (For more on Gran Coramino, see page 29.)

JajaPronounced “ha ha,” Jaja tequila has a portfolio of blanco, reposado, and añejo labels that boast celebrity DJs The Chainsmokers as primary investors and social media heavyweight Elliot Tebele as a co-founder.

ProsperoBritish pop star Rita Oro partnered with female master distiller Stella Anguiano for Prospero tequila, a brand with blanco, reposado, and añejo offerings.

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