Published January 16, 2013
What do two famous cool dudes and best friends for over 20 years do when they’ve got money to burn, own vacation houses adjacent to each other in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and love to drink tequila? Develop and label their own tequila, of course.
This month, Hollywood hunk George Clooney and restaurant mogul Rande Gerber will combine their friendship with their rumored favorite activity (drinking) and launch a private tequila label called Casamigos—loosely translated as “House of Friends.”
After five years in the making and reportedly more tastings than what is the norm, or so says their distiller, Clooney and Gerber have recently gone on a U.S. tour to show off their newest product. Initially they are introducing the tequila in large markets like Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Dallas and Las Vegas, and later this year it is slated to expand into 33 states.
“There’s buzz like crazy and I expect this to be a very successful endeavor for them. They’re involved with a very well-respected distiller in Jalisco,” says Agave NYC Beverage Director Jay Silverman, a tequila aficionado.
Casamigos evolved from a friendship and was inspired by Baja and a love of good tequila. After hosting parties for friends and family, Gerber and Clooney were encouraged to go forward to develop a label.
Last year, Gerber launched Caliche Rum, and with the success of sales, he felt confident about moving forward with the tequila.
“The vision of Casamigos is to create tequila so smooth it needs no salt or lime to cover up the taste. We love tequila, on the rocks, by the shot, and at times straight from the bottle,” Gerber and Clooney said in a press release.
The brand will launch a blanco and a reposado, two types of tequilas. Casamigos Reposado is smooth and clean with hints of caramel, while Casamigos Blanco is crisp and clear with subtle hints of vanilla and a smooth finish.
“We talked about how this was going to be like the bottles you see in old John Wayne movies,” Clooney said in the release. “Where you slide the bottle down the bar, pull the cork out with your teeth and pour yourself a shot.”
The tequila is produced by the Productos Finos distillery — the same super-large distillery that handles Avion tequila, known for its launch of the television show Entourage.
Productos Finos also produces Clase Azul, considered one of the best tequilas on the market. But that does not guarantee success: every tequila label is different based on the owner and the agave plants they use.
“If Casamigos is good, it’ll be successful, but all of us in the small and purist world of tequila will wait to judge until we taste it,” said Mike Morales, a tequila journalist.
Casamigos will be distributed by Southern Wine and Spirits, and retails for $43 to $47 per bottle.
While Gerber and Clooney may be serious about the taste and quality of the Casamigos, they certainly have taken a less serious direction for the marketing. They released a racy YouTube video running as promotion for the label. Titled “It Could Happen, Please Drink Responsibly,” it’s a short film written and produced by Clooney and directed by Oscar nominee Grant Heslov, starring Clooney, his girlfriend Stacy Keibler, as well as Gerber and his wife, former supermodel Cindy Crawford.
“[It is] loosely based on a true story,” said the company’s press release. “And chronicles a group of close friends who get a little too intimate and seem to have made a few honest mistakes in identity after enjoying Casamigos Tequila one evening.”