12 celebrities with their own Tequila brands
Everyone from The Rock to Nick Jonas is jumping on the Tequila bandwagon.
There are an increasing number of Tequila and mezcal brands entering the market.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is only the latest celebrity to try his hand at Tequila. Diageo bought George Clooney’s Tequila brand Casamigos in 2017, in a groundbreaking deal worth $1 billion. You can now buy Tequila from Scotland, and even whisky distilleries are starting to mature their amber elixirs in barrels previously used to age the agave spirit. Multiple celebrity-backed tequilas are gold medal winners. For many stars-turned-distillers, this is clearly something more than a vanity project.
We round up ten stars, from singers to designers to actors, who are trying their hand at Tequila.
This is an updated version of an article published by the drinks business in 2018. To read the original, click here.
1. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – Mana
Price: US$29.99 for the 750ml Blanco and $32.99 for the 750ml Reposado
In his downtime between battling giant flying wolves in Rampage and his jungle-based antics in Jumanji, The Rock has somehow found time to launch a Tequila brand, and the whole spirits-drinking world is rather excited as he prepares to debut it this year.
In 2018, his current manager and ex-wife Dany Garcia submitted a trademark application for a new Tequila company.
It’s called Mana, which in his native Polynesian culture means a supernatural, spiritual essence in human, animals and objects. Here’s hoping his Tequila is an equally potent spirit.
Johnson filed documents to trademark the name “Mana”, but unfortunately this was rejected that November for being too similar to other products bearing the name.
However, that hasn’t dampened the star’s spirits (sorry). He shared an Instagram post in April last year to show off batches of Tequila he was sampling “straight out of our barrels in Mexico.”
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Cheers 🥃 (again & again;) Spent all weekend taste testing every batch of my new tequila fresh out of our barrels from Mexico. I’m very passionate about my new tequila we’re developing. It’s been years in the making and every road has led here. Lots of growing excitement. Mana, passion, positivity, hard work and fun. This ones for you world, let’s have a drink. #tequila #innovation #2019
In fact, the star has been drinking a lot of Tequila in the past year….
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Few of my favorite things. My tequila and fishing on my farm. I’ve been raising my fish for years now and I got some aggressive fatties roaming these waters – largemouth bass, stripped bass, various sunnies, carp and after my 5th glass of tequila, I start seeing the pink dolphins. 6’6 medium/heavy action, 10lb test, 1/2oz spinner w/ a white skirt ~ if you know, you know. Cheers my friends 🥃🎣 #mykindofheaven
Now, the new brand is called Teremana. It was developed by Siete Bucks Spirits, which is led by its founder Dwayne Johnson, co-founder Dany Garcia, and co-founders and spirit industry veterans Jenna Fagnan and Ken Austin.
Teremana is an “ultra-premium small batch, highlands tequila” apparently, crafted in a small town in Jalisco, Mexico. It will be available in Blanco and Reposado in three sizes; 375ml, 750ml and 1lr.
Further details will be shared closer to the March launch.
2. Nick Jonas – Villa One
US singer-songwriter and menswear designer John Varvatos have partnered with Stoli Group to launch Villa One, which will compete in the super-premium Tequila sphere alongside the likes of Patrón and Casamigos.
Villa One’s three expressions went on sale in the US in September, promoted via a social media campaign featuring both Jonas and Varvatos. The pair hope Villa One will be available nationwide by the first half of 2020.
3. Rita Ora – Próspero
UK singer Rita Ora moved into Tequila in April this year after joining forces with spirits marketing firm Conecuh Brands to launch Próspero.
She is a shareholder and creative director in the brand, which is produced at the Don Roberto Distillery in Jalisco by Stella Anguiano.
The spirit is available in three variants: Blanco, Reposado and Añejo.
4. Backstreet Boys – Unknown
Stranger things have happened than a 90s boy band casually dropping into conversation that they’re looking to launch a new Tequila. Maybe.
The boys, who share a passion for Tequila, dropped the news in an interview with food and drink website Tasting Table last year. They’re still looking for a partner in Mexico, so there may be a wait before their Tequila arrives in our shot glasses.
5. E-40 – E. Cuarenta
With a name that sounds like a food additive, rapper E-40 (born Earl Stevens) has already launched a range of wines and a ready-made rum-based cocktail.
Yet, naturally, he has jumped on the Tequila bandwagon in time for Cinco del Mayo this year. Announcing the new product in February, E. Cuarenta means E-40 in Spanish.
6) Adam Levine and Sammy Hagar – Santo Mezquila
Price: From $55 (£39)
This Tequila offers two celebrity founders for the price of one. Hagar is the Van Halen singer hired to replace David Lee Roth. Levine is the Maroon 5 frontman with the moves like Jagger.
Together they have created mezquila – a cross between Tequila and mezcal. Mezcal, Tequila’s bold-flavoured cousin, is also made from agave, but unlike Tequila it’s not restricted to blue agave and can be made anywhere in Mexico, not just in Jalisco.
Hagar and Levine couldn’t agree whether to make Tequila or mezcal, so compromised by mixing the two together and discovered they actually liked the taste. Santo Mezquila is the first product to blend Tequila and mezcal in this way.
7) AC/DC – Thunderstruck Tequila
Price: From $30 (£21)
Ageing rockers AC DC are surprisingly big in the drinks industry, having released wine, beer, and a bourbon and cola RTD in the past.
In 2016 they released silver, reposado and Añejo variants of Thunderstruck Tequila, presumably named after their 1990 hit single.
8) George Clooney – Casamigos
Price: From £51
Clooney founded the Casamigos brand with his friend Rande Gerber, husband to supermodel Cindy Crawford, and property developer Mike Meldman. After buying adjacent houses in Mexico, the trio went on a Tequila odyssey to create a spirit that was smooth and hangover-free.
For two years, Casamigos was drunk exclusively by Clooney and Gerber’s friends and family. However, since they managed to get through 1,000s bottles of the stuff each year, they were forced to get a license for the product and sold it to the public in 2013.
Now Casamigos is sold by 20 countries and was recently bought for $1bn (£79m) by Diageo, and we weigh up the wisdom of that valuation here.
9) Toby Keith – Wild Shot Mezcal
Price: $40 (£28)
The American country singer opted for mezcal with his foray into the tequila craze. Each bottle comes complete with a small worm, which Keith insists must be ingested.
Keith has written about Mexico in his songs, and was keen to bring mezcal to a wider audience. He said at the time: “The history of mezcal is magical to me. It dates back to the 16th Century: warriors celebrating the defeat of their enemies. It is part of my life.”
10) Justin Timberlake – Sauza 901
Price: From £18
Timberlake has had a hit-or-miss relationship with acting, but his greatest role is surely Rick “Sour” Vane, a washed-up lime in a TV commercial for his Suaza 901 Tequila.
Launched in 2009, Timberlake worked with the Tequila Newton Brewery distillery and Beam Inc. to perfect his entry into the celeb Tequila industry.
Timberlake is an entrepreneurial jack-of-all-trades: he has his own clothing brand and is part owner of an audio tech company.
You can see the Timberlake-as-lime ad (which is highly recommended) here.
Spirits-maker Beam acquired a stake in the brand in 2014 – while it was already in the process of being sold to drinks giant Suntory Holdings for US$16 billion – renaming it Sauza 901.
11) P Diddy – DeLeón
Price: From £49.99
The US rapper variously known as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy and Sean Combs bought 50% of premium Tequila brand DeLeón in 2014. The other half remains with Diageo.
Before DeLeón, Combs was the face of Diageo’s Cîroc vodka and helped increase sales 40-fold. When he bought up half of the DeLeón brand, he told The Guardian: “With Cîroc, we dated. Now with DeLeón, we’re married”.
With Combs easily topping Forbes’ list of the highest paid musicians, it’s reasonable to believe that DeLeón is doing quite well. Combs’ Sean John clothing line and musical career may have helped a bit too though.
12) Carlos Santana – Casa Noble
Price: From £40
Santana, who hails from Jalesco, does have some sort of connection to Tequila, which is more than can be said for many of the celebrities producing it. Sanatana became part owner of the Case Noble brand in 2011.
Santana said when the partnership was announced: “When I visited the distillery, I immediately felt spiritually connected to the Hermosillo family [who founded and still run the distillery] and Casa Noble.”
The triple-distilled Tequila has won gold at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition in 2007 and 2008.
Constellation Brands has closed a deal to buy Casa Noble in 2014, working with Santana as an equity partner.