Heartthrob movie star George Clooney and ex model Rande Gerber have partnered with Discovery Land Company CEO & founder Mike Meldman to launch Casamigos Tequila. The close friends, who own adjacent homes in Los Cabos, Mexico, spent endless nights tasting and developing a small batch, ultra premium tequila. Casamigos is made from 100% Blue Weber agave, grown in the rich, red clay soil and cool climate of the Jalisco Highlands of Mexico. “We worked on the creation of Casamigos Tequila for over five years with our master distiller in Jalisco, and conducted blind tastings with friends until we knew we got it right,” said Clooney.
The Oscar winner and the bar guru definitely know a thing or two about spirits and celebrations. Gerber, founder of Midnight Oil and The Gerber Group, has worked with the industry’s most creative mixologists, and together with the Serralles family had previously launched Rum Caliche, but this is a first for Clooney. “We love tequila: on the rocks, by the shot, at times straight from the bottle. Our idea was to make the best tasting, smoothest tequila, whose taste we didn’t have to cover up with salt”, said Clooney and Gerber. Eight hundred bottles later, the duo was satisfied with the results and Casamigos was born.
Mike Meldman, Ana B, Remos, Founder azureazure.com; George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Madeleine Marr, Miami Herald’s celebrity reporter.
Casamigos (Spanish for house of friends) takes pride in the painstaking fermentation process, which takes 80 hours to complete (double the industry standards), using the bagasse from the agave, a byproduct of tequila production that imbues this spirit with a richer, if more delicate, flavor. Originally intended for personal use, to be shared with family and friends, the brand is now distributed in 33 states by the country’s most important distributors: Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Glazer’s Distributors, and Republic National Distributing. Clooney told azureazure.com that before the launch date, 100% of the first year’s production was sold, and that he plans to donate the proceeds to his humanitarian work in Sudan.
The label comes in the two basic tequila categories: Reposado and Blanco. Reposado is a sipping tequila that is aged for seven months in American white oak barrels, reconditioned after originally being used for premium-aged whiskey. It is smooth, clean and with a hint of caramel. Casamigos Blanco is crisp and clear with subtle hints of vanilla and distilled in old-style copper-lined pot stills. Both are ideal served neat or on the rocks, and the antidote to those bad margaritas we are all familiar with: sugary sweet, with subpart tequila that usually give us a horrible headache the next morning.
The bottle is clean and sleek, like apothecary flasks, casual but modern. It takes us back to the golden age of Hollywood with young sex appeal. “We talked about how this was going to be like the bottles you see in old John Wayne movies,” jokes Clooney, “where you slide the bottle down the bar, pull the cork out with your teeth, and pour yourself a shot.”
As the allure of tequila continues to grow in popularity, the star power behind this brand is undeniable, but what remains is its unique flavor profile that will surely become a favorite with the most discerning tequila lovers, a treasure for the palette and a celebration of unending friendship. Kudos to Rande and George. Salud!
These favorite cocktail recipes from George and Rande will turn you into the most popular bartender at your next dinner party.
1 1⁄2 oz. Casamigos Blanco Tequila
1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
1⁄4 oz. orange juice from a fresh orange wedge, cut 1” thick, squeezed and dropped in the shaker
1⁄2 oz. clear agave nectar
Shake ingredients with ice, then strain into a cocktail martini glass or serve on the rocks (salt optional). Garnish with an orange wheel floating atop.
1 1⁄2 oz. Casamigos Reposado Tequila
4–5 oz. grapefruit soda
Build into a tall glass with ice, and then top with squeezed lime. Garnish with a lime wedge. ■