Ten celebrities shaking up Tequila
The growing popularity of Tequila has attracted support from stars such as Rita Ora and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. We round up the famous faces who have made their mark on the agave-based spirits scene.
Rita Ora was the only female to make our list of celebrity-backed Tequila brands
Tequila has become a category awash with celebrity associations – Chris Noth, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Justin Timberlake all own significant stakes in Tequila brands.
Celebrity-backed Tequilas have also attracted the attention of a number of a major players. In 2017, George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila was bought by Diageo in a deal worth up to US$1 billion and the UK drinks giant also entered into a joint venture with music mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs to acquire Deleón Tequila. Meanwhile, Beam took a significant stake in Timberlake’s Tequila brand in 2014.
Other notable omissions to our list include Elon Musk’s rumoured move to register a trademark for the ‘Teslaquila’ brand name, and heavy metal band Rammstein’s eponymous Tequila brand.
Over in mezcal, Breaking Bad actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul revealed its Dos Hombres brand last July.
Click through the following pages to see our pick of 10 celebrities who are making a name for themselves in Tequila.
George Clooney – Casamigos Tequila
Actor George Clooney co-founded Casamigos Tequila in 2013 with Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman. The brand is now said to be the fastest-growing super-premium Tequila in the US.
Diageo snapped up Casamigos in August 2017 for an upfront fee of US$700 million, with a further US$300m on the table depending on the brand’s performance over the next decade.
In February 2018, Casamigos extended its range with the launch of a mezcal made from 100% espadin agave.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – Teremana
The brainchild of film star and former wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (pictured centre), Teremana Tequila is set to launch next month. Johnson has had his Tequila plans in the works since 2018 and has built excitement for the brand through various teasers across social media – including this Instagram snap of its bottle design.
Teremana Tequila was developed by Siete Bucks Spirits, established by founder Johnson, co-founder Dany Garcia, co-founder Jenna Fagnan and co-founder Ken Austin.
Set to initially launch in Mexico, the US and Canada, the Teremana range will comprise two expressions: Teremana Blanco and Teremana Reposado.
Last month, Hollywood actor Johnson revealed Teremana has signed a global distribution deal with Mast-Jägermeister.
Justin Timberlake – Sauza 901
Singer Justin Timberlake first launched 901 Tequila in 2009 with business partner Kevin Ruder. Beam bought a large stake in the company in January 2014, and renamed the brand Sauza 901.
The Tequila is made with Blue Weber agave aged for at least seven years and undergoes column distillation followed by two pot distillation
Singer and actor Timberlake has fronted a number of campaigns for the brand, including a video where he sported a head-to-toe green lime costume.
Chris Noth – Ambhar
Sex and the City star Chris Noth also delved into the world of Tequila with the purchase of a majority stake in Ambhar Tequila in August 2018.
The Ambhar Tequila range consists of Plata, Reposado, and Añejo expressions, and is made in small batches from 100% Blue Agave.
American actor Noth is involved in the company’s “creative direction” and will work with the co-founders on “strategic business decisions”.
“As an entrepreneur and co-owner of The Cutting Room in New York City, I’m pretty well versed in spirits, and I have to admit that Ambhar is the first Tequila I’ve been excited about drinking by itself,” Noth said at the time.
Rita Ora – Próspero
The only female to make our list is English singer-songwriter Rita Ora, who moved into Tequila after joining forces with spirits marketing firm Conecuh Brands to launch Próspero
Ora is shareholder and chief creative partner at Próspero Tequila, which is produced at the Don Roberto Distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, by Stella Anguiano.
Próspero Tequila is available in three variants: Blanco, Reposado and Añejo.
Michael Jordan – Cincoro
Tequila also attracted the attention of American basketball legend Michael Jordan (pictured centre) last year.
Former professional basketball player Jordan partnered with Jeanie Buss of the Los Angeles Lakers, Wes Edens of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Emilia Fazzalari and Wyc Grousbeck of the Boston Celtics to develop the new Cincoro brand.
Distilled from 100% Blue Weber agave, Cincoro Tequila will launch blanco, reposado, añejo and extra añejo expressions. It will be rolled out worldwide in 2020.
AC/DC – Thunderstruck
Rock band AC/DC partnered with Fabrica de Tequilas Finos to launch Thunderstruck Tequila in 2016.
The launch marked AC/DC’s first foray into spirits, having previously released Rock or Bust beer, Hells Bells and Back in Black wine, and a Bourbon and cola ready-to-drink (RTD). The Fabrica de Tequilas Finos distillery is owned by Amber Beverage Group (ABG).
Available in Silver, Reposado and Añejo varieties, Thunderstruck Tequila is made from organically-produced 100% Blue Weber agave at Fabrica de Tequilas Finos’ distillery in the town of Tequila, Mexico.
The brand expanded its availability in travel retail in 2018.
Charlie Sheen – Don Sueños
Last summer saw another star jump on the Tequila bandwagon with actor Charlie Sheen joining super-premium brand Don Sueños as co-owner.
Two and a Half Men star Sheen (pictured left) signed on as co-owner of the Tequila company, which launched in early 2017. The American actor is co-owner alongside Kumiko Zimmerman, who has run Don Sueños since its launch – making it the “first” Tequila brand owned and operated by a Japanese woman.
The small batch brand’s expressions are crafted from single estate Blue Weber agave cultivated in Los Altos in Jalisco, Mexico. The Don Sueños range consists of blanco, reposado and añejo variants.
Sammy Hagar – Santo Tequila Blanco
Former Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar (pictured right) teamed up with American chef Guy Fieri (pictured left) to create Santo Tequila Blanco in April last year.
The Tequila is the second expression in Hagar’s Santo range, following the launch of the “world’s first” Tequila-mezcal hybrid in 2017 – created in collaboration with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. However, Levine is no longer with the brand.
Hagar first made a move into Tequila in 1996 when he founded the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand. He sold an 80% stake in the brand to Campari Group in 2010 for US$80 million. Hagar then sold the remaining 20% to Campari several years later.
Santo Tequila Blanco is described as an “old world-style” Tequila and is made with 100% Blue Weber agave.
Nick Jonas – Villa One
In August 2019, singer-songwriter Nick Jonas (pictured right) and US designer John Varvatos (pictured left) joined the agave spirits industry with the launch of Villa One Tequila.
Ultra-premium brand Villa One has been created as part of a partnership between Jonas, Varvatos and Amber Beverage Group’s (ABG) Fabrica de Tequilas Finos distillery in Jalisco.
Villa One is made using 100% Blue Weber agave that is five to seven years old and sourced from the Highlands and Lowlands of Jalisco.
The Tequila will launch in the UK this year through ABG-owned distributor Cellar Trends.