Tequila is the marmite of the spirit world. People seem to either love it or hate it.
It’s no secret that tequila is often overlooked when it comes to more mainstream cocktail bases such as vodka or rum, while cognac or whiskey usually call dibs on the preferred after-dinner nightcap.
But fear not – George Clooney has come to save the day and rescue us from our tequila naivety, and who’d say no to that? (Is there anything this man can’t do?)
Casamigos Tequila, owned by Clooney, his long-time friend, bar and restaurant mogul Rande Gerber and Discovery Land Company CEO and founder Michael Meldman, is trying to “re-educate” us on this largely unappreciated spirit. The impure tequila (not 100% agave) we shot at 3am on a Friday “out-out” session is, they say, not worth one’s salt – literally.
Casamigos encourages us to think differently about tequila, and I have to say, the liquor is smooth.
When the brand launched in Bristol this week I was lucky enough to sample their three small batches (Blanco, Reposado and Añejo) at The Ivy Clifton Brasserie.
My husband, who came along to taste test too (it’s a hard life for him), said he was seriously impressed I didn’t make my scrunched up tequila face upon sipping.
But no scrunching in sight and no mad dash for lime or salt either.
In fact, brand manager Natalia Garcia said: “The salt and lime is often used to cover up the taste of impure tequila which is mixed with other liquor and doesn’t taste good. Casamigos is created by 100% pure Blue Weber Agave, so no salt or lime required. It’s a completely different experience altogether.”
Indeed, Oprah Winfrey has called it “the smoothest, the best” tequila in the world when she sampled it.
Casamigos brand ambassador Jack Brooksbank – also long-term boyfriend of Princess Eugenie – said the company had received an “amazing reaction” so far from the public.
“The tequila is really refreshing, very easy to drink and is something you can definitely just enjoy over ice if you want to do so. It’s come first in all the blind tasting tests which is a testament to its high quality.”
Launched initially back in 2013 and in the UK in 2015, Casamigos is named after Gerber and Clooney’s side-by-side houses in Mexico, and roughly translates to “House of Friends.” It was originally created out of Clooney and Gerber’s desire to enjoy the best-tequila with family and friends. They never anticipated it would become the global success it is today.
“We worked on the creation of Casamigos Tequila with our master distiller in Jalisco, Mexico, for years and held many blind tastings until we knew we got it right. We’ve been drinking Casamigos with friends and family for over six years,” said Clooney.
So, how exactly is Casamigos tequila produced? Well, it’s made from hand-selected 100% blue weber agaves. When the agaves reach maturity after seven years, their sugar-rich hearts (piñas) are cooked and crushed; the extracted juice is then fermented and, finally, distilled.
After harvest, the agave piñas are roasted in traditional brick ovens for seventy-two hours before undergoing an extra slow fermentation process over an additional eighty hours, nearly double the industry standard. The Blanco rests for two months, while the Reposado and Añejo are aged for seven and 14 months in American white oak barrels.
Before going into the bottle, each batch is tasted and approved by Gerber and Clooney. Each batch is then numbered and signed by the two men.
On the website, the 750ml Blanco is £50, Reposado £55and Añejo £60.
Casamigos will be coming soon to Bristol so watch this space.