Our Los Angeles-based style writer Lucas Flynn joined actor George Clooney, nightlife impressario Rande Gerber and business tycoon Mike Meldman about their launch of Casamigos Tequila, the new, ultra-premium beverage that is taking the country by storm. Pull up a barstool and join this exclusive gathering…
It was bound to happen. George Clooney and longtime friend, bar and restaurant mogul Rande Gerber, have partnered with Discovery Land Company CEO & founder Mike Meldman to launch Casamigos Tequila. All three went on a national road trip to celebrate the launch of Casamigos, making stops in Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The group kicked off the tour with a stop in Dallas where they met with key spirit executives and signed bottles and met with fans all across town.
First the trio stopped in at Iron Cactus and they made their way to a private event at the home of Shelly Stein, the president and chief executive of family-owned Glazer’s Distributors. The group ended their night in Dallas at The Mansion on Turtle Creek. Where else? Apparently the first stop in Dallas was quite a success as we hear that the brand sold out in just one day. And we were there to be a part of the fun.
Casamigos’ follows on the heels of Gerber’s successful Caliche Rum, a super-premium white rum introduced last year and profiled in The Society Diaries. He developed it with Roberto Serrallés of Destileria Serrallés, a renowned sixth-generation family-owned rum business, which received the prominent four-star rating from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal and BevX magazine, as well as a 93 Point rating from The Tasting Panel magazine.
“We love tequila. On the rocks, by the shot, at times straight from the bottle,” Clooney and Gerber agree. Casamigos Tequila is a small batch, ultra-premium tequila made from the finest, hand-selected, 100% Blue Weber agaves, which are grown in the rich, red clay soil and cool climate of the Jalisco Highlands of Mexico.
In their late-night “research sessions,” Gerber and Clooney preferred a sipping tequila known as Reposado, a term referring to the aging period when the spirit rests in oak barrels. This inspired the notion: “What if we made this stuff ourselves?” Then the fun began.
“Our idea was to make the best-tasting, smoothest tequila whose taste we didn’t have to cover up with salt or lime,” says Clooney and Gerber.
Their tequila was always intended for personal use, to be shared with family and friends. There is always a story behind the story. Casamigos, named after Clooney’s and Gerber’s houses in Mexico, roughly translates to “house of friends,” and signifies getting away and spending time with friends.
Casamigos Tequila produces a Blanco and a Reposado. “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. Both are great served neat or on the rocks, mix well with everything, and are the perfect base for premium cocktails,” says Gerber.
“We worked on the creation of Casamigos Tequila for over five years with our Master Distiller in Jalisco, Mexico, and conducted blind tastings with friends until we knew we got it right,” says Clooney.
It’s no secret that Gerber and Clooney enjoy a glass of Casamigos, but we had to find out from the direct source just how much tequila these two consumed over the years while developing the brand. If you ever wanted an indication as to how passionate these two are about making tequila all you have to do, their Master Distiller from the Jalisco region of Mexico says, “Through our process with Rande and George, we developed many taste profiles and degrees of smoothness until they knew it was perfect—approximately 600 liters (800 bottles), which is hundreds more than any other project we have ever heard of in the industry.”
Clooney and Gerber Talk Tequila
Lara Shriftman: How did you land on the flavor profile?
Rande Gerber: It was pretty easy because we really knew what we liked once we narrowed it down. We loved it and then did blind tastings with our friends to make sure. We had all the top tequilas lined up alongside ours. We probably had six or eight tequilas lined up. Everyone chose ours.
George Clooney: One day Rande was inspired while talking to the guys at the distillery and said, “Why don’t we age the tequila in these old whiskey barrels, and give it a sort of smoky profile?” The minute we got those samples we knew it was perfect.
Rande Gerber: Right, the Reposado is rested in an old American white oak barrels that were used to make fine whiskey, and we reconditioned them. You still get a hint of that flavor, which is really unique. It is so smooth and it kind of has an oak-y flavor to it.
Lara Shriftman: Is tequila always the drink of choice for you?
George Clooney: It wasn’t always; we used to drink a lot of vodka. Then we sort of got to a point where we were spending a lot of time in Mexico and you really are just drinking tequila down there. We like vodka on the rocks and Caliche Rum. You don’t want to have a margarita all the time, which can kill you after about three with just the sugar alone.
It’s not unbelievable to learn that Gerber and Clooney taste and approve each batch, along with their Master Distiller, to ensure the highest quality. Each batch is then numbered and signed by Gerber and Clooney. It is a fact that Casamigos’ authentic minimalist design will reflect the men who created it.
“We talked about how this was going to be like the bottles you see in old John Wayne movies,” joked Clooney, “where you slide the bottle down the bar, pull the cork out with your teeth, and pour yourself a shot.”
The Society Diaries is fortunate enough to get our hands on a few of the signature cocktail recipes from Casamigos – appropriately named “Mi Casa” and “Su Casa,” George told us that he prefers his Casamigos neat, or on the rocks, and when he does mix a cocktail these are a few of his favorites. If you are looking for a place to enjoy Casamigos Tequila in Dallas we’re told that Iron Cactus has both the Blanco and Reposado on hand. See you there and also with it in Austin, San Antonio and Houston very soon.
11⁄2 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.
11⁄2 oz. Casamigos Reposado Tequila
4–5 oz. Grapefruit soda
Build into a tall glass with ice, then top with squeezed lime. Garnish with a lime wedge.