Celebrities are frequently engaging in charity work and giving back to the community, but some of them just really want tequila-filled nights with friends. Longtime friends George Clooney and Rande Gerber love tequila. The two socialites took their passion to the next level by creating tequila so smooth that it tasted good without salt and lime. That’s how Casamigos was born. Their community work is sharing Casamigos with you.
Casamigos is small batch, premium tequila made from the finest, hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agave, grown in the cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The agave piñas are slow roasted in traditional brick ovens for 72 hours before Casamigos’ master distiller adds a special yeast blend resulting in a consistent, refined flavour. The tequila is then fermented extra slowly over 80 hours and stored in oak barrels for ageing.
When he’s not launching a popular range of tequila, Rande Gerber is a bar and nightlife industry entrepreneur. He also happens to be married to and raising a family with supermodel Cindy Crawford. We had a chat with Rande about tequila, rum and George Clooney’s drinking habits.
What inspired you to launch a range of tequila?
Casamigos was created out of our desire to drink the best tequila. At the time, George and I were building homes in Mexico, and as one does when you spend time in Mexico, we were drinking a lot of tequila. We would go to different restaurants and bars and bartenders would suggest different tequilas, some really expensive, some not so expensive, some good, some not so good. They all had one thing in common, they burned going down.
With that, George turned to me and said “why don’t we just make our own, one that’s perfect for us?” So, we did. We wanted the best tasting, smoothest tequila, one that didn’t have to be covered up with salt or lime. We wanted to be able to drink it all night long and not be hungover in the morning. We spent many months researching master distillers and distilleries and found the best in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico.
Two years and 700 bottles of samples later, we finally got it perfect. We originally made Casamigos just for us to drink and share with friends. It wasn’t intended for the public, but after word got out, we couldn’t resist sharing it with everyone. Named after our homes in Mexico, Casamigos loosely translates as “House of Friends.”
How do you like to drink tequila: shoot it, on the rocks, mixed or cocktail?
Straight, on the rocks and at times straight from the bottle and always with friends!
You launched Caliche Rum in 2012, now tequila, what’s next. Whisky, beer?
I only like brands I drink and am proud to share. Casamigos is our tequila and encompasses the way we live.
You opened two bars before the age of 30. What advice do you have for men looking to open a business or a start-up?
I started with one and turned it into over 30 across the US and Europe. My advice is to open a place where you would personally want to hang out. It’s the same reason we made Casamigos, we made it for us to drink. I built places for myself, places my friends and I wanted to go. It was my party every night and whether I was there or not, the party went on. It’s really important to understand that it’s a fun business and it’s easy to get caught up in the fun part, but don’t forget it’s a business. It’s also important to pay attention to the details. I always think, if I notice it, everyone else does. If you do something great, people will take notice.
Do you have any good stories of nights out drinking with George that you’re willing to share?
There are so many unforgettable nights that it’s hard to remember them all. After 2 years of drinking Casamigos with friends, George and I decided that we would sell it to the public. One night we were discussing ideas on design, names, marketing etc. over a bottle of Casamigos, which we finished. We were a bit buzzed and got a ride back to my house where he stays when he comes out to the beach. We have a guest house directly on the beach and that is where he usually stays but that night he didn’t feel like walking down the few steps to it, so I put him in our guest room in the main house.
At about 3am my wife Cindy noticed I wasn’t in bed and decided to walk around to see if I fell asleep in the guestroom, which is where I stay when I am out late. She sees who she thinks is me face down with my clothes on and gets into bed, a minute later she realizes it’s George. They were both confused as George thought he wandered into the master bedroom and Cindy thought it was me in the guest room since George stays in the beach house. Needless to say, we all laughed about it and that ended up being our first commercial. Drink Casamigos and wake up with Cindy Crawford. Or as Cindy likes to say, Drink Casamigos and wake up with George Clooney.
Apart from Casamigos of course, name three things you can’t live without.
My wife, kids and love.
What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
Don’t be afraid to fail. If something doesn’t work out, try something else. I would hate to think, “If only I would have done this.”
If we were to come over to your house for dinner, what would be cooking?
I would be on the BBQ and Cindy would be in the kitchen making the best strawberry rhubarb pie you have ever had.