When many celebrities achieve a certain level of fame, they start thinking about alternate ways to use their star wattage to bring in some income. And in recent years, it’s become increasingly popular (and lucrative) for them to jump on the high-end agave-based spirits bandwagon.
To compile a list of celebrities with their own tequila or mezcal brands, 24/7 Tempo consulted a number of alcohol trade and celebrity sites.
Celebrity tequila investments aren’t exactly a recent innovation. Believe it or not, in the 1940s none other than crooner Bing Crosby invested in and promoted Herradura, and played a role in making it the iconic brand it is today. And it’s not just tequila: Kate Hudson has a small-batch vodka brand called King St.; Ryan Reynolds sold his gin company, Aviation, for $610 million in 2020; and Snoop Dogg owns a strawberry-flavored gin called Indoggo. And these are just a few examples of celebrities involved with spirits – or wine – brands. (Here, for instance, are 32 sports stars with their own alcohol brands.)
According to Forbes, tequila sales jumped more than 46% in 2020, so for those looking to get a piece of the action, now’s the time. Top-shelf tequila is super trendy and all over Instagram right now, and is synonymous with going out and having a good time. There’s also the bandwagon element at play: “If Justin Timberlake can do it, why can’t I?” The spirit also takes less time to mature than other liquors; three years is on the upper end of aging time for tequila, but the minimum for most whiskey. (Of course, good whiskey – or whisky – is worth waiting for. Here are the 32 best single malt scotches for 2022.)
You’ll see both tequila and mezcal on this list. Both are produced in Mexico and are based on a agave, a succulent native to arid regions of the Americas. Tequila, though, is made only from a variety called agave tequilana or blue agave and only in the state of Jalisco and in certain parts of the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. (Cheaper tequilas are still based on blue agave but are diluted with neutral spirits; 100% blue agave is the gold standard.)
Most mezcal, on the other hand, comes from Oaxaca and is typically distilled from a variety of agave called espadín, though more than 30 varieties may be used. The production process is different, too: Tequila is typically made by steaming the agave, while mezcal is made by roasting it inside earthen pits, giving it its traditional smoky flavor.
For a household-name celebrity who’s looking to boost their profile (and investment portfolio), investing in an agave spirits company must be a pretty tempting proposition right about now. Whether their paydays will be as lucrative as Ryan Reynolds’ remains to be seen, but in the meantime, they can drink all the free tequila they want.
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