George Clooney and Rande Gerber talk tequila, movies and smart women.
Riddle: If a high-voltage movie star and a world-class nightlife impresario 1) vacation together in Mexican seaside villas and 2) love drinking tequila, what do they do for fun? Answer: Create Casamigos, their recently launched primo tequila brand. Here’s the scoop from down Cabo way.
What’s been your most challenging role to date?
Playing a CIA agent in Syriana.
Who would play you in your biopic?
W.C. Fields could play me.
Why produce a tequila?
Rande and I were spending time in Mexico drinking a lot of tequila. There are some good ones out there, some very expensive ones, but nothing was perfect for our tastes. We know what we like and decided to do this just for us, as a private small batch. Our idea was to make the best-tasting, smoothest tequila, one that didn’t have to be covered up with salt or a lime. So we did. We had the time, patience and money to make it perfect. We sampled 700 bottles, but the minute we got that last sample, we knew it was perfect.
Where did the name Casamigos come from?
It’s named after our homes in Cabo, which loosely translated means “house of friends.”
When you’re in Cabo, do you entertain at home or go out?
We stay at the house, where we have everything we need and all the people we want to be around. We bring a lot of friends and family to stay with us.
Do you cook?
I grill a lot, that’s what guys do—we’re grillers.
What are the must-have items in your home bar?
Casamigos is No. 1. I also always have different glasses for different cocktails because tequila, for example, doesn’t work in a taller glass. We prefer rocks or shot glasses. But I also have a good bottle of Champagne, Caliche Rum and a few good whiskeys.
What’s the most popular place in your home?
Everyone ends up in the kitchen.
What kind of woman drinks Casamigos?
A smart woman.
And how do you take it?
I like mine neat or on the rocks, by the shot or, at times, straight from the bottle.
Who would play you in your film biopic?
My son, Presley.
Five iconic figures who would be at your dream cocktail party?
Frank Sinatra, John Kennedy, Natalie Wood, Cindy Crawford, George Clooney.
What’s your favorite cocktail-party food?
A variety of things, but nothing with garlic and onions—that’s my only rule. It’s important to have something that you can pop into your mouth. You don’t want to have to carry a plate around with you.
What’s your favorite music to drink by?
I listen to everything from George Winston and John Coltrane to The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and Kid Rock.
What’s your favorite New York memory?
Staying at my dad’s apartment and opening my first bar, The Whiskey, in 1990.
What always surprises you about New Yorkers?
They’re all on a mission to get somewhere—fast.
How did you land on Casamigos tequila’s flavor profile?
We did blind tastings with our friends—we had all the top tequilas lined up, and everyone chose ours.
Each bottle is numbered. Why?
We taste every batch before it goes into the bottle to ensure perfection. Each batch is then approved by our master distiller, numbered and signed.
What’s next for Casamigos?
This month Sidney Frank, a family-owned alcohol [importing] powerhouse with a proven history of building world-class brands—like Grey Goose—became our exclusive importer and distributor. Cheers to that!
Who’s the funniest person you know?