Within the last 20-plus years, tequila has gained a lot of popularity, especially in margaritas and cocktails. But as people have enjoyed these mixed drinks, they’ve changed their mindset on the liquor, now drinking it by itself, Guillaume Cuvelier co-owner of Astral Tequila and Sombra Mezcal noted.
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“[Premium tequila] has been the one that has been growing the fastest in the last 10 to 15 years,” Cuvelier said.
He highlighted that there are three types of the spirit: Blanco, which is unaged, reposado, which means "to rest," and añejo, which is aged for at least one year.
“When I discovered Tequila I was amazed by how rich and balanced and structured this product can be,” Cuvelier said.
Since becoming more in demand, the drink has also gained popularity among celebrities and many prominent people, prompting them to invest in the business.
Here are some celebrities that have turned into tequila tycoons:
Rita Ora, Próspero Tequila
The British singer is chief creative partner and shareholder of Próspero Tequila, which comes in a Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo expression. Stella Anguiano, who was one of the first female tequila distillers in the world, collaborated with Rita Ora and Conecuh Brands to launch the company.
Justin Timberlake, Sauza 901 Tequila
The singer and actor collaborated with Casa Sauza to create their own blend of tequila. It’s triple distilled with 100 percent Blue Weber agave to give it a smooth taste.
George Clooney and Rande Gerber, Casamigos Tequila
The actor and the former model founded the popular tequila brand after bonding over their love for the liquor in Cabo San Lucas, according to Town and Country Magazine. The tequila is made from 100 percent Blue Weber agaves out of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The agaves are slow-roasted for 72 hours in brick ovens and fermented for 80 hours to create the smooth blend that’s available in blanco, reposado, and añejo.
George Strait, Código 1530 Añejo
The country singer is known for bringing tequila from Mexico to the U.S. and his pre-concert ritual includes taking a shot of tequila backstage before the show, according to People Magazine. This tequila is aged for 18 months in Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels. It has hints of fruit, oak, vanilla and some spices.
P. Diddy, DeLeón Tequila
The American rapper and songwriter partnered with Diageo, the world’s largest spirits producer, to buy DeLeón Tequila. The tequila is made from 100 percent Highland Blue Weber agave sourced from the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico. The bottle is made from high-quality fragrance-grade glass and is known for the ornate gold or silver ball on top of the stopper.
John Paul DeJoria, Patrón
The co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products also founded The Patrón Spirits Company, which “kicked off the premium tequila movement,” according to Town and Country Magazine. This tequila is created by using the piña, which is the heart of the agave plant. The piñas are baked and rolled by a stone wheel creating a mixture that’s fermented for three days. The aging ranges from two months to seven years and takes place in Hacienda Patrón.
Adam Levine and Sammy Hagar, Santo Mezquila
The pop singer and the rock singer launched Santo Mezquila after bonding over their love of the liquor. It is the world’s first mezquila, which is a mix of tequila and mezcal. The spirit is made from 100 percent blue variety tequilana-weber agave and 100 percent espadin agave, combining smoky flavors with hints of sweet agave and herbs. Sammy Hagar also recently partnered with restaurateur, Guy Fieri, to create Santo Fino Blanco, an “old world-style” tequila made with 100 percent Blue Weber agave, according to the Spirits Business.
Robert Pittman, Casa Dragones
The iHeartMedia CEO and founder of MTV has created what’s known as a ‘sipping tequila,’ which is made from estate-grown blue agave in Tequila, Mexico. Each bottle is unique, both hand-signed and numbered. The company has the "Joven" and "Blanco" blend, both made out of 100 percent blue agave silver. The "Joven" blend has hints of vanilla, spices and pear, with floral and citrus aromas. The "Blanco" blend, which TV host Ryan Seacrest has a stake in, tastes of semi-sweet agave with hints of pepper, cloves and almonds, with grapefruit and green apple aromas.
Ken Austin, Avión
The Marquis Jet founder created the tequila brand, which is produced out of the small town of Jesús María, Mexico. The spirit is made from single-origin blue agave that’s grown at high elevations for seven to 10 years. The agave is slow-roasted in brick ovens for three days with low temperatures, giving it its natural sweet flavors.
Kelley McDonough, the trade association’s spokeswoman, said “[the spirit] is no longer only associated with celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo or enjoyed in pre-batched frozen margaritas at a beach bar.”
“[The spirit] has come a very long way from its early harsh days and its blue-collar palates,” said Inaki Orozco, the founder of Riazul Tequila.
This story has been updated.