TRAVEL WITH AMIGOS

The Ushuaïa Magazine September 2015 USHUAÏA Read in PDF format N8/2015
TRAVEL WITH AMIGOS George Clooney visited Ibiza with his longtime friend, the businessman Rande Gerber, for the official Spanish launch of Casamigos Tequila, which the pair create together with Michael Meldman. The Ushuaïa Tower was the chosen location for a party full of VIPs hailing from all over the world. We speak to the duo about their friendship, Ibiza and their passion for tequila

You have come to Ibiza to launch your tequila Casamigos together. You have a long-standing relationship – how did your paths cross?

Where does such a long friendship come from, and what do you do to make it last? George Clooney: Rande is incredibly kind and incredibly loyal and it’s always important to surround yourself with people like that... Rande Gerber: We met 25 years ago. George was shooting a movie and he used to come into my bar in New York, Morgans Bar and that’s how we met.

What made you decide to make your own tequila?

GC: Casamigos was created out of our desire to drink the best tequila. We were spending a lot of time in Mexico. And, as you do when you’re in Mexico, we were drinking a lot of tequila. We would go to different bars and bartenders would suggest different tequilas – some really expensive, some not so expensive, some good, some not so good – but we never found one that was perfect for us. 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. So we started working with a great distillery to develop the exact profile that we wanted. At first we were doing it just for us. We just started making bottles for ourselves to drink and everybody liked it, so we felt that this might be something we should sell.

RG: After two years we got a call from the distillery recommending that we get licensed and start selling it. We wanted to continue drinking it and share it with friends. So we decided to start selling it and create a company.

AWARDS AND RATINGS

Casamigos has been awarded the
highest-rated gold medals from
the Los Angeles International
Spirits Competition, the
San Francisco World Spirits
Competition, The Beverage Testing
Institute, the New York World Wine
& Spirits Competition, the Spirits
of Mexico Tasting Competition and
many more

How did you come up with the name Casamigos?

RG: It’s named after our homes in Mexico, called Casamigos, which loosely translated means “house of friends”.

Is this your first time in Ibiza? What are your feelings about the island? What plans do you have for your stay?

GC: Yes, it’s my first time. I’m only here for 36 hours. We went for a quiet dinner at Es Torrent. We’re now here at the Casamigos party the Ushuaïa Tower drinking tequila and having fun. You can find Casamigos in practically every bar around the world and many people, including Oprah, have said that this is their favourite tequila… Is there any particular person you are proud to have drinking your tequila?

GC: Bono drinks our tequila – he’s even written a song about it ... No, I’m joking about the song.

Casamigos launches in Spain through Ushuaïa. Why have you chosen Ushuaïa?

RG: Is there a better place in Ibiza?

GC: Ushuaïa basically said, ‘Let’s have a blast, let’s have some fun,’ and that’s exactly the attitude we wanted. It wasn’t this big corporate deal and that’s what we liked. Give it a go!

In Spain there are numerous tequila brands in the bars and the competition is tough. Do you think you can create a niche? What does Casamigos have that other tequilas don’t?

GC: Taste it! Whenever we do tequila tastings with other brands, ours always wins.

What are some of the flavour notes?

GC: We currently produce Blanco, Reposado and Añejo tequilas.

RG: Our Reposado is smooth and clean with hints of caramel, while the Blanco is crisp and clear, with subtle hints of vanilla and a smooth finish. Añejo has a beautifully pure and refined complex aroma with soft caramel and vanilla notes. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness from the Blue Weber agave layered with barrel oak.

GC: We enjoy all three tequilas on the rocks, by the shot and at times straight from the bottle.

RG: The Blanco makes a perfect premium margarita.

If you could have a glass of Casamigos with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

RG: That would be my dad.

GC: See, now that screws up any answer I was going to give! You know what? I’d like to be there and have that glass with your dad as well. He was a fun guy.

Why did you decide to number each bottle?

RG: It was important because we wanted to know that every batch that goes into the bottle was tasted first to ensure perfection. Each batch is approved by us and by our master distiller. We are involved in every aspect of the brand.

GC: We are the official taste testers.

What’s the best Casamigos story you can share?

GC: The story of Casamigos and the night we all ended up in bed together after finishing a bottle.

What are your must-have items for your home bar?

GC: Casamigos, in whatever serve you prefer, we like them all, but Reposado on the rocks or in a shot glass is our favourite. Casamigos Tequila just doesn’t work in a taller glass, it feels wrong. No bar is complete without the essentials. It is always nice to have a few great bottles of wine and champagne, lot of ice- soda, lime, lemon and shakers with this you can make the perfect Casamigos Tequila Margherita.

What are some of your favourite bars and restaurants?

GC: We like Craig’s, Nobu, Soho House, Café Habana, and a few other spots, all serving Casamigos. I have a few restaurants I like down on Ventura Boulevard. There are two or three of the best sushi bars in the country.

RG: The problem is when we start naming them, all of a s udden we have to wait for a table the next time we go. Then we see the other customers and they say “You really had to mention it? This was our little hidden gem and you had to talk about it?!”

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