The problem with celebrity-backed tequila: Teremana, The Rock Lobos 1707, LeBron James Cincoro, Michael Jordan and more

What hath George Clooney wrought? The Oscars winner’s Casamigos was removed from the primary celebrity-backed tequila to hit the market, however the rise and practically US$1 billion (S$1.34 billion) sale of his model has seen a wave of actors, musicians, athletes and even actuality stars observe in his wake. Over the past two years, some severe star energy has signed on as both monetary backers or ambassadors to tequila manufacturers. Probably the most excessive profile amongst them embody Teremana (The Rock), Lobos 1707 (LeBron James), Cincoro (Michael Jordan), Villa One (Nick Jonas), Don Ramon (Pierce Brosnan) and 818 (Kendall Jenner).

It’s not stopping. Up to now few weeks, press releases for 2 new manufacturers have landed in my inbox, for the newly rebranded Casa Mexico (Mario Lopez and Oscar de la Hoya) and One With Life Natural Tequila (4 championship boxers). And a bottle Santo Fino Blanco (Man Fieri and Sammy Hagar) simply arrived on my doorstep. Celebs and spirits have blended quite a few instances earlier than: like Channing Tatum’s Born and Bred Vodka, Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston’s Dos Hombres Mezcal, Jay-Z’s D’ussé Cognac and Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door whiskey. However tequila reigns supreme proper now.

A few of the superstar tequila is definitely fairly good – Lobos 1707 and Casa Mexico amongst them – however this newfound consideration from stars is way from an unalloyed good for the class. The sheen of superstar can divert consideration from how the tequila is definitely produced and overshadow smaller manufacturers which can be making actually good merchandise. And there’s a fantastic line between homage and appropriation. Some stars have gotten into tequila extra as a result of they’re hopping on a development, and fewer out of respect for the the spirit itself. Hailing from Jalisco isn’t a prerequisite to backing a tequila, however endorsing it – or any spirit – ought to accompany a stable grasp of its cultural significance and manufacturing strategies.

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So why achieve this many celebrities wish to get in on the tequila sport? To begin with, the spirit’s growing home reputation makes it interesting to potential traders. In response to the Distilled Spirits Council, tequila gross sales have grown about six per cent yearly since 2002 reaching over US$4 billion (S$5.35 billion) in 2020, with the quickest development occurring within the tremendous premium class. Clooney’s large windfall would sign as a lot. Secondly, many distilleries in Mexico are already making dozens of various manufacturers, so why not ask them to make yet another below a celeb-backed banner?

The standard of those spirits typically comes right down to manufacturing, like whether or not the tequila is made utilizing environment friendly however arguably inferior fashionable know-how or extra conventional strategies (extra on that later). Then there’s the query of cultural appropriation, or not less than misrepresentation, as some celebrities have come below hearth for turning a blind eye to custom and tradition simply to make some cash and flash their bottles on Instagram. Kendall Jenner just lately ran headlong into criticism across the launch of her new model for all the things from sipping her tequila on ice to flagrantly moving into an business she is aware of nothing about simply to make her even richer than she already is.

lobos 1707 lebron james
Lobos 1707 by LeBron James

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