Sammy Hagar and Adam Levine are the latest celebrities to take a shot at selling a successful booze brand.
On Thursday, the pair known for their respective work with Van Halen and Maroon 5, announced the debut of Santo Mezquila—which blends the processes and flavors of tequila and its lesser-known Mexican cousin, mezcal.
Santo claims to represent the "first quality blend of different agave distillates to hit the market." Tequila uses 100% Blue Agave, while mezcal is made more broadly from any agave plant. But while tequila is far more popular (and more approachable in taste compared with smoky mezcal), the latter has become a darling of trendy cocktail bars.
As AdAge reports, the idea to launch Santo Mezquila stemmed from a dinner in Cabo, Mexico in 2015 when Hagar, Levine, and a third fellow named Jack Daniels (no relation to the whiskey) were enjoying some tequila. The restaurant owner then suggested they try mezcal, but the group found it too smoky. So they combined it with their tequila to make it more approachable.
"With Santo you get that smooth, full agave, rich tequila flavor with a touch of smoky-sweetness that you can only find with Mezcal — perfect for sipping," said Levine in a statement. The product, which will retail for $55 a bottle, will launch in several cities and states in the first quarter of this year. The aroma is described as "intense agave" with a mix of "earthy, light smokiness with a hint of herbs."
Hagar and Levine join a growing group of celebrities trying to profit from a strongly performing liquor industry. The tequila business—which posted 7.1% volume growth in the U.S. last year—has been especially robust. Mezcal sales have been growing even faster, albeit the volume for that spirit is far smaller — the business is so small that industry advocate Distilled Spirits Council doesn't even break out sales for the spirit.
The trendiness of tequila in particular has led to accelerated interest. (Previously, it was all the rage to launch a vodka brand back when that category was a strong seller.) Others celebrities in the tequila business include George Clooney, co-owner of Casamigos with Cindy Crawford's husband businessman Rande Gerber, as well as Justin Timberlake (who teamed up with Beam Suntory), and Sean "Diddy" Combs (who works with Diageo). Hagar himself has also been in the business before, as he launched Cabo Wabo tequila in the 1990s.