By Jessica Estrada | July 1, 2016 | People
Rande Gerber chats with us about Casamigos tequila and what it’s like working—and riding motorcycles—with George Clooney.
Even if you don’t recognize Rande Gerber by name, chances are you’ve heard of his super smooth tequila label Casamigos. Since Gerber and his BFFs and business partners George Clooney and Mike Meldman founded the label, it has become the drink of choice among the A-list crowd.
Another thing you may not know about Gerber and Clooney is that they love to go on motorcycle road trips together. In fact, they’ve been going on them for 15 years. Lucky for us, they documented their most recent trip to their Jalisco, Mexico distillery, with Gerber sharing images on his Instagram. Here, Gerber shares the story behind Casamigos, what Clooney is like as a business partner, and how he spends time in Malibu with his supermodel wife Cindy Crawford and their kids.
What were some of the highlights of your motorcycle road trip with George Clooney?
RANDE GERBER: Well the highlights are always going and visiting the distillery, hanging out with all the workers, and of course drinking Casamigos with the guys who are making it for us. Just really spending time with everyone there and exploring the countryside on motorcycle is always fun.
How did you and Clooney start working together on Casamigos?
RG: We have been friends for a long, long time. Right before we were building our homes in Mexico, we were spending a lot of time there. We’d stay in different hotels and we would go to different bars. Bartenders would recommend their favorite tequilas, but there really wasn’t one that was perfect for us. So George said you know why don't we just make our own. So we met with different distilleries. We found one that said they could try to come up with a profile that we liked, so we worked with [them] for about two years. They were sending us samples every month and we finally got one that was perfect. We wanted a really smooth, best-tasting tequila [that] we could just drink straight or on the rocks, and not have to have salt or a lime or anything like that. Two years and 700 bottles of samples later, we got it perfect. Casamigos is the name of our homes in Mexico, which loosely translates to "house of friends" and that’s what it was all about. It was all about drinking it ourselves and sharing it with friends. Then word got out that we had this great tequila and we ended up starting a company. It’s been a fun ride. We drink it. We live it.
What’s Clooney like as a business partner?
RG: Oh, he’s great. We’re the best of friends. He’s very involved in [every] aspect of the brand. He comes up to the office and sits in meetings. He’s calling. He’s making sure it’s in all the restaurants.
Lastly, what’s your favorite way to drink tequila?
RG: I take it on the rocks. No nothing. Or I’ll drink it just neat. It depends what time of day it is.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF CASAMIGOS TEQUILA