September 6, 2023
Rande Gerber and his team chart another successful path by introducing Casamigos Cristalino.
George Clooney and Rande Gerber are the cofounders, along with Mike Meldman.
When I caught up with Rande Gerber earlier this year, he reminded me he’s a late-night list-maker. These solo brainstorming sessions reveal countless ideas about designs, products and apparel. Tinkering is a way of life for the co-founder of Casamigos, and it has led to the creation of an estimable tequila brand with business partners George Clooney and Mike Meldman.
The brand’s latest launch—the first since its mezcal release in 2018—is Casamigos Cristalino. What sets the new bottle apart is its composition. “Most cristalinos are añejo-based, and we wanted ours to be reposado-based,” says Gerber, adding that taste tests placed reposado as the clear winner. The serial entrepreneur (Gerber also has designed a motorcycle boot for Thursday Boots and the Casamigos Seamaster watch for Omega) says tequila aficionados have given their allegiance to his brand over the years because of taste. He figures the same will apply to his cristalino. It’s crafted with 100% blue Weber agave, with an impressive nose (cocoa, caramel with hints of agave) and finish (oaky vanilla bean, dried raisin and fig).
I ask Gerber why there had been a five-year break between brand releases. Not surprisingly, he says it came down to the team’s perfectionist mentality. “We wanted to ensure that what we were creating was the best. We’re involved in every aspect of the brand and business, so it took many samples for us to create the perfect one,” he says. “We only do things we’re proud of, no matter how long it takes. That’s why people understand it’s different than others.”
Also different is Gerber’s approach to this month’s favorite day, Halloween. His parties, swarmed by celebs, have become legendary. I press for name-dropping, and he doesn’t budge. “Just like our tequila, we wanted to do an annual Casamigos Halloween party to enjoy and celebrate good times and fun with our house of friends,” says Gerber. Fair enough. But, oh, to be a tequila bottle on the wall for one of these. Please add it to the list, Rande.