The world of wines and spirits is littered with celebrities who have tried to parlay their fame in acting or music or whatever the hell Real Housewives stars do into success with alcohol. The majority of these endeavors tend to fall into one of two categories: They either (a) fail due to the cynicism with which the questionable beverage was created in the first place (see: Paris Hilton’s Rich Prosecco endeavor), or (b) succeed despite the cynicism with which they were created (see: Real Housewives of New York’s Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl cocktails).
But there is a sliver of the celebrity-produced or -endorsed spirit world that is worth actually paying attention to not because of the name associated with it, but because the product itself is legitimately great.
Which is where Casa Noble tequila comes in. This eponymous “noble house” has Carlos Santana, he of the soaring guitar riffs and inexplicably catchy duet with Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas, as a member of the board and part owner. And like his music, the tequila itself is exceptionally enjoyable and very well crafted. From the blanco all the way to the single-barrel expressions, Casa Noble is gaining fans faster than a Real Housewife runs through divorce attorneys.
I’ve also always been a huge fan of local tequila rock-star David Suro-Piñera’s brand, Siembra Azul. And while no tequila will ever fit into a Philadelphia locavore’s definition of locally-produced (tequila is subject to all kinds of Mexican geography-specific rules and regulations), this one’s connection to the great Tequilas on Locust Street makes it as as close to local as possible. Plus, Suro-Piñera’s Siembra Azul Foundation is a phenomenal philanthropic endeavor, working to educate immigrants in the English language in Philadelphia, providing them with medical services and more.
But it’s the juice, in the end, that matters above all else: If the tequila isn’t good, no one will buy it. And these two are excellent.
Here’s Suro-Piñera’s recipe for a drink he calls the Bazul. Enjoy!
• 2 oz. Siembra Azul blanco
• 3 oz. organic ginger ale
• 2 basil leaves
1. Pour Siembra Azul blanco into a tall glass.
2. Add ginger ale and basil.