Twenty years ago, rocker Sammy Hagar made what turned out to be a fortunate decision to put a house brand tequila on the menu at his popular cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A decade later, he sold a controlling interest in Cabo Wabo Tequila to Gruppo Campari for $80 million. Having set the bar for successful celebrity-booze-brand stewardship, he now has his sights set on a different challenge—getting tequila aficionados to embrace a whole new agave-based spirits category.
Launching nationwide this month, Santo Puro Mezquila ($55) is a first-of-its-kind mashup of Mexico’s two most popular distillates, tequila and mezcal.
Santo leads with a faint pungency that quickly gives way to pleasant earthy notes and floral fruitiness typically found in high-end tequilas. The mezcal brings gentle smoke and just a touch of salt. What’s remarkable about this hybrid is how drinkable it is. There’s no burn or discordant notes on the palate, and it finishes long, smooth, and sweet.