The spirits category is changing, and Mexican-American actress Eva Longoria aims to be a big part of that with Casa del Sol—a sustainable, woman-led ultra-premium tequila that pays homage to her roots.
Casa del Sol is not your typical tequila brand. Co-founded by Eva Longoria, Mariana Padilla, and Alejandra Pelayo, the female-led spirits company is bringing sustainability and community to the forefront of the category.
Pelayo is a “protégé and goddaughter” of Patron creator Francisco Alcaraz; she serves as head of production, and Padilla is the daughter of Jalisco’s Paco Padilla and the brand’s “Artesana Tequilera,” bringing “generations of rich culture and artistic heritage into Casa Del Sol’s identity and product development.”
The brand launched last September—one of a number of celebrity-led tequila brands to hit the market in recent years. There’s George Clooney’s Casamigos, Dwayne Johnson’s Mana, Nick Jonas’ Villa One, Justin Timberlake’s Sauza 901, and Kendall Jenner’s 818, among others.
Sustainable tequila production
Like a growing number of brands, including Jenner’s 818 and mezcal producer Mezcal Amarás, sustainable practices are at the core of Casa del Sol.
“When creating Casa Del Sol, we wanted to deliver a brand that was set apart from the rest,” Longoria said in an interview with Food & Wine last year. “From the liquid to the legacy, we took the time to develop an ultra-premium tequila focusing on authenticity and a distinct flavor profile, ” she said.
The brand works closely with its farmers, jimadors, and distillers not just to promote responsible sourcing and production, but to also honor the Jalisco community that produces Casa del Sol’s tequila.
Its agave comes from the region’s Highlands, harvested after seven years of maturation. Once harvested, an offspring of each agave is replanted after the soil has time to regenerate. This is done to promote biodiversity and prevent overfarming, Casa del Sol says.
It respects the sacred tequila production methods, cares for the land and community. To make this come through in the product, it further ages the drink in cognac barrels that have been handcrafted with French Limousin oak. This, Longoria says, gives the drink a luxury refinement unlike other brands.
According to Jose Cuervo, the best-selling tequila brand that also employs sustainability practices, it takes an average of six years to grow an agave plant before it’s mature enough to harvest for tequila production.
“Tequila is the biggest agricultural industry in Mexico and like any industry, there are always opportunities to make the tequila production process more sustainable,” a Cuervo spokesperson told Ethos. “One of the biggest challenges that face the tequila industry is related to plant production and identifying opportunities to repurpose the plant once the maturation process is complete, ultimately extending its usage beyond just tequila production.”
Casa del Sol is also working to reduce its emissions from production, using solar power and agave biomass to power its cooking process.
A new heritage
Despite its Mexican roots, tequila brands today are mostly run by white men. Longoria set out to change that.
“In a male-dominated business, you really have to be innovative,” Longoria told Travel & Leisure. “We bring a lot to the table because we have a diversity of approach, and a different perspective and mindset that adds depth and value to our product. It allows us to think outside the typical male machismo framework that tequila is created on.”
Longoria says Casa del Sol puts culture and heritage first—which made the decision to join the company easy. She’d been approached by other tequila operations over the years, but none had resonated like this.
“When this brand came to my attention, it was really the first time that a tequila came at me with an authentic connection,” Longoria told Forbes. “They were all about authentic Mexican roots; they were all about talent. Talent behind the actual liquid — the actual juice. I loved the idea that you could bring casual drinkers and enthusiasts together to enjoy a product that was founded with authentic Mexican roots with strong female influence.”
Longoria has long been an advocate for women, particularly Latina women. In 2020, she helped to launch She Se Puede, a digital lifestyle community for Latina women.
In the tequila industry, there’s room for advocating, too. The vast majority of producers are men, and even though Casa del Sol’s tequila isn’t solely produced by women, it’s elevating the conversation around women in the industry.
“Legacy and authenticity are huge components of Casa Del Sol, and it was important for us to pay homage to the past through every facet of the brand, including our logo, which is visibly inspired by Mayahuel, ‘The Goddess of Tequila’,” Padilla said in a statement. “Our long-standing Mexican roots, rich heritage, and distinct aging process have paved a way for the future, helping to create a brand unlike others in the space,” says Pelayo.
“It is always my mission to uplift the voices of women and celebrate my Mexican heritage, so that others may be inspired by the limitless genius and artistry that is rich in our communities,” Longoria said. “With Casa Del Sol, we are bringing together casual drinkers and tequila enthusiasts alike to enjoy a product with bold taste that everyone will find unforgettable.”
Longoria will further explore the region in Searching for Mexico the forthcoming CNN show slated for later this year, it’s a spinoff of the popular Stanley Tucci helmed Searching for Italy.