August 19, 2022

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Eva Longoria visits Houston to promote Casa Del Sol tequila brand

6 min read
Eva Longoria Bastón may be one of many pretty faces to join the latest tequila-making...

Eva Longoria Bastón may be one of many pretty faces to join the latest tequila-making trend, but the Mexican-American actress and Corpus Christi native says her brand offers much more than a famous name slapped on the bottle. Best-known for the hit TV show “Desperate Housewives,” as well as movies like “The Sentinel” and “In a World,” Longoria Bastón launched Casa Del Sol in Texas in January.

On Aug. 4, she made a surprise visit to Gratify in Houston, where she sat down to chat about her new brand. She says the Mexican-owned Casa Del Sol is built on generations of tequila masters and is creating a space for women in a male-dominant industry. It’s now available across the state, from Spec’s and Total Wine to neighborhood restaurants and bars.

Longoria Bastón talks about the people behind Casa Del Sol, sustainability in tequila-making, and where she gets her favorite breakfast tacos.

Eva Longoria Bastón's Casa del Sol tequila is available in Texas in blanco, añejo and reposado varieties.

Eva Longoria Bastón’s Casa del Sol tequila is available in Texas in blanco, añejo and reposado varieties.

Casa del Sol

Chron: How did the idea to get involved with tequila making come about?
Eva Longoria Bastón: I’ve been asked to do a tequila for the last 20 years. But I wasn’t a tequila drinker, I’m a big wine-o.

Then why push you to start a tequila company?
Because I’m Mexican! And because of all of the celebrity brands. They were like “It’s so fashionable to slap your name on something.” I would say no, I have to really believe in it, understand it, use it, drink it.

When did you change your mind?
It wasn’t until Casa Del Sol came along, and they presented me with this idea, which was a tequila that was Mexican-forward in heritage, in tradition, and in giving back to the region and the people, that I thought, oh my God, this is something I can get behind.

Tell me a little bit about Casa Del Sol.
The master tequila maker [Carmen Gonzales] is a woman, and she’s a multi-generational tequila master. The VP of operations is a fourth-generation tequila maker, and the CEO for the distillery is a woman. They had all of these women in key positions that are not traditionally held by women, which really made me lean in. And they were all about celebrating Mexican heritage, but the difference being this modern technique of aging in French Cognac barrels.

That sounds different…
We age in French Limousin Cognac barrels, as opposed to whiskey barrels. You know, when you drink tequila and you go “echh” and it burns and puts hair on your chest? That’s not this tequila. That happens because usually they’re aged in whiskey and bourbon barrels. This is aged in Martell Cognac barrels, so they give this beautiful vanilla, dulce de leche, smooth finish. I love the product, and I love the brand story.

As a wine drinker, you weren’t into other spirits or tequila at all?
No, not at all. This is the first one that acted like a wine, in the sense that you could taste the notes, you could see the legs. To me, tequila tasted like gasoline and you couldn’t tell the difference between an expensive one or a cheap one. It wasn’t my thing. This was the first time I really loved the juice.

With an influx of celebrity-backed tequilas, what sets Casa Del Sol apart?
Our distillery is 100 percent Mexican-owned. If you look at all of the tequilas that are No. 1 in the space right now, they are all white, male—not Mexican-owned, not even a Mexican spokesperson. That’s what drew me to this brand. Also, the sustainability of the distillery: They were the first to really create the system of using the biomass to heat the autoclaves [used to cook agave]. Now all of the distilleries do it, but they were pioneers of that. Our agave is only watered with rain water. We really replenish the soil before replanting agave. It takes seven years for the blue agave to mature. A lot of distilleries cut it down in three years because there is such a demand for tequila. They are really hurting the soil by not letting it recuperate.

Have you been to the Tequila region where the distillery is located?
Many times.

Do you think there has been a rise in the popularity of tequila over the years?
Tequila is [popular with] women, and tequila is going to be the No. 1 spirit by next year—it’s going to pass vodka. There are so many different brands now, so you really have to stand out with your brand story and be about something, especially in an era when people care what they eat and drink and buy.

Tell me about the bottle.
On the bottle is the goddess Mayahuel, she’s the goddess of agave. Of course tequila comes from a woman, like all good things! We are leaning into this legend. The bands on the neck of the bottle are made of vegan leather. There are a lot of women in Mexico who can’t leave the home to work, so we send these bands to these women. They cut them, they stamp them, and sew them, and then they send them to the factory so we can use them. We get to pay them for this labor, which they can do from their homes. We are constantly looking for ways to give back to the people who have done this for centuries.

There is a blanco, a reposado, and an añejo. How would you describe their flavors?
The blanco kisses the barrel for three to four days. It’s agave-forward, super smooth. Blanco is hard to get right because it doesn’t have as much time in the barrel as the reposado and the añejo. The reposado has more of a dulce de leche finish, a raisin finish. It sits in the barrel for four months, so has more of that color and a longer finish. The añejo is in the barrel for 14 months, it’s got a super dulce de leche finish.

What’s your preferred way of drinking tequila?
Well, it’s margarita season for me, since it’s summer! Since blueberries are in season, my drink of choice of the summer is a blueberry margarita. I have them daily. I make them at home, and they are dangerous!

You were born in Corpus Christi. Did you make it out to Houston a lot when you were growing up?
All the time. I had an aunt who was in the oil business here, so we would come and visit at Christmas. I remember Astroworld and the Houston Oilers! 

Let’s talk Texas eats. Do you have a favorite food or a favorite Texas restaurant?
Breakfast tacos, hands down, probably my favorite food in the world. Mi Tierra is my favorite restaurant in San Antonio. Nobody else knows how to do breakfast tacos like they do here.

How do you like them?
I like chorizo and egg, and I like bean—not bean and cheese, just bean. The tortilla has to be good, the beans have to be good. I’m like a connoisseur for breakfast tacos.

Have you hit any Houston restaurants while you’re in town?
Yes, we had lunch at Bloom & Bee. I liked it, that whole Post Oak Hotel is so pretty.

Can you tell us some of the Houston restaurants carrying Casa Del Sol?
Yes! We’re in a lot of restaurants: Gratify, Brasserie 19, Clarkwood, Armandos. And we’re hoping to be in all Landry’s restaurants soon.



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