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Country star Thomas Rhett has amassed quite the collection of trophies and memorabilia, but his latest accolade may be more fit for the bar cart, than bookshelf. After teasing an announcement for weeks, Rhett spilled the news Monday, with the unveiling of Dos Primos Tequila, a new premium tequila company inspired by family, music and the great outdoors.
Rhett teamed up with his cousin, Jeff Worn, on Dos Primos (the Spanish phrase literally translates to “two cousins”) and the brand launches this month with a premium blanco tequila made from 100% blue agave sourced from estates in Los Altos and Jalisco, Mexico.
A press release describes the tequila as having “earthy herbal notes on the front palate, followed by smooth floral and citrus hints.” Each bottle of Dos Primos, meantime, features a fabric label bearing the signatures of Worn and Rhett, along with a black-leather cord wrapped around the neck — a nod to the leather bracelets Rhett is often seen wearing.
Rhett and Worn first began exploring a tequila line in 2018 — the singer posted a throwback clip on Instagram of his first tasting for the then-unnamed brand almost three and a half years ago — but the launch kept getting push back, with both guys wanting to perfect the product before bringing it to market. According to Worn, “the pieces finally just came together. It feels great,” he says, “to finally get the product out there and see what people think.”
While observers may be skeptical of Rhett’s connection to tequila, the Georgia native says it was a no-brainer to launch a tequila brand, as it’s become a drink of choice in his family. “My wife and I love to enjoy tequila together, and our decision to create a new tequila brand grew out of just loving being with family,” he says. “I’m excited for people to share a bottle with friends, sip it around a bonfire or enjoy it on a fishing trip or at tailgate or concert,” he adds. “Jeff and I wanted to create a tequila that was expertly crafted and could be enjoyed year-round – regardless of the season or activity – with the people we care about most.”
And while Rhett knows that there’s no shortage of competition in the tequila game — rocker Sammy Hagar and fellow country star George Strait are just two of the musicians who also own tequila brands — the reigning ACM Awards “Entertainer of the Year” says he’s less concerned about market share and more focused on bringing people a good time. “Dos Primos,” he says, “is about unwinding and enjoying the people and things that really matter in life.”
We caught up with Rhett to chat about launching a new brand, his fond (and not-so-fond) memories of tequila, and why the “Beer Can’t Fix” singer might be changing his tune when it comes to his beverage of choice.
What are your earliest memories of tequila?
I’ll never forget being 21, visiting Lauren for the weekend in Knoxville while she was in nursing school. We went to [the now-closed] Tin Roof, and Lauren ordered shots of cheap tequila for us. I tried it for her sake, but then vowed I would never drink it again (laughs). It wasn’t until a few years later that I was introduced to high-quality tequila. High-quality meaning 100% blue agave tequila. I started diving into the background and history on how tequila was made and produced and just fell in love with the process.
Why did you decide on a tequila brand versus say, whiskey or wine?
In many ways, tequila is like bourbon, especially in the aging process when dealing with reposado and anejo. I really started doing everything with tequila that I would’ve done with bourbon. A tequila old-fashioned is probably my favorite way to mix Dos Primos. Long story short, I definitely love wine and bourbon, but I just really enjoy how versatile tequila is.
Country music is stereotypically associated with whiskey and beer. How does tequila fit into your “country” lifestyle?
I definitely fall into that category – I have always been a beer and whiskey guy. It wasn’t until after I started drinking tequila that I found myself wanting to drink tequila in situations [where] I would have normally grabbed a beer or a glass of bourbon. For example, I’ve always associated bourbon with the outdoors or around a bonfire with friends, but now tequila is my go-to. I think I always associated tequila with a beach, and I still do, but now my views are different on the spirit. I think there are tons of country fans, and just people in general, that associate tequila with a shot or bad experience. To that I would say, you haven’t tried Dos Primos yet.
How does a singer and songwriter get into the tequila-making space?
In many ways, I think music and tequila making are similar. It takes agave anywhere from five to nine years to grow, then it’s up to the jimador to decide if the agave is ready to be made into tequila or not. It’s the same with music: many songs I write that end up making records take two or three years to be perfected, [and] then you hope people like them.
The tequila market boasts a lot of “celebrity tequilas” – how will Dos Primos stand out from the pack?
Yes, there are lots of tequilas out there, but there is always room for more if they’re great. Like in music, can you have too many good songs? For us specifically, Dos Primos represents the spirit of the outdoors, enjoyed any time of year. In all, I think Dos Primos offers a sense of home and family, which I think is something that stands out as unique.
This is such a big way to kick off 2021. What other projects are you working on for the year?
Besides tequila, I have been working really hard on finalizing my fifth studio album, which I think is my best work yet. Just like this tequila brand, I find myself getting back to what got me here in the first place – singing from the heart and getting back to my roots. I’m very excited for people to taste Dos Primos with friends, hopefully while listening to this new album sooner than later.