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Weekend Sip: For your Cinco de Mayo sipping, try a tequila from Nick Jonas

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The bottle

Villa One Tequila, $44.99 (Silver), $49.99 (Reposado), $59.99 (Añejo)

The back story

These days, it’s hard to name a celebrity who doesn’t have an association with a wine or booze brand. And that’s especially true in the case of tequila, the classic Mexican spirit. George Clooney has been behind Casamigos. Michael Jordan has Cincoro.

And now, even a Jonas brother is finding his way into the market.

Singing sensation Nick Jonas and fashion designer John Varvatos are behind Villa One Tequila, a brand that launched in October 2019 and has surged in popularity of late (sales are up more than 500% over the past year, according to Nielsen data provided by the company). In an email, Jonas said the partnership came about after he met Varvatos at a dinner party six years ago. First, the two worked on a fashion collaboration and then a fragrance, but eventually their attention turned to tequila — for a simple reason: “We both love tequila,” said Jonas.

So, Villa One was born. Jonas said the idea behind the spirit was to create “an ultra-premium tequila that was best in class but still accessible in price.” The two worked with veteran distiller Arturo Fuentes, often called the “godfather of tequila,” on crafting a spirit that matched their vision. “We worked side by side with him and went through many, many rounds of the taste test, about an 18-month process, to get us in a great place,” Jonas said.

What we think about it

Tequila is all about agave, the plant that goes into producing the spirit and has a singular taste — earthy, vegetal and intriguing all at once. Many tequilas play up that intrigue, but Villa One aims for something a bit rounder, sweeter and smoother. The Silver expression — essentially, an unaged tequila — almost drinks like a fruit liqueur. That may disappoint tequila fans who want the true “bite” of the spirit — on one tequila website, a sipper likened it to the “Miller lite of tequila” — but it could please others who seek something more approachable. We’re somewhere in the middle, but can see how the spirit may find a market, especially with those who don’t normally drink tequila.

How to enjoy it

Jonas and Varvatos say to try the tequila neat to appreciate its true flavor (well, Varvatos likes the Reposado with fresh-squeezed lime and an orange slice). But mixed drinks are certainly a possibility. Said Jonas: “During lockdown I got really into making cocktails.” Among his favorites: a spicy margarita and a Bloody Maria (a variation on a Bloody Mary).

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