We Went Tequila Tasting With Santo Founders Sammy Hagar And Guy Fieri. These Shenanigans Ensued.

Santo Photo Credit: Phillip Faraone

Rock on, brothers! Haute Wine Society sat down for a tequila tasting with Santo founders Sammy Hagar and Guy Fieri to celebrate their rest Haute Wine & Spirits cover. These are the shenanigans which ensued with editor Laura Schreffler and co-founder Seth Semilof. But first, a bit about “Red Rocker” Hagar and “Guy Bones” Fieri… and then we can get into their true “bromance” (they drive the same car, like the same things, have NEVER had a fight or even a disagreement in 20 years of friendship and even sometimes show up wearing the same.exact.thing).


Santo Photo Credit: Phillip Faraone
For the last four decades, Sammy Hagar has been one of rock music’s most dynamic and prolific artists. From breaking into the industry with the seminal hard rock band Montrose, to his multi-platinum solo career, to his ride as the front man of Van Halen, Chickenfoot and his latest supergroup The Circle, Hagar has amassed 25 Platinum albums on sales surpassing 60 million worldwide. He’s earned the highest respect of the music industry with a Grammy Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the early ’80s, he fell in love with a sleepy Mexican fishing village at the tip of Baja while sipping authentic tequila and his, now legendary, foray into spirits and nightlife was born. This journey began as a personal quest to find a quality tequila to drink with friends at the Cantina and by 2007 he and his team had built Cabo Wabo Tequila into the #2 selling premium tequila in the US. Sammy, who is often referred to as the “Godfather of Tequila,” is also the founder of Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. 


Santo Photo Credit: Phillip Faraone
Guy Fieri is an American restaurateur, author, and an Emmy Award winning television presenter. He co-owns three restaurants in California, licenses his name to restaurants in New York City and Las Vegas, Nevada and is known for hosting various television series on the Food Network. This likable, laid-back California guy with his trademark bleached-blond spiky hair began his love affair with food at the age of 10, selling soft pretzels from a three-wheeled bicycle cart (named “The Awesome Pretzel”) he built with his father. In 1996, Guy launched his culinary career with the opening of Johnny Garlic’s, his first restaurant based in his hometown of Santa Rosa, California. Since then, he has created a thriving culinary empire. In October 2008 Guy released his first book, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: An All-American Road Trip…with Recipes!, based on his widely popular show, which offers recipes and memorable stories from establishments he has visited around the country. Passionate about empowering today’s parents to include their children in the kitchen and educate them about eating healthy, Guy helped draft California state legislation proclaiming the second Saturday in May annually as Cook With Your Kids Day. Guy continues to utilize his passions and inspire those around him with an ongoing Armed Forces Entertainment commitment visiting bases in the Persian Gulf, Guantanamo Bay and Hawaii, all as a guest of the U.S. Navy. He entertains the troops and inspires the military culinary specialists with instruction and inspiration.


Santo Photo Credit: Phillip Faraone
The Santo Spirits brand was conceived out of longtime friendship, exceptional food, great tequila, and the search for a taste revelation. Santo Spirits is the brainchild of rocker Sammy Hagar, and chef Guy Fieri. Together, the duo created Santo Spirits and found their virtuoso with Juan Eduardo Nuñez, a third generation master distiller from the famed distillery El Viejito, founded in 1937, in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. Sammy’s history of making world-renowned tequila, Guy’s world-famous taste buds, and Juan Eduardo’s award-winning craftsmanship, bring to life the portfolio of Santo Spirits: The world’s first Mezquila, an old-world style tequila Blanco, and the sinfully smooth reposado.


SantoPhoto Credit: Phillip Faraone

On the strange but sensational drink you need to try: “We made a drink [with the Mezquila] — one of the first drinks in the history of Santo — the Fiery Fieri. Don’t laugh please. I laughed the first time I heard about it. Sammy said, ‘Guy Bones, we made this drink, and we put some of your barbecue sauce in it.’ I was like, ‘Sammy, I don’t want any [drink] that has barbecue sauce in it.’ He said, ‘No, no, no, I’m telling you.’ To this day, of all the drinks we’ve made — and we have a pretty great catalogue of drinks — it is my all-time favorite. It’s a touch of barbecue sauce, and a little bit of a peppery, salt rim. It is big flavor, it’s smoky, it’s not heavy. It’ll blow your mind.”

Santo Photo Credit: Phillip Faraone