Sammy Hagar Talks Van Halen Reunion, Summer Party Rules And His New Santo ‘Mezquila’ Booze Brand
Sammy wants to get the band back together–with both him AND David Lee Roth on the same stage.
With summer fully underway, a few things are certain: the air is thick, the bikinis are tiny, and the barbecues are a’plenty. With this in mind, it’s important to have an understanding of proper summer party etiquette. Enter Sammy Hagar.
It’s no secret that rocker turned food and liquor enthusiast Sammy Hagar likes to party. A lot. With an already hugely successful tequila company and cookbook under his belt, it comes as no surprise that the former Van Halen frontman is continuing to expand upon his absolutely baller lifestyle with a boozy new venture: Mezquila.
We caught up with The Red Rocker to talk new projects, working with Adam Levine and the simple necessities for throwing the perfect summer party.
How did you end up working with Adam Levine on Mezquila, and what the hell is it, anyway?
I met Adam in Cabo a few years back after he had bought a place down there. We connected on every level and both had the same palate for tequila and the way we like to drink it.
My partner from Cabo Wabo, Marco Monroy, Jack Daniels, and our pit bull guardian Miles Scully were discussing getting back together for a potential new venture. When Adam and I were out to dinner one night, the owner kept pouring us shots of mezcal, and we both agreed we didn’t really like it as much as tequila. We started adding some tequila to the mezcal, and thought we had something very promising going on.
So, we all started talking about joining up as a dream team to see what would happen when blending mezcal and tequila. Our distiller at El Viejito came up with a blend that was so damn good everyone said, “Wow, this doesn’t really taste like tequila and it doesn’t really taste like mezcal…” I said “It’s mezquila!” That’s when it all came together. Once you taste it you will remember it forever; you can pick it out of a blind tasting with any agave product. That’s how special it is.
Sounds tasty! You reportedly made $91 million on selling your last tequila brand, Cabo Wabo, to Gruppo Campari. What did you spend the money on?
I’ve been fortunate to have found success early in my career, so I’ve basically, had everything I’ve ever wanted — except a Dodge Challenger 300, my favorite airplane. After completing the sale of Cabo Wabo Tequila, I first handed out some very nice bonuses to all my longtime employees, my band at that time, The Wabo’s, and family members, and then I bought my dream jet.
What are a few things that guarantee an awesome summer party?
For me it’s all about a large body of water — an ocean or lake, but it’s got to have a beach. Good music, good food and drinks, and good, fun people you enjoy being around. That’s a party.
What’s your absolute favorite recipe to make on the grill?
I love a good mixed grill; some ribs, a good sausage and some fresh summer vegetables, like zucchini, red peppers, spring onions, olive oil, salt and pepper, some fresh lemon or lime, and I’m good to go.
There’s been talk of a Van Halen reunion tour with both you and David Lee Roth. Have you been approached and would you do it?
First of all, I have not been approached. Secondly, it was my idea to have Dave and I go out on tour, so if everyone was happy and behind the idea 100% — no egos, no grudges — then of course I would be into it… but only with Michael Anthony on bass. That’s what the fans want, and I know we could give them one of the greatest rock set lists of all time. We’re in a fortunate place with the band because all of the original guys are still here. We could reunite — singing and playing the way it should be. It couldn’t get any better than that. But we’ll see.
What would you serve Eddie Van Halen if he were to come over to your cookout?
Grilled meats over wood charcoal, which, by the way, goes fantastically with Santo Mezquila — either straight or in a margarita. Something about the sweet smokiness of Santo and the smokiness of the meat, boom!
Good to know! So, with all of this partying on deck, what’s your go-to hangover remedy?
Well, I don’t get hangovers because there’s no reason to drink so much that you feel like shit the next day! That’s not where the party is — the party’s in getting your buzz on and maintaining it. Keep one foot on the brake and you’ll be fine.
What are your plans this summer—musically, business-wise and personally?
I encourage everyone to get out there and do what they can to help unify this country. This is the greatest country in the world and we have to get ourselves back on track by supporting one another and taking care of our youth because they will inherit the damage that we do to this country and this planet some day. Stay healthy and happy.