Wine & Spirits: A Chat with ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’

by Catherine Trifiletti

On National Tequila Day, it felt only fitting we catch up with Jonathan Goldsmith, now brand ambassador for Astral Tequila. 

Ah tequila-  a drinker’s best friend or worst enemy. For those who had that “one bad experience” in college, we’re here to remind you there’s a better way to enjoy the beverage beyond mindless shots of rail hooch. According to Jonathan Goldsmith, better known as “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” the Mexican-produced spirit is best enjoyed on the rocks with lime. No fuss. The former face of Dos Equis traded beer for booze when he signed on as an equity partner and ambassador for Astral Tequila, a brand developed by Master Sommelier Richard Betts to pay homage to the old-world methods of tequila production. The blanco tequila is sustainably farmed using 100% pure organic blue agave grown in a mountainous region of Jalisco, Mexico. Traditional fermentation and distillation processes give the spirit a smooth, refreshing finish, successfully showcasing the natural flavors of the agave plant. As a bonus, Astral is more bang for your buck at 92 proof as opposed to the typical 80 proof tequila varieties.

When the 79-year old isn’t relaxing on his fishing boat atop the serene lakes of Vermont he is out meeting fans, signing bottles and of course, enjoying the “pleasant high” of drinking tequila. In the spirit of National Tequila Day we spoke to Goldsmith and found out tequila drinkers have more fun. Clips from Astral’s marketing campaign end with Goldsmith exclaiming, “This calls for tequila!” and we can’t think of a better day to follow through with that ambition. “Stay thirsty, my friends.”

What was the craziest part of your experience working with Dos Equis?
To think that I was a garbage man at one point in my young life and then I ended up as the personal guest of the president of the United States, Obama, at his birthday party with 10 of his best friends in the world at Camp David. (More on that HERE)
I’m the chair person for Make-A-Wish Foundation in Vermont. For someone to become an icon, which they tell me I am, to go from someone always being on the fringe to having a platform. I think that’s pretty crazy!

Do you notice a difference between being a beer and tequila brand ambassador?
There is a distinction without much difference. When you like what you’re doing and believe in it then it makes a big difference. I’m after Clooney’s record.
If anyone’s up to the task… 
I try!
What makes you interesting?
Well, I think you would have to ask other people.
Fair. What do you think makes other people interesting?
To be interesting, you have to be interested. Most people live that quiet life of desperation trying to get by, not having the wherewithal or the interest to branch out, or not having the ability, you know sometimes circumstances lock one into a drone situation day to day, just trying to get by. I think you just have to get out, take the time to get away emotionally and sometimes physically and experience. You know, I’m going to be 80 years old so the wonders never cease and the time is not enough for me. So, I would say just take the time-  read more, do more, travel more, experience more.
Beyond the classic glass of Astral on the rocks, Goldsmith has high praise for this recipe adapted from Silver Fork restaurant in Manchester, Vermont.
Winter Bramble
Muddle mint and blackberries
Shot and a half of Astral
Lime juice
simple syrup
On the rocks

Quick Note on Tequila:

The first step is spending a few more bucks on the good stuff that you can actually sip on without inducing a montage of bad memories (Astral is $40 a bottle for reference). It is important to choose tequilas that are made from 100% agave, otherwise you are looking at loads of added sugar (read: massive hangover). The hierarchy looks like this: gold, silver (blanco), reposado, añejo or extra añejo. The last three iterations are aged in barrels which gives them a caramel hue and work well as a sipping drink.


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