Breaking Bad co-stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have a mezcal brand now, and they made the announcement via a post on both of their Instagrams on July 9. The brand is called Dos Hombres, and it’s described as “real, artisanal Mezcal made by hand in Mexico.”
Fans have been speculating on what the duo have been up to since Cranston posted a ‘gram in June of two burros, then one of him and Paul walking through a tropical-looking river, then one of him drinking from a bowl. While many people thought a Breaking Bad movie announcement was impeding (and it still may be, for all we know), it looks like for now the only thing the two are collaborating on is their own line of booze. The Cranston-Paul collab is a joven (unaged) mezcal made from espadin, the most common type of agave used for mezcal. The flavor profile is described as having notes of apple, mango, local fruits, wood, and smoke.
Other than the celebrities behind the brand, mezcal doesn’t have much of a tie in with Breaking Bad. Whiskey was the typical drink for characters, with brands like Dimple Pinch, WhistlePig, and Knob Creek all making appearances. And the name doesn’t cheekily nod to the series either. The inspiration, according to the joint Instagram post, came when they were eating sushi in New York City and talking about life and what they could next do together. Paul suggested “a really special mezcal,” and Cranston responded, “You mean the liquor with a worm at the bottom?”
The talk led to them going to Oaxaca “to see if we could find” artisanal mezcal that is “so damn good even people who don’t think they like mezcal will love it.” Long story short, they had a “beautiful yet grueling search” through Oaxaca before finding “Our Mezcal” in a small village. The name Dos Hombres came from them being “two guys on a quest.”
Cranston and Paul aren’t the first two white male celebrities to go from learning what mezcal is to owning a brand and calling it their own in a space of a few years. They’re also far from the only celebrities to own a liquor brand. Their entry into the market of Mexico’s rapidly growing native spirit is anything but unique.
By all means, people should make what they love. When what they love is a culturally significant product made in small local communities, however, respect has to be given where it’s due. Other than noting that it’s made from agave that’s “hand-selected from the hillsides of a small village in Oaxaca” by “the legendary craftsmanship of the best Mezcal Masters in Oaxaca,” there’s no credit to the people who actually made Dos Hombres.
On Reserve Bar, where you can buy a bottle for $58, it’s described as “the product of multiple generations of proud Mezcal producers” who remain unnamed despite “embodying the very best of Mexico.”
Hopefully, credit is at some point given where credit is due. Until then, if you want to try sustainable mezcal sold by mezcaleros and people who have taken the time to learn from mezcaleros, give these five brands a try.