Armando Christian Pérez—better known as Pitbull—is among the most successful entertainers on the planet, today. His stats are staggering. The rapper/singer/songwriter has sold nearly 8 million studio albums and over 100 million singles worldwide. Earlier this spring he notched his 15 billionth view on YouTube. Where does he go from here? The same place where all celebrities seemingly go these days: into the booze business, of course. The entertainer has officially announced a partnership with Espanita — an artisanal tequila handcrafted in the highlands of Jalisco.
In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Pitbull sheds some light on what got him into the liquor game. He also provides some insight into how—and where—he enjoys to tackle his tipples. Read on below…
Tell us more about your involvement with Espanita Tequila. What is your role with the brand? When did you get involved?
Pitbull: I believe in the law of attraction. I was first introduced to Espanita by one of my business partners. After I first tried this tequila, I realized it was really great tasting tequila and was excited about getting involved with this brand as its global brand ambassador and creative advisor. Now, we’re partners and I’m looking forward to the journey together.
What attracted you to tequila, specifically? Have you always been a tequila fan?
Pitbull: I have always loved tequila because whenever there’s tequila around you know the cocktails will be great!
Tequila has never been more popular than it is today. Was is it about Espanita, specifically, that stands out in a crowd?
Pitbull: Espanita is about having a good time with a great spirit. I especially love Espanita because it’s packaged in beautiful bottles. Yet all 3 expressions are uniquely distinct, and you feel great the next day after drinking it, which is very important. Like many other people, my first experiences with tequilas were with “mixtos” and there is a huge difference between “mixto” and 100% Blue Agave tequila produced in traditional ways, such as Espanita.
What is your favorite age expression of Espanita, and how do you like to drink it?
Pitbull: My favorite expression is Espanita Reposado: it has strong Agave presence with added complexity that the spirit gets through six months of barrel-aging. I love the Espanita Reposado chilled with salt on the rim but I’m always down for a shot!
Are you into the cocktail scene at all? What is the one tequila cocktail that you would happily have over and over again?
Pitbull: Generally, I enjoy sipping Espanita neat or on the rocks but here are times I enjoy cocktails – for example, Espanita Tequila is amazing in a Bloody Mary.
Do you have any places—either cities, regions, or specific bars—that have blown you away with their cocktails? What’s your favorite drinking destination in the world?
Pitbull: During one of my European tours, I was fortunate enough to perform in Stockholm. There’s this great place called the Beirut Café – the atmosphere is really lively! My favorite drinking destination isn’t a destination, it’s about the people I’m with. We can be anywhere and as long as there’s good music, good food, and Espanita.
Name one city or country that really surprised you with their love of tequila and their cocktail culture.
Pitbull: I have to say Mexico; no matter what city we travel Monterrey, Mexico City, Tijuana or Guadalajara. In this country Tequila is rooted in the culture and is a respected spirit with the expression of a good time.
What bar tools do you use at home?
Pitbull: I am a very simple guy. I don’t use any fancy bar tools. I typically mix my drinks using two cups and pouring them back and forth. I enjoy my drinks chilled so I make sure to use a lot of ice.
You’re famously known as Mr. Worldwide. How have you been coping with this time period in which being worldwide isn’t exactly possible?
Pitbull: I always say in the word “impossible” is “possible.” That’s why I put out “I Believe That We Will Win” which is really an anthem of positivity for getting through this time. Seeing first responders and fans around the world react to the message makes me feel so proud. Together, we will get through this. During this time, I have also focused on giving back. I partnered with the Global Entrepreneurship Network and Hello Alice to start the Hispanic Small Business Center. It directly benefits Latino entrepreneurs to be able to keep their small businesses alive.
Where are you most excited to go to (outside of Miami) once we can all travel around the globe freely again? And what will you do once you get there?
Pitbull: I can’t wait to be able to travel around the world again. Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to go around the globe and see so many different countries and experience so many different cultures. I can’t wait to be able to go to the Dominican Republic, Europe, the Far East or the Bahamas, let loose with some Espanita, and have a good time.
Originally published on Forbes.com