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Lenny Kravitz is a true Renaissance man. The nine-time Grammy Award winning artist has amassed a host of accolades, platinum albums, and hits including “Fly Away” and “American Woman.” But Kravitz is more than his music. At his core, he’s a creative who loves to turn passion projects into thriving businesses by throwing himself into every aspect of the process from conception to release.
His 2003-founded company Kravitz Design focuses on commercial, residential and product creative direction and design; he’s a brand partner for Cadillac, most recently announcing that he will design his own Clestiq—the automaker’s ultra-luxe all-electric vehicle; and as Creative Director and photographer for Dom Pérignon, he’s made a name for himself in the world of fine spirits.
All of those projects have led him to his most recent endeavor as the new ambassador for Nocheluna Sotol, a rare and wild spirit originating from the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico. Harvested from the resilient sotol (Dasylirion) plant native to Chihuahua Mexico, Nocheluna Sotol is rooted in North Mexican heritage and the region’s natural elements.
Buy Nocheluna Sotol $71.99
Kravitz wasn’t actively seeking out a partnership with a liquor brand, but every element of the under-the-radar Mexican spirit was appealing to him.
“I live in Paris and I’m friends with different winemakers and Champagne makers—some of the top people in the business—so I’ve been in that world, but I was never looking to do anything like this,” he says. “There’s enough tequilas and gins and vodkas and things, but what intrigued me about this was that no one knows about it. It’s like this best kept secret and it’s so, so good. And then the people were so wonderful and gracious, and we decided to join forces. I wanted to introduce this on a global level.”
In order to properly understand everything about Nocheluna Sotol, its history and production, Kravitz took an off-the-beaten path journey to the place where it all began.
“I ended up going to Chihuahua in the middle of the desert—we’re talking like six, seven hours away from anything in the middle of nowhere,” he tells Rolling Stone. “If you’ve ever seen the old Road Runner cartoons, it looked like that. The flat mountaintops and desert all around,” he laughs. “I went to the plant where it’s all processed. I met the people, met the workers, met [fourth generation Master Vinatero] Don “Lalo” Eduardo Arrieta. I don’t speak much Spanish and he spoke no English, but we figured it out. It’s all been very organic.”
For Kravitz, this is no vanity project. He has become passionate about the product and the people who have been making it for generations.
“This is certainly not about me. This is about them—their culture, their art form. I just respect it and think it’s really wonderful,” he says. “I had a great experience taking a chance and traveling down there to investigate this.”
That spirit of adventure is a through line in Kravitz’s life, recently taking him deeper into a foray into acting. In fact, it was on the set of his upcoming film Shotgun Wedding (co-starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel) that he first sampled Sotol.
“I happened to be in the Dominican Republic filming with J.Lo when they sent the bottle to me. I was having dinner with a bunch of the cast, and I pulled it out and I poured myself a little glass, neat. I took a sip and I was immediately intrigued,” he says. “It was complex, and it had all of the notes that I love starting with the smokiness. I love smoke, whether it’s in food or fragrance or incense—anything—I love the essence of smoke. It was just really balanced and beautiful.”
The rest of the cast got in on the action, as well.
“We started playing around with it. There were all these fresh fruits on the table, so we mixed it with those. We chopped up a pineapple and started adding in different spices—really fun flavors.”
For the uninitiated, Kravitz explains that Sotol is closest to tequila or Mezcal. “It’s neither of those things, but it’s sort of the closest thing people can identify with,” he says. And how you drink it is up to you, but Kravitz has some suggestions.
“My initial answer is always neat to understand the flavors of the liquor on its own. With or without ice, you can really taste the complex levels,” he says. “We also have a signature drink called The Flyaway which is mixed with pineapple juice and Ancho Reyes and lime. It’s really refreshing. It enhances the flavor of the fruit while at the same time not losing its identity within the mixture.”
And while he’s a dedicated steward of Sotol, Kravitz has not neglected his day job. In fact, the singer says he made three albums during the pandemic, is putting the finishing touches on yet another one, and is about to start a fifth.
“I’m set for the next five years of putting out music and getting back on a world tour,” says the singer, who was two years into a three-year tour when Covid shut everything down. “I’m really anxious to put out this new music and get back on the road.”
The singer also drops a tease, sharing that he’s making a film that pairs with one of those albums, but when pressed for more, Kravitz is tight-lipped.
“That’s all I can tell you about that.”
Nocheluna Sotol retails for $80 and is currently available in Texas, California, New York, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, and New Mexico with plans for national and select international expansion by the end of the year. Find it online at ReserveBar.com.