Together NOW:
Dos Hombres’ Aaron Paul & Bryan Cranston

Words: Chekii Harling. 

We meet the Hollywood stars to discuss their quest to find the world’s best mezcal.


Words: Chekii Harling. 

We meet the Hollywood stars to discuss their quest to find the world’s best mezcal.

What makes two successful American actors take a road trip to one of the most remote villages in Mexico?

Mezcal. Not being drunk on it (at least not at the time) but having a genuine love for the complex character of this relatively obscure spirit.

Aaron introduced it to Bryan, and soon the longtime friends and co-stars felt compelled to introduce mezcal – tequila’s older, tougher, eccentric, but much less famous brother – to a larger audience.

We caught up with the inimitable duo to talk about their working relationship, manufacturing without technology, and the most memorable nights they’ve spent together drinking their all-time-favourite tipple. 

What are each of your roles at the brand, and how do they interact? 

AP: On paper, I’m the President, and Bryan is the Treasurer. We share every single decision. Bryan and I love moulding this beautiful company into what you see today.

BC: We’re still a very small team; we’re the dos hombres, and we have other hombres who work the day-to-day. We just hired a third person, making the team five, but “Cinco Hombres” isn’t as catchy a name. Everyone wears different hats to do whatever it takes, and I couldn’t be prouder of our growing team.

Can you paint a picture of your first experience drinking mezcal — where were you and who were you with?

AP: One night, a buddy ordered cocktails, and, when I tasted mine, I couldn’t place the spirit. It was a smoky and spicy Margarita. That’s when I really fell in love with mezcal. I look at mezcal as tequila’s older and more sophisticated sibling. I started substituting all my spirits with mezcal whenever ordering cocktails, and it just instantly makes it that much more interesting and far superior to a tequila cocktail.

BC: Years ago, when I was in high school, my friends and I would play poker once a month. We’d buy a bunch of cheap beer and a bottle of whatever was also inexpensive – which was usually mezcal with a worm at the bottom of the bottle. This particular mezcal was awful. It was something we made each other drink when you told a bad joke, spilled something or were late. It wasn’t until Aaron reintroduced me to the spirit that I learned how good mezcal really was. 



Aaron and I are two guys from working-class families who have enjoyed good fortune through hard work – so Dos Hombres just seemed to fit our sensibilities.

– Bryan Cranston
How would you describe Dos Hombres’ mezcal?

AP: It’s a smoky spirit that ups anyone’s game when mixing cocktails. I prefer it on a large ice cube, myself, but love getting creative with cocktails. It’s slightly smoky but not overbearing in the slightest. It’s incredibly smooth with a subtle bite at the end. 

BC: If you like spirits, you’ll like Dos Hombres. Whether you’re someone that drinks a spirit neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail, Dos Hombres is something that’s a little different, unique and something we simply love to drink over other spirits. Our mezcalero [a person who produces mezcal], Gregorio, uses the old-world method in making Dos Hombres. No modern technology can be used in the process, and it’s still granted the label “artesanal”. We’re very proud of that.

What is unique about Dos Hombres’ take on the traditional Mexican tipple?

AP: We love all things mezcal: we love the process and the community behind this beautiful spirit. What sets Dos Hombres apart is the smoothness of the mezcal. Lots of mezcals on the market are simply too harsh. We wanted to create a mezcal that everyone would love, even if they are new to the space. It’s inviting but has a slight smoke – that’s something people love about the spirit.

BC: From day one, we knew if it wasn’t perfect, we wouldn’t pursue it. Aaron and I have different palates when it comes to spirits. The secret that makes Dos Hombres truly special is the versatility and uniqueness in terms of being a spirit that’s neutral. It’s not overly smoky, it’s not too high or too low in ABV [alcohol by volume], it can be had neat, on the rocks and doesn’t get lost in a cocktail. 

What is special to you about Mexico, where mezcal is produced?

AP: The people, the community, the process – all of it, to be completely honest. I have lived this spirit for many years now. Getting to know the community who makes the spirit in Oaxaca and falling in love with the landscape has given me a deep-rooted appreciation for the process of making this beautiful spirit.

BC: Unlike many countries, the people in Mexico and in the village where we produce it don’t necessarily do business with you for the sake of doing business. When we first met Gregorio, we couldn’t even talk business before we broke bread and got to know each other. It’s just one of many instances that points to how beautiful the culture is in Mexico, and how special the people are.

How did you initially come across the San Luis del Rio region, and why is it considered to have superior growing conditions for the agave plant?

AP: San Luis del Rio sits among lush mountainsides, and that is ideal with agave. Mezcal is like fine wine: the agave plants mirror what grapevines thrive in. They need the slope of the mountain to allow the rain to drench the plants and then quickly get away from the roots. They’re perfect conditions.

BC: We were feeling a little deflated, thinking we would never find the mezcal we in our minds thought was perfect. During one of our trips to Oaxaca, San Luis del Rio was actually a last-minute trip through a mutual friend of our partners. Our maestro mezcalero wasn’t even meant to be in town the day we visited. It’s become one of our favourite places in the world. Truly unique and made up of a few hundred people – no cell service or Wi-Fi, and only one landline phone. In fact, at our palenque [distillery] there is no electricity or running water – that’s how rural and preserved this village is.


What sets Dos Hombres apart is the smoothness of the mezcal…we wanted to create a mezcal that everyone would love.

– Aaron Paul
What inspired the design of the bottle and its label?

AP: Donkeys are a pivotal part of the entire operation. After the agave is cooked, the donkeys have the job of mashing it up using a giant stone wheel in a pit called a tahona. We love our donkeys very much.

BC: We used Dos Hombres as a placeholder when we first had the idea for the company. Frankly, it stuck, and it wasn’t easy, but we were able to secure the name for the company. It suits us. Aaron and I are two guys from working-class families who have enjoyed good fortune through hard work – so Dos Hombres just seemed to fit our sensibilities.

Traditionally, mezcal is served straight, yet it’s become a popular base for cocktails. How would you recommend drinking it?

AP: Either straight up or on the rocks. If you find a beautiful mezcal, then there is no need to mask the purity with other flavours. With that said, I love making cocktails with it so don’t listen to me.

BC: Our mezcal is made from the Espadin agave, and because there is an abundance of mango trees in and around this village, we definitely can taste the fruit and earthy elements in this spirit. So, I like to have what has quickly become one of our most popular cocktails: The Cranstonian. Aaron gets on me for naming it that, but there’s a reason… cranberry juice. It’s 1oz Dos Hombres, 1oz cranberry juice, 1oz of fresh lime juice and 1/2oz Aperol. Shake the ingredients and strain over one huge ice cube in a rock glass, and you have The Cranstonian.

The Big Yellow Breeze 

An exclusive Selfridges cocktail recipe brought to you by Dos Hombres

What is your personal favourite food pairing when drinking mezcal? 

AP: Anything Mexican. Mexico is full of beautiful flavours, strong spices and wonderful fruits. Any taco night or a beautiful fish on the BBQ goes incredibly well with mezcal. 

BC: I love Dos Hombres with my morning breakfast – bagel, eggs, etc. Actually, no, that would indicate that I have a problem…. I can’t think of anything better than fresh Mexican street tacos (with guacamole and jalapeño) and a Dos Hombres cocktail. Delicioso!


Have you had any memorable nights out enjoying mezcal? Fill us in.

AP: The most important one I can think of at the moment is when Bryan and I came up with this crazy idea of launching what is now Dos Hombres. He and I were having sushi in New York, and, long story short, we started talking about mezcal and the growing appetite for mezcal. We ordered a few mezcal cocktails, and the rest is history.

BC: That’s exactly right. We were catching up in NYC and were going back and forth on doing a project together. We felt it was too soon to do something on-screen or onstage, and Aaron said, “why don’t we get into the booze business?” It’s that night that we went out and drank mezcal. That was the birth of what would become Dos Hombres.


The secret that makes Dos Hombres truly special is the versatility and uniqueness… it can be had neat, on the rocks and doesn’t get lost in a cocktail.

– Bryan Cranston
What have you learned since launching Dos Hombres the brand, and what are your hopes for the label’s future?

AP: I have learned that I am in love with this business and the people that make up this industry. I love building something from the ground up with one of my best friends on the planet and not stopping until we are available around the globe. I have fallen in love with the people of Mexico even more, and I look forward to the day that we can raise a glass with our entire operation and celebrate all the hard work we have done together to make this dream a reality.

BC: I am humbled by how much I don’t know about the business, and I’m challenged to learn it. I feel a sense of competition – to build this brand to the point where Dos Hombres is the mezcal that everyone can name. I feel that it deserves to be among the best in the world. That’s my goal – it’s huge, I know, but I believe in the product and the team we have assembled. We are eager to share Dos Hombres with the world.

I have fallen in love with the people of Mexico…the community behind this beautiful spirit.

- Aaron Paul