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From telly to tequila

Comedian and TV actress Cleo Rocos talks about how a trip to the Mexico state of Jalisco and a taste of the national drink changed her life

Cleo Rocos AquaRiva

Cleo Rocos is a comedian and TV presenter but also tequila brand owner. Cleo had a long career as the TV sidekick of British comedy star Kenny Everett, until she went on a life-changing trip to Mexico, which inspired her to set up AquaRiva, her award winning tequila brand. 

Cleo decided to create her own tequila because she could not find a premium, smooth 100% agave tequila at an affordable price. Cleo’s 100% Agave AquaRiva tequila range is made from hand-selected eight-year-old Blue Weber agave plants and volcanic spring water from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico and has been awarded the Masters Medal, 3 Gold Medals and Best of the Best by

Cleo spent a year working with a master blender in Mexico, to create the three profiles of AquaRiva. She gives master classes in tequila and is a spirits judge. Cleo wanted to minimise the burn often found in tequila and leave the warmth and agave flavours. She says it’s a very long process to get right, reducing the burn and also reducing the methanol to a very, very low level, so really reducing the hangover people experience.

The label is an image of a couple dancing on the wing of an airplane. Cleo commissioned a 17-year-old art student who she met on the subway to paint the original.

This interview recorded by CNN International takes a look at the inspiration behind Cleo's tequila brand AquaRiva and the trip that changed her life. 

7 December 2015