The actor's smooth spirit Teremana earned the top spot on PEOPLE's annual 50 Food Faves list for 2020

By Shay Spence
September 23, 2020 05:28 PM
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Photo by Michael Persico
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In between his intense workouts, filming schedule and time at home with his family, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been nurturing another passion: tequila.

The actor, 48, launched his own brand, Teremana, just before nationwide lockdowns began in March, and it’s been flying off shelves since. “I looked at this as an opportunity to create a tequila experience that brings people together in good times, not-so-good times and everything in between,” Johnson tells PEOPLE for our annual Food Faves issue, on stands Friday.

Smooth with hints of citrus and vanilla, the tequila is something he “spent years developing,” making multiple trips to Jalisco, Mexico, where the Teremana distillery is located.

"I felt like in order for the brand to have legitimate longevity, I had to learn and absorb the tequila business and history from day one, going to Mexico and spending time with the families who have been in the industry for generations," he says. “We went through 113 distillations before we perfected it.”

And while celebrity liquor companies have made plenty of headlines in recent years, with stars like George Clooney and Ryan Reynolds selling their brands for $1 billion and $610 million, respectively, Johnson says he's not trying to follow in the footsteps of his Hollywood peers.

"Ryan and George are my buddies, [but] I wasn’t inspired by them to explore my passion," he says. "I am, though, very very happy for them and their success in the spirits business."

"Teremana is a legacy brand for me," adds Johnson. "I’m going to work extremely hard to not only deliver legacy to our consumers but also I want to pass on this legacy to my children," adds Johnson, who is father to daughters Simone, 19, Jasmine, 4, and Tiana, 2.

The famously fit actor is known for his over-the-top pancake and French toast “cheat meals”—and makes his own booze-infused maple syrup—but he also says the liquor “aligns beautifully” with his diet. “Every bottle features nutritional information, making us one of the first spirits to do so,” he says.

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Though Johnson recently recovered from COVID-19 (as did his wife, Lauren Hashian, and their daughters Jasmine and Tiana), he has now returned to his regimented routine and shooting his upcoming Netflix movie Red Notice, which recently resumed filming.

“I wake up with the sunrise, advance my business, play with babies, kiss Lauren, work out, advance business, go to work, come back home, play with babies, kiss Lauren—maybe do a little more than kissing if we’re not exhausted,” he says. “And maybe I’ll shower. Maybe.”