Q: After 20 years of serving alcohol, why make your own?
A: My bartenders kept telling me there isn’t a great white rum. It’s known for mixing, but there wasn’t one you could drink on the rocks, with a lime. So I called up Destileria Serrallés.
Q: This is the Puerto Rican distillery?
A: Yeah. They are the godfathers of rum—been doing it since the 1800s and it’s still family-run. Our rum, Caliche—I call it Cali—is a blend of three-, four- and five-year rums: It took us about three years to find the perfect blend.
Q: Your bars have such buzz.
A: It’s all about the ambiance. I create an atmosphere. The music, lighting—I’m a bit of a control freak. I keep the area small, so you don’t have to go far to talk to a friend or to grab a fresh drink—the same way I entertain at home.
Q: But, at home, how do you get rid of those who just won’t go?
A: We don’t! If Cindy or I get tired, we say good night. Our friends may stay, sit around the fire pit.
Q: Why bring Café Habana to Malibu?
A: I did it a bit selfishly. We wanted a place to entertain outside of our home—a local hangout. Habana is that: You get surfers; you get families. There’s a real beachy vibe, and the grilled corn is like crack.
Q: Does anyone in Malibu not surf?
A: Nobody I know. I’m actually watching my son surf from my window right now.
Q: We hear a tequila with George Clooney is next.
A: Sorry: strict orders not to talk about that! But when I can, I promise you’ll be my first call.
Rande Gerber Memorabilia
1980: A 1985 graduate of the University of Arizona, Gerber gets his start as a Ford model.
1992: Ushers in South Beach cool with a club in the Carlyle; success in L.A., with the Sunset Marquis and SkyBar at the Mondrian, quickly follows.
1998: Weds Cindy Crawford in a discreet beachfront ceremony in the Bahamas. The bride wore Galliano; both went barefoot.
2012: Now running his nightlife empire from Malibu, where he opened the West Coast location of Café Habana, Gerber introduces his rum: Caliche.
Recipe: Cali Ginger
2 oz. Caliche rum
3/4 oz. agave syrup
3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Gosling’s ginger beer
Mix rum, syrup and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Pour over ice in a highball glass, and top with ginger beer.
Tip: Gerber says this drink is best served extra cold, so give the shaker about 20 shakes.