We’re not here to hate on celebrity alcohol brands. If we had limitless resources, who among us wouldn’t sit back, take a sip of whiskey or tequila and say, “you know, I bet I could make this”? It’s shocking how many popular brands have some celebrity involvement, like 50 Cent and Effen Vodka or Diddy and Ciroc. Less surprising is how many brands we’ve never seen once in either a bar or liquor store. This list of the “best” is some combination of good booze and celebrities we just like.
#1. Crystal Head Vodka/Slovenia Vodka | Dan Aykroyd/Bill Murray
We’re giving the No.1 spot as a tie to half of the Ghostbusters. Is their vodka good? Eh. We have to give it to Ackroyd for coming up with something that’s at least recognizable. Slovenia Vodka lands somewhere between forgettable and bad. There’s a lost opportunity for Bill Murray to release an apricot brandy like Venkman sips while inspiring Ray to strike out and create the Ghostbusters.
#2. Casamigos Tequila | George Clooney
Casamigos was founded by Clooney and two friends back in 2013. It’s such a good celebrity tequila brand that they sold to Diageo for a staggering $1 billion a few years ago. When they developed the tequila, they just wanted something they could drink all day without feeling like crap. And, since Clooney was already rich and famous, he reportedly didn’t care about making a bunch of money off it. Casamigos is still an excellent, affordable tequila.
#3. Skinnygirl Margarita | Bethenny Frankel
Skinnygirl Margarita came out of nowhere – literally nowhere. It took Bethenny Frankel just six months from idea to product release. Despite zero interest from liquor companies or publicists, she achieved breakaway success and sold the celebrity alcohol brand to Beam back in 2011. She’s still a presence in the Skinnygirl empire, which now includes vodka, cocktails, and wine.
#4. Aviation Gin | Ryan Reynolds
It’s hard not to find Ryan Reynolds likable after his fourth-wall-breaking self-deprecating portrayal of Deadpool. But even if you see him as more abrasive and annoying, Aviation Gin is a spirit well-deserving of the attention he’s bringing to it. He bought a large share of the brand from the distillery that produces it, House Spirits Distillery, but has almost no influence on the spirit’s actual production.
#5. Mansinthe Absinthe | Marilyn Manson
We just appreciate Marilyn Manson not shying away from corny wordplay with a pretentious alcohol brand. Manson used to be a fan of the spirit, which was a hallucinogenic 150 years ago. These days it’s just a super-herbaceous high-ABV spirit that’s only appealing to people who love black licorice.
#6. Longbranch Bourbon | Matthew McConaughey
Fitting perfectly with McConaughey’s post-True Detective branding of Lincolns and introspective memoirs, Longbranch Bourbon is for the pensive gentleman weighed down by modern contrivances. McConaughey has enough cred to rise above the usual celebrity-booze-derision; he’s been associated with Wild Turkey as a creative director for a while now. He’s worked for a few years on the Longbranch brand, which takes many of its cues from Gentleman Jack.
#7. Heaven’s Door Whiskey | Bob Dylan
Remember when Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature? The committee cited their reasoning as “for having created new poetic expression within the great American song tradition.” Which is to say, sometimes Bob Dylan is overrated. His whiskey isn’t, though. It’s three sourced whiskeys blended and aged a second time in toasted oak. And while overpriced, if you’re a Dylan fan, Heaven’s Door won’t disappoint.
#8. Danny DeVito’s Lemoncello | Danny DeVito
Here’s a perfect pairing of actor and spirit. And, as far as limoncello goes, it’s good! Worth keeping a bottle in your freezer for sharing with friends.
#9. Thunderstruck Tequila | AC/DC
AC/DC has a small celebrity alcohol brand selection, with a pre-packaged bourbon and cola, a German-style beer, and a wine collection. We highlighted Thunderstruck Tequila because of the ridiculous name and to provide some perspective about why we’re such fans of Clooney’s brand.
#10. Conjure Cognac | Ludacris
Ludacris blends the Cognac or, at least, “participates” at the French distillery, which is more than most celebrity liquor brands can say (looking at you AC/DC). He also recommends it with a splash of cola, which is kind of charming. The bottle is gorgeous, and you don’t see a lot of celebrities brave enough to get in the Cognac game instead of settling for safer spirits like vodka.
Honorable mention: Dennis Rodman Badass Premium Vodka
Initially named “Bad Boy” vodka for the bad boy of basketball, Rodman forced a rebrand at the last moment. It doesn’t exist anymore, but the tribal-tattoo/Chicago Bulls logo bottle earned a post-mortem honorable mention.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash