Although I consider myself fairly well-versed in spirits, the one thing that always seems to be missing from my drink repertoire is celebrity branding. Today, there is no shortage of celebrity-owned liquor companies. There are dozens of tequilas, mezcals, whiskeys, vodkas and gins created by or partly owned by various celebrities. From former WWE Champions to Oscar-winning actors, you can choose a spirit backed by someone famous across the spectrum of fame. I mean, why wouldn’t I want to try a tequila behind George Clooney, right?
Sifting through the veritable encyclopedia of celebrity-backed liquor brands can be a daunting task (there were so many more options than I imagined), so I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a consolidated list of best tastes, weirdest and weirdest. most compelling options available on the market today. After all, it’s easy to put a celebrity’s name on a bottle of liquor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be good. So whether you’re looking for a last-minute birthday gift for your favorite whiskey connoisseur in your group of friends or just looking for a quality spirit to add to your home bar, this list has you covered.
It may not be the most coveted tequila in the world, but it quickly became one of the most recognizable brands with former WWE wrestler turned box office star and muscle wall Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as owner and spokesperson. Teremana is by no means perfect, but it East it is worth trying it considering the affordable price. This is especially the case when you consider the millions (and MILLIONS) of The Rock fans who just want to support his efforts.
Moving slightly from the square circle of pro wrestling to the octagon with former UFC champion Conor McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey. Conceived by McGregor as his own take on his house’s whiskey style, Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey is a solid spirit with an easy-drinking flavor although it doesn’t stand out from other Irish whiskeys at the same price point. However, at around $30 for a 750 milliliter bottle, the drink could be a perfect option on fight night.
Outside of their signature blue meth on breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, Walt and Jesse respectively, have cooked up something a little less illegal and a whole lot tastier. Their off-screen collaboration Dos Hombres Joven Mezcal is nearly as addictive in spirit as their on-screen chemistry. Mezcal has a distinctive smoky flavor that works great as a base for some high-end cocktails or even on its own with nothing more than a glass and ice as mixers. Although a bit more expensive than The Rock’s Teremana at $63 a bottle, this Mezcal is well worth the price.
While Ryan Reynolds is perhaps best known for playing Deadpool, the actor has kept busy with a number of side projects, including Mint Mobile, his cell phone service, and Aviation Gin. A fairly straightforward gin with a dry profile and a number of floral notes, Reynolds liqueur is a solid addition to any tonic glass. Aviation Gin was well established before Reynolds bought his stake, but saw a significant increase in popularity afterwards. At just $30 a bottle, Aviation Gin is definitely a great addition to any household with a gin and tonic fan.
Jay-Z stopped being just a hip-hop artist a long time ago, but his work with Bacardi has led to incredibly lucrative results. D’USSÉ VSOP Cognac is a liqueur that is not only supported by Jay-Z, but also offers his signature style. The spirit comes in a well-crafted bottle that is sure to impress all potential onlookers and satisfy potential tasters. The cognac is created in France and has a palette of sweet, honeyed flavors. So even if you have 99 problems, Cognac D’USSÉ VSOP will surely not be one of them. Spirits cost around $60 a bottle.
One of the most popular tequila brands in bars and restaurants (even without George Clooney’s heavy promotion), Casamigos Blanco is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. The tequila comes in a sleekly designed bottle and has a smooth taste that works well sipped on its own or mixed into a cocktail. Casamigos has become a household name everywhere, from fancy poolside bars to sticky-floor dives, for both its celebrity endorsement and easy-drinking flavor. At $50 a bottle, Clooney’s tequila is relatively affordable while still feeling like a premium spirit.
Moving away from Hollywood and back into the big world of sports, former tennis star Andy Roddick and NFL legend Peyton Manning teamed up with whiskey experts to create Sweetens Cove Tennessee Blended Straight Bourbon. Unlike most other celebrity-backed liquor brands, Sweetens Cove has gained significant recognition from critics and whiskey snobs. This bourbon is said to have a smooth vanilla finish that works great for straight sipping. This celebrity-backed spirit also comes with a price tag: a single bottle will run you around $200. However, if you are looking for a new addition to your whiskey collection, this one should surely impress.
All of his exes may be living in Texas, but country music star George Strait bought his new brand of tequila in Jalisco, Mexico, with surprisingly tasty results. Código 1530 Anejo Tequila is a major venture for the music legend who released a new song to go along with its launch, but tequila fans liked it as a premium option. Designed to have a silky, relatively smooth finish, the spirit has generated a growing following of fans who love the taste without ever hearing a line of Strait music.
Dan Akroyd’s comedy chops at SNL and on the big screen may have made him famous, but his greatest contributions to the world today came in the form of Bigfoot conspiracy theories and his own brand of liquor, Crystal Head Vodka. Vodka may have a more standard flavor profile according to most experts, but what it lacks in bold flavors it more than makes up for in a bold bottle. This vodka comes in a crystal skull bottle that comes in a variety of designs and colors that are sure to catch the eye of anyone scanning the bar.
Perhaps the most controversial spirit on the list, Kylie Jenner’s 818 Tequila Blanco has sparked a big conversation online about cultural appropriation and potential issues with celebrity liquor brands. That being said, Jenner’s influence on the tequila industry was felt very quickly, with 818 becoming an incredibly popular brand. If you want to try it out and judge for yourself, the spirit retails for around $46.
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