Which Celebrity-Endorsed Liquors are Worth Trying?
Celebrities of all talents have been dipping their feet into the alcohol industry for years now, and some have been doing better than others. Some crowd favorites are in bars, cocktail lounges, and your local liquor stores, while others are more of collector’s items. To help you figure out which are worth trying, we gave a bit of our own insight on each.
The fun behind these bottles is that you can try new liquors based on who you adore or your favorite spirit. Many of these brands are a hobby for singers and actors, and you’ll find that some alcohols are even a reflection of their corresponding celebrities.
1. P. Diddy’s Ciroc
Some brands are made through creativity while others are strategic partnerships. Ciroc falls right under the latter.
“Ciroc sat on the shelves with minimal sales, but once it was endorsed and promoted by P Diddy, bottles flew off the shelves,” says the owner of Keg N Bottle, Tony Konja.
After being amplified by P Diddy himself, we’ve found that Ciroc has become a competitor to popular vodkas like Grey Goose and Belvedere.
2. DJ Khaled’s Belaire Champagne
This champagne was also an overnight retail success, with hundreds of cases being sold in our store after DJ Khaled promoted it. We understand why! It’s a perfect reflection of DJ Khaled’s lavish lifestyle. If you ’re a fan of his trending music, you’ll have to choose his bottles for the next celebration or take a look at his recently expanded portfolio: D’usse Cognac and Bumbu Rum.
3. Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum
A Hawaiian-inspired liquor that’s a little more rock-n-roll than others on the list. Sammy Hagar goes from being a vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, known for being a part of Van Halen, to creating a tropical rum—an unexpected twist that’s as sweet as a Hawaiian breeze.
Beach Bar Rum is a newer project for Hagar, but not his first alcohol brand. Back in 2008, Hagar successfully promoted Cabo Wabo tequila and sold it for $91 million over a 3-year period.
With that kind of track record, it’s worth giving Tommy Hagar’s cane rum or red head rum a try!
4. Pitbull’s Voli Vodka
This vodka’s branding is another that is crafted to resemble the celebrity it’s paired with. Voli, and Voli Light for those who prefer it is inspired and distilled in the trendsetting hometown of Pitbull—Miami, FL.
In our opinion, Voli isn’t as strong without the endorsement. Customers often buy it once solely because of its relation to Pitbull, but it has yet to be a repeat seller.
5. Justin Timberlake’s Sauza 901
This triple-distilled tequila is similar to Pitbull’s Voli—it’s another example of a pop star endorsing a bottom-of-the-barrel Sauza tequila. Sauza 901 may not be as smooth as his dance moves, but at least there’s a silver lining: it’s 100% agave.
6. E-40’s Line of Alcohol
E-40 has a mix of it all. This American rapper, originally notorious for his portfolio of collaborative music, now has one of the biggest selections of branded alcohol, including Sluricane, Earl Stevens Selections, E40 Malt Liquor, and Landy Cognac (partnered with Snoop Dogg).
From malt liquor to wine, we consider each to be premium for their respective categories. He stays true to his audience, tailoring the brands that he endorses and the brands he creates to them.
He’s even given us a shout out on Facebook and Twitter after personally noticing how much Earl Stevens we were selling in the store.
7. Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door Whiskeys
This whiskey is as tasteful as the artist’ music, and every note is carefully curated by Dylan himself. We’ve found that this brand has been tough to keep on the shelves, selling extremely well. It makes sense—all three expressions are premium and true to their styles.
8. Jay-Z’s Ace of Spades
Of the alcohols we’ve listed, Ace of Spades—also known as Armand de Brignac Champagne—is more of a collector’s item. When you see it in person, you’ll see that this bottle reeks of status. It’s literally gold, making you feel like a million bucks holding it up and bobbing your head to his music in the club.
9. Cee Lo Green’s TYKU
TYKU Premium Sake is known as a clean alternative to wine. It comes in multiple flavors like coconut nigori and a refreshing cucumber. Like many other celebrity endorsed brands, we can’t quite say Cee Lo’s name behind TYKU is pushing the sales.
10. George Clooney’s Casamigos
Clooney and his partner Randy Gerber (Cindy Crawford’s husband) refer to the creation of this tequila as an accident. Yet, it’s a definite success story. The group only sold an average of 36,000 cases a year. Compare that to bigger brands like Patron who sell 2.5 million cases a year. Despite this, they created good tequila, marketed it well, sold their brand for $1 billion, and became trendsetters for most of the people on this list. They just wanted to create the perfect tequila, and the end product became one for the books.
11. Channing Tatum’s Born and Bred
Like Clooney, Tatum wanted to find the best of a liquor, thus creating Born and Bred. It’s American made, distilled twenty times from Idaho potatoes and full of mixed reviews since its release in 2016. Some call it the best vodka they’ve had while others can’t quite stand the distinct smell.
12. Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin
Ryan Reynolds decided to get into the alcohol game just this past winter. He claims that “Aviation is the best tasting gin in the world,” but we’ll leave that up to you to decide! The 41-year-old purchased Aviation in February and will play an active role in the day-to-day business and oversee creative direction of the company.
13. Drake’s Virginia Black Whiskey
In a joint venture back in 2016, the Grammy-winning rapper launched an aged Bourbon Whiskey with spirits producer Brent Hocking. The spirit is smoother and sweeter than your average bourbon and somehow seems to embody the spirit and swagger of the award-winning songwriter himself. Overall, it’s a solid whiskey, and worth a try if you ever see it on the shelves.
14. Matthew McConaughey’s Longbranch Bourbon
McConaughey is not only the face of Wild Turkey, a Kentucky-based company, he’s also tasked with writing, starring in, and directing a series of TV and digital ad campaigns for it. He teamed up with the company’s Master Distiller earlier this year and hasn’t looked back since. The newest addition, called Longbranch, has a unique gusto and complexity from mesquite and oak charcoals. It has a deep, smoky flavor but still goes down smooth.
15. David Beckham’s Haig Club
The retired soccer star partnered up with British entrepreneur Simon Fuller to create this single grain Scotch whiskey bottled in a distinct blue square. The Haig brand has been creating fine whiskeys for nearly 400 years, and most of them have received rave reviews. Noted as an approachable and accessible whiskey, Haig Club has hints of tasty spice and toffee.
16. Robert De Niro’s Vdka 6100
De Niro, along with Australian casino mogul James Packer, backed the creation of this New Zealand whey-based vodka. It’s relatively smooth for a vodka and is actually a little citrusy. De Niro is known for being quite the entrepreneur, and this isn’t his only beverage-related investment, but we must say this one is worth a try.
17. Steven Soderbergh’s Singani 63
The Oscar-winning director first discovered this strange grape distillate while shooting Che in Bolivia. Light and versatile, Singani is a relatively unknown category of spirit to most Americans — one reason why it stands out in the crowded celebrity alcohol field.
18. Adam Levine & Sammy Hagar’s Santo Mezquila
The Maroon 5 frontman and former Van Halen member now have more than rock music in common: the pair bonded over their love of tequila and launched Santo Mezquila, the world’s first Mezquila (a combination of tequila and mezcal). By blending the two liquors, Hagar says they created “a higher spirit.” Some say it has a mild, honey-like taste to it, and might be a good introduction to mezcal for those who’ve never experienced it.
Why Celebrities Pitch Liquor?
If you think about it, it’s a complete win-win situation for the alcohol brand and the individual endorsing it. When a new brand is released, celebrities have multiple opportunities to advertise through their fans and the press.
In turn, celebrities benefit from the investment, whether they’re reaching new audiences or making money from sales. We mentioned that George Clooney did just this in his partnership with Casamigos. After going public in 2013, the brand took off and was quickly distributed. Soon after, the group sold this branded tequila with a $700 million guaranteed with a $300 million bonus, totaling to a $1 billion value.
With this as a prime example, we see that—despite no longer being with the brand—Clooney’s prior co-ownership gave the brand the limelight it needed to take off, and it continues to flourish for being a good tequila overall.
In the alcohol industry, a winning brand goes further than the craft. It goes into supporting the distribution and ensuring the right retailers are carrying it. In San Diego, local liquor store Keg N Bottle in Del Cerro offers multiple shelves with a wide selection of celebrity liquors, including many of the ones listed above. Not local to San Diego? We also offer many of these celebrity brand liquors in our online store KegNBottle.com.