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17 Celebrity Drinks Brands You Need To Know About

September 2, 2020 by Bryony Maiklem

These days it’s common for celebrities to work as brand ambassadors and it’s easy to understand why when they can earn more from these deals than they can from films and concerts.

Penelope Cruz receives $2 million a year in her role as spokesperson for L’Oreal and George Clooney reportedly earned $40 million from his position as brand ambassador for Nespresso (we’d have done it for less). Some celebs have gone even further and invested their own money into brands they support or even created their own.

Not all A-lister endorsements have been winners (remember Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi faux-pas) but when they get it right, both the brand and the celeb can make a big profit.

Here’s our pick of the best celebrity-owned, endorsed and created drinks brands.

Tequila and Mezcal

George Clooney – Casamigos Tequila

Casamigos, meaning house of friends, gets its name from the property in Mexico its creators share. It was at this house that George, businessman Rande Gerber (husband of Cindy Crawford) and property developer Mike Meldman played around with the idea of creating their own tequila.

Having spent a few months trying different brands, they decided to make one that tasted just right for them. It took them 2 years to get it right.

Initially, it was just for themselves, family and friends. However, their distillery told them that they were drinking 1,000 bottles a year and they were going to need a commercial license if they wanted to continue making it.

They got their license in 2013, and the company grew from there. In 2017 they sold the brand to Diageo for $700 million with the potential for another $300 million in the following 10 years (depending on the brand’s performance). Well done George!

Casamigos is available in Blanco, Reposado and Anejo varieties and it’s RRP is roughly £50 for a 700ml bottle. Learn more about Casamigos on the website.

Dwayne Johnson – Teremana Small Batch Tequila

In the making for a while, Teremana finally launched earlier this year. It was developed by Siete Bucks Spirits and led by Johnson with ex-wife Dany Garcia and industry vets Jenna Fagnan and Ken Austin.

The name has Polynesian roots and roughly translates as ‘spirit of the earth’. This respect for nature is present throughout the brand. It is made in a small town called Jalisco in Mexico using local businesses and practices to be as sustainable as possible. They even turn the left-over agave fibres into organic fertilizer.

Currently available in two types; Blanco and Reposado, it retails at roughly £25. Unfortunately, it’s not available in the UK yet. You can find out more about it on the website.

Want to learn more about sustainable drinks? Read our guide to sustainable cocktails.

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul – Dos Hombres

The Breaking Bad co-stars have launched their own artisanal mezcal. They thought up the idea a few years ago while discussing future career endeavours and, luckily for us, they followed through.

Launched last summer, it’s already doing better than their on-screen business venture. Dos Hombres is made with a blend of Espadin agave, hand-selected from the hillsides of a small village in Oaxaca, Mexico. It has already won approval from critics.

It’s great to see Cranston and Paul breaking good for a change.

Now available in the UK, a bottle will set you back just under £70. See more on the website.

Justin Timberlake – Sauza 901 Tequila

JT launched his tequila brand in 2009 and then relaunched in 2014 in partnership with Sauza.

Named Sauza 901 in homage to his hometown postcode in Memphis, Tennessee, it’s triple distilled and super smooth (just like Timberlake himself).

Sadly, it seems like it is no longer available but here’s some proof it existed:

 

Whiskey

Matthew McConaughey – Wild Turkey Longbranch Whiskey

McConaughey has been the creative director at Wild Turkey since 2016 and is paid $4 million annually for that honour.

In 2018 he added one of his own products to their range.

Longbranch symbolises the extension of a hand or an invitation from the Russell Family (the owners of Wild Turkey) in Kentucky to McConaughey in Texas. McConaughey is the first person outside of the Russell family to have their name on a bottle of Wild Turkey.

The whiskey itself is influenced by McConaughey’s Texas routes. It took 2 years to perfect and uses 8-year-old bourbon that’s been filtered twice (first through white oak charcoal then Texas mesquite charcoal).

A 750ml bottle costs £37. Find out more about Longbranch on the Wild Turkey website.

David Beckam – Haig Club

In 2014, Beckham partnered with Simon Fuller and Diageo to launch Haig Club. They wanted to bring a cool, more animated character to scotch, which has a reputation as a stuffy old man’s drink.

Haig has a long history. First distilled in 1824, it quickly became one of the more popular scotch whiskey brands. Haig Club was their first new offering in over 30 years. Aimed at converting a new generation of drinkers to scotch whiskey.

Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whiskey is available from £35. Check out their website for more information.

Drake – Virginia Black Whiskey

Drake co-created Virginia Black with Brent Hocking, the man responsible for DeLeon Tequila. A shared passion for style, music, and the pursuit of taste inspired their quest to redefine whiskey.

Launched in 2016, it’s a luxury bourbon that’s smoother and sweeter than its competitors (classic Drake).

It’s RRP is between £40-£45 for a 750ml bottle. Learn more about Virginia Black on its website.

Vodka

Dan Aykroyd – Crystal Head Vodka

The Canadian actor and comedian launched his own range of vodka in 2007 with artist John Alexander. You might recognise it from its distinctive skull-shaped bottle.

Quadruple distilled and filtered 7 times (3 of them through diamonds), it’s one of the purest vodkas around. It’s pure spirit with nothing added to enhance or mask the flavour.

RRP – £40 (available in the UK at Oddbins and Selfridges). Check out the website for more information.

Kate Hudson – King St. Vodka

The small number of women who own drinks brands (sadly reflected in the composition of this article) inspired Kate Hudson to start her own. Relishing the creative and business challenge she set out to create a vodka that represented her love of socialising and bringing people together.

King St. is gluten-free and crafted using alkaline water and distilled 7 times. Plus, the artwork on the bottle is exquisite.

It retails at £23 but is not available in the UK. More information available on the website.

Diddy – Cîroc Vodka

Sean Combs (perhaps better known by one of his many stage names, including Diddy, and Puff Daddy), partnered with Cîroc in 2007 to help them develop their brand.

Cîroc, which differs from over vodkas as it is derived from grapes, initially struggled to break into the market, only selling 40,000 cases per year.

For a meagre 50% of their profit, Combs agreed to become the brand manager for Cîroc. With free product placement and Diddy appearing in their adverts, Cîroc’s exposure exploded, as did their sales.

Cîroc is now a household name. They sold 1.8 million cases in 2019, so there’s no doubt Diddy made a savvy investment.

A 700ml bottle of Cîroc will cost you £29. Find out more on the Cîroc website.

If you’re looking to find out about some British-made vodkas, check out our handy guide to the best 5.

Wine

Cameron Diaz – Avaline Wine

Along with business partner Katherine Power (founder of fashion brand Who What Wear), Cameron Diaz released a range of organic, vegan and responsibly sourced wine earlier this year.

Power and Diaz were troubled by the lack of transparency of wine labels and appalled when they learned more about the winemaking process and commercial farming practices. This motivated them to create their own, free from any unnecessary extras. It fits in well with the wellness’ trend influencing the drinks industry.

The name, from a list of Diaz’s potential baby names, means sensitive, humble and lively, all ideals they want their wine to stand for.

Added bonus, it’s delicious, at least according to Diaz!

Available online in the US from £15. Learn more about Avaline on the website.

Dave Matthews – Dreaming Tree Wine 

Dave Matthews named his band after himself and his wine after his music.

The owner of Blenheim vineyard in Virginia since 2000, Matthews launched his own wine label in 2011 in collaboration with winemaker Sean McKenzie.

They aimed to make quality wine affordable to everyone and as environmentally friendly as possible. Each label is made from recycled paper and the bottles are made lighter than standard to reduce the amount of fuel needed for transportation.

The wine has won several awards and now includes five varieties: crushed red blend, chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc.

All the varieties sell for £11.50 on the Dreaming Tree website. A selected range is available in the UK for the higher price of £35.90. Check out the website for more information.

Post Malone – French Riviera Rosé Maison No9

‘Rosé is for when you want to get a little fancy’ – Post Malone

Post Malone was probably feeling a lot fancy when he launched his own rosé earlier this summer in partnership with James Morrissey and Dr Dre. It’s a delight to see the three of them riding pink scooters through the promotional material.

The brand feels high-end with an undeniably Post Malone flair. It’s named after his favourite tarot card, the nine of swords (which appears on the bottle), and represents overcoming daily challenges.

Currently available in the US for $22. Learn more on the website.

Francis Ford Coppola – Francis Ford Coppola Wine

Winemaking is in the Coppola family genes. Francis Coppola’s grandfather, Agostino, used to make wine in the basement of his apartment building. Now it’s on a slightly grander scale.

Francis bought a Nappa Valley winery way back in 1975 and created his first vintage 2 years later. Then in 2006, he bought the property that would become Francis Ford Coppola Winery. The winery now produces 10 different wine brands.

The vineyard, inspired by Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is (usually) open to the public and aims to be a place the whole family can enjoy. As well as the obligatory wine tasting, there’s music, dancing, games, swimming and live performances.

Prices vary from £8 to £90 with several options in between. Browse the whole selection on the website.

The Best of the Rest

Danny DeVito – Limoncello

It was an unusual choice for a celebrity endorsement, but DeVito seems to have believed in it as he put his name on the bottle.

Danny Devito’s Limoncello featured a scratch and sniff label, had good reviews and even inspired this song.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. #BringItBack

Hanson Brothers – Hanson Brothers Beer Co. 

The Hanson brothers are a talented lot. On top of their music career, they’ve found time to start their own beer company. And before you ask, there is one called Mmmhops.

Since 2013 they’ve been providing America with their award-winning beer, and in 2014, they started the Hop Jam Beer and Music Festival to unite their two passions.

They’re hard to find. Only available in store in selected American states. Have a browse of their website for more information.

Ryan Reynolds – Aviation Gin

Ryan Reynolds enjoyed drinking Aviation Gin so much that he bought in as a co-owner.

The company from Portland, Oregan was established in 2006 with Reynolds coming on board in February 2018.

Reynolds is also the creative director and both his face and signature sense of humour are very visible in the company’s marketing and website. He’s made several YouTube videos advertising Aviation, some of which have over 6.5 million views.

If you believe their marketing, Ryan is very involved in the company and even has his own email address. When we emailed him for comment we received this response:

Whether due to Reynolds or not, the company has been doing very well since he joined the team. Sales doubled in 2019. Diageo bought Aviation in a package with a few other companies for $610 million this year.

Aviation Gin is available to buy in the UK for around £35 for a 700ml bottle.

Does Celebrity = Success?

Though a lot of celebrities have launched drinks over the years, many have not been commercial successes. In fact, several on our list have been discontinued.

So, what is the key to a successful celebrity drinks brand?

A good product seems like the answer, so that once the initial publicity boost caused by celebrity association dies down, customers will continue to buy it.

Take Casamigos, for example, it wasn’t created for a commercial market but for personal enjoyment. Clooney and his partners put a lot of effort in to get it just right. People might try it because it’s associated with him but they’ll keep buying it because it’s good.

Reynold’s involvement with Aviation also fits this theory. Before Reynolds became an owner, it was already a great quality gin (that’s what drew him to the product). His association is helpful for their marketing, but the product speaks for itself.

It will be interesting to see if some of the newer celeb-led products have the same staying power.

All prices were correct at the time of writing.

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