It doesn’t matter if it’s an actor, musician or athlete, at some point many celebrities decide to become entrepreneurs. It could be anything from a clothing line or production studio, but there’s one business venture that unites every kind of celebrity. Alcohol.
Over the years, celebrities and alcohol companies have gone hand-in-hand with endorsements. But, it’s a completely different thing for celebrities to branch out and start their own alcohol brand. It’s a gutsy move that can be a success, like Cabo Wabo Tequila, or a flop like The Donald’s Trump Vodka. Regardless, there are many alcohol brands owned by celebrities, but here are the ten best.
10. Justin Timberlake – 901 Tequila
After already owning a restaurant, clothing line and golf course, JT launched “the world’s first ultra premium, hand-crafted tequila” in 2009. 901 Tequila was named after the area code of Timberlake’s Memphis hometown and costs $40 a bottle. The tequila is made from 100 percent blue agave.
9. Willie Nelson – Old Whiskey River Bourbon
Inspired by his song “Old Whiskey River,” Nelson launched this homegrown bourbon venture near his home in Kentucky. Old Whiskey River Bourbon is also sourced from locally grown and family-owned farms, and each small batch of whiskey comes with an autographed guitar pick.
8. Danny DeVito’s Premium Limoncello
I’m sure we all remember DeVito’s drunken appearance on “The View” back in 2010. But, did you know that he was drunk on the traditional Italian liqueur limoncello? Shortly after his infamous TV appearance, DeVito unveiled his own brand of limoncello.
7. Absinthe Mansinthe
Absinthe may still be illegal here in the States, but at least Europeans can enjoy the liqueur and its supposed hallucinogenic effects. Which is why when goth rocker Marilyn Manson debuted his own absinthe line, Mansinthe, in 2007, it was a perfect match. Since, you know, both are pretty scary.
6. Francis Ford Coppola Wine
The legendary director behind classic films like “The Godfather” has become a respected name within the wine industry. His label not only offers nine different variations. It also opened the Francis Ford Coppola Winery resort in California in 2010.
5. Bruce Willis – Sobieski Vodka
If there’s one type of alcohol brand that’s easy for celebs to venture into, it’s vodka. Why? Because vodka is easy to make and requires a lot of marketing to become successful. While maybe not exactly a household name in the U.S., Sobieski Vodka is a best seller in Poland and was ranked as the #1 vodka by the Beverage Tasting Institute in 2007. Its spokesman, Bruce Willis, is also part owner of the label’s parent company. We’re not sure why, but this just makes sense.
4. Ron Jeremy – Ron de Jeremy Rum
A lot of former porn stars don’t have many options when they retire, but one of the most iconic stars in the industry has become the face of rum. Ron Jeremy’s Ron de Jeremy Rum (by the way, ron is Spanish for rum) not only features the sexual innuendos you would expect on the label, it’s actually good. The 7-year-old Panamanian rum known as “The Adult Rum” is smooth and has a perfect mix of fruit and spice. Plus, it’s a great conversation piece.
3. Sammy Hagar – Cabo Wabo Tequila
If you followed the career of Sammy Hagar, you know that the Red Rocker can’t drive 55, was once the frontman of Van Halen and loves to hang out in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He loves Cabo so much that he owns a nightclub and restaurant there called Cabo Wabo Cantina, where he holds an annual birthday bash. Oh yeah, Hagar also loves tequila. He began making his own tequila brand, Cabo Wabo, in the late 1990s. By 2006, it was the second-best selling premium tequila in the United States. A year later, Hagar cashed in on his tequila and sold his shares of the company for over $90 million.
2. Diddy – Ciroc
Technically, Diddy didn’t start the vodka brand that uses grapes instead of grain or potatoes. But the rapper, producer, and entrepreneur struck a deal with Diageo, the company behind Ciroc, that would give him a 50/50 profit split for his endorsement. And, how did that work out? Ciroc sales were at $8.8 million, up 71%, at the end of 2010.
1. Dan Aykroyd – Crystal Head Vodka
There’s no way that you’ve been in a liquor store and not seen a bottle of vodka that is shaped like a skull. That would be Crystal Head Vodka and it’s the product of Dan Aykroyd, who also dabbles in the wine business, and artist John Alexander. The bottle’s design was inspired by the legend of the 13 crystal skulls, which also influenced how the vodka is distilled. Crystal Head is quadruple-distilled and triple-filtered through charcoal and quadruple-filtered through crystals known as Herkimer Diamonds. And, with no additives, it’s one of the purest alcohols on the market.
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