I’m a sucker for juicy celebrity gossip. I also happen to love booze. So when my favorite celebrities develop their own beverage alcohol brands, I get particularly excited. From Drew Barrymore’s wine estate to Pharell’s “Qream with a Q” cream liqueur, the world of celebrity booze endorsements run the gamut from the serious to the hilarious. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites through the years:
One of the most well-known celebrity-endorsed booze brands is Ciroc Vodka, which comes from a 50/50 partnership between rapper/entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs and beverage industry giant Diageo. Though most people have heard of it and many people have tasted it, Combs explains that his celebrity has not always helped to contribute to the growth of the brand: “With Ciroc, people may have thought that [the vodka] was for African-Americans. People wanted to put it in a box. So…I had to work harder to overcome those perceptions and create a wonderful product regardless of my color, regardless of my celebrity. The reality is I have to work harder than other brands to do that.” Favored for their fun flavors, Ciroc has recently released their fifth flavor to much ado: Pineapple. Perfect for summertime cocktails.
Hollywood’s favorite power couple Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt (also known in the tabloids as ‘Brangelina’) has brought Miraval Rosé to the market in partnership with a French winemaking family. Rumored to have purchased the Côtes de Provence vineyards for $60 million in 2012, the celebrity duo’s project is more than a passing fad. In fact, certified organic Miraval was rated 91 points by Decanter and the wine ranked #84 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2013, the only rosé to make the list that year. Just last year, the couple wed in the chapel of Château Miraval, in the French village of Correns, in front of 20 close friends and family.
George Clooney, world-famous for his extensive acting career, his beautiful looks and most recently his fabulous human-rights activist wife, Amal, George Clooney has collaborated with two long-time friends to create Casamigos, a tequila brand that they hope represents the smoothest, best-tasting expression of tequila. Available in three varieties: Blanco (rests for 2 months), Reposado (aged 7 months in American oak) and Añejo (aged 14 months in premium American oak), Casamigo’s motto invokes luxury lifestyle: “On the rocks, by the shot, at times, straight from the bottle. Tequila-filled nights with friends is how Casamigos was born.”
But not all celebrity-endorsed booze brands come from the top movie stars of Hollywood. One of the biggest brands to hit the market in recent years is Skinny Girl by reality TV star Bethenny Frankel (from Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York). Developed in 2009 and purchased by Beam Global in 2011 for an undisclosed amount (though rumors were flying that she was paid over $100 million), Skinny Girl hit the market hard and has been at the forefront of the low-cal booze fad ever since. Though the brand spiked in 2012 and then fell 26% in 2013, many suggest that Frankel’s return to Real Housewives this season could be a boon to her booze brand. #RHONY
On the hilarious side of the spectrum comes “White Girl Rosé” from social media sensation Josh Ostrovsky (AKA @TheFatJew). After amassing over 4 million Instagram followers, Ostrovksy responded to 2014’s rosé shortage by vowing “never again.” Partnering with David Oliver Cohen (AKA Babe Walker of @WhiteGirlProblems), the two have created a rose that reflects their online personas: #ThisIsSoUs. According to Bloomberg News, Luxury rose sales are on the rise with 41% growth in the $20+ category in 2014, while wine growth in all other categories was at 1% for the same time period.
And lest you fear that White Girl Rose is only for the ladies, Ostrovsky explains, “…we embrace the ‘bro-sé’ movement [the increasing number of men drinking rosé]. If any bros want to chug rosé with us, we are down.”
Ostrovsky, like Frankel and other celebrities before him, may be on to something. When I asked my Facebook friends which alcohol trends were on their radars this summer, one girlfriend responded: “Rosé all day!” while another friend wrote: “White girl rosè all day urryday – it’s the drink of the summer!
But not every celebrity-endorsed brand will thrive. Some people may remember Donald Trump’s vodka which was introduced to the market in 2006 as “Success Distilled.” Created to “trump” his friends at Grey Goose, Trump projected that the T&T (Trump Vodka & Tonic) would be the most ubiquitous drink in the bar scene. But as Grey Goose continues to thrive, Trump was unable to meet his production threshold and pulled his vodka brand in 2011, which has left him with plenty of time to focus on his presidential campaign. #TrumpYourCat
Share your favorite celebrity booze brands with us in the comment section below! Cheers!